Saudi Arabia appointed a former deal-maker for oil giant Saudi Aramco as economy and planning minister, as officials try to rally the biggest Arab economy from the dual shock of the coronavirus pandemic and last year’s oil price rout.
The new minister, Faisal Alibrahim, was named Monday in a series of royal orders. He had been vice minister of economy and planning since 2018, and was formerly head of a mergers and acquisitions group at Saudi Aramco, among other roles there. The position of economy minister had been held on an acting basis by the kingdom’s finance minister since last year.
Alibrahim takes over after coronavirus lockdowns and oil market turmoil shook the world’s largest crude exporter, causing gross domestic product to contract 4.1 per cent in 2020.
The economy is showing signs of recovery now and is expected to expand 2.9 per cent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
In a local television interview last week, Crown Prince...read more...