By Vivian NereimSaudi Arabia’s central bank depleted its net foreign assets in March at the fastest clip since at least 2000, evidence the severity of the damage inflicted on public finances by the slump in oil prices.The drop of more than 100 billion riyals ($ 27 billion) fetch the stockpile to $464 billion, the lowest since 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Last week, Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said the kingdom would only draw down reservations by up to 120 billion riyals over the whole year.The world’s biggest lubricant exporter is having to dig deeper into earmarks despite scaling back spending and looking to rely more on pay to withstand the historic collapse in merchandise markets. Crude marketings are the majority of the government’s revenue. 7544096 8The price of Brent crude crashed by more than 50 per cent of members in March and has precipitated further since then, trading around $20 a barrel — far short of the $76.1 the International Monetary Fund estimates Saudi Arabia needs to balance its budget.Already under lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Saudi Arabia is bracing for a second impact from the oil shamble and unprecedented production sections negotiated by OPEC and its collaborators. 7544097 9The finance minister has said the government wouldn’t lean more than anticipated on its reserves, with the field planning to boost borrowing to 220 billion riyals this year as it sucks the appall to its budget.Saudi Arabia has already tapped international ligament groceries twice this year and has acquired a total of $19 billion from local and international investors, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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