Saudi economy contracts in first two quarters of 2017

Saudi Arabia moves in a more secular direction

Saudi economy contracts in first two quarters of 2017

Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia have been called unlikely allies, thrown together by the lower-for-longer oil price scenario that has been unfolding over the last three years, and now these unlikely allies are forging deeper ties.

Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are on the verge of setting up a joint fund worth $1bn aiming at strengthening energy cooperation between the two giant oil producers.

Vehicle manufacturers -including Nissan, Chevrolet or Ford - were quick to "congratulate" Saudi women and their "welcome" in their universe, while saudi Arabia could count millions of new motorists in the coming years.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak kicked off a five-day energy conference in Moscow and St. Petersburg this week with suggestions that oil exports from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-member states may be monitored. Russia's role grows, and this powerful country is ready to play Middle East mediator during King Salman's visit to Moscow. OPEC will discuss the possibility of a further extension at a ministerial meeting next month.

Saudi Arabia has its economy based on the oil sector.

The Kingdom is looking to acquire stakes in at least two oil and gas companies in Russia, Saudi sources close to the talks told Bloomberg, requesting anonymity because of the private nature of said talks.

Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia were key to the agreement in 2017 to cut production by around 1.8 million barrels per day for six months and subsequently extend it through March 2018. In June 2017, the oil producers agreed to extend those cuts until March 2018. That has brought a measure of stability to markets that have seen a three-year slump in oil prices.

Oil prices have partly recovered after major producers inside and outside OPEC, including Saudi Arabia, agreed previous year to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day to bolster global prices. "With the rise in prices, we expect the U.S.to continue pumping higher output, thus impacting market rebalancing".

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