Oil Wars Biting: Saudi Arabia to Start Issuing Bonds to Cover Deficit Moreover with Riyadh becoming a buyer of credit itself it’s far less likely it can continue to provide credit to the US to finance its own deficit (Sputnik - Russian news agency) | Russia Insider MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Saudi authorities are likely to increase debt levels to up to 50 percent of the GDP within the next five years, the Financial Times reported Monday. According to previous forecasts, the 2016 debt level will not exceed 17.3 percent of the country’s GDP. The finalization of the bond program is expected to begin in January, the newspaper reported, citing an official source. As of September, Saudi foreign reserves had dropped to $647 billion, a three-year low, due to falling oil prices. The International Monetary Fund is likely to welcome the kingdom’s decision to issue bonds, the media outlet reported, adding that the financial regulator earlier called for Saudi Arabia to increase its debt level. Global oil prices have more than halved from summer 2014 levels, when the price of Brent crude stood at about $115 per barrel. Current oil prices are hovering just under $50 per barrel. ______________________________________ Commentary: A debt that is 17.3% of GDP is not a major threat. The biggest threat is Saudi Arabia has nothing much else to export, unlike Russia, that sells high tech weapons.