09:19 GMT27 July 2021
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    Saudi Arabia, a country long considered one of the world’s richest, is now so short of cash, due to crashed oil prices, that it may start paying its bills with “I owe you” notes.

    Despite no official announcement, it is known that the country's economy has suffered significant damage, as oil prices dropped from $145 to $30 a barrel in less than a year, causing the country's deficit last year to balloon to some $98 billion.

    The kingdom slowed some debt payments, and creditors could be receiving "I owe you" notes in the near future, instead of cash.

    Facing a high probability of having to borrow some $31 billion this year, it is still uncertain whether the Saudis will reduce their oil output to drive up oil prices.

    The country presented a set of reforms last month seeking to dramatically reshape the country's oil-dependent economy. The International Monetary Fund hailed these reforms, calling them "appropriately bold" and "at the right speed" to cope with the country's budget deficit.

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    Tags:
    budget deficit, economy, oil prices, Saudi Arabia
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