This is something you need to take note of.
What follows are the bullet point highlights from a highly anticipated interview with Saudi Arabia’s powerful Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Excerpts from the interview were leaked ahead of the broadcast.
You’ll note that everything said below confirms what we’ve been saying for months: namely that the Kingdom is not, contrary to popular belief, on the verge of economic catastrophe which by extension means Riyadh isn’t likely to move too aggressively with regard to driving oil prices higher.
More specifically, we’ve repeatedly said that Saudi Arabia’s foray into debt markets last October was proof that the Kingdom can borrow at will to plug funding gaps, especially considering they started from a debt-to-GDP ratio of 2%. Here’s what bin Salman says about that: “30% debt to GDP isn’t a problem.”
Update: exactly 30 minutes after we said the above, everyone else says the same thing. “The market is reading the headline that non-oil revenue in 1Q exceeded expectation as negative,” Michael Loewen, commodities strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto, told Bloomberg by phone, adding that “people think that now Saudi Arabia is less incentivised to prop up oil prices.”
SAUDI PRINCE: LESS THAN 10 MLN SAUDIS DESERVE SUBSIDIES: TV
SAUDI WILL TRY TO INCLUDE AS MANY AS POSSIBLE IN CASH PROGRAM
SAUDI PRINCE: SAUDI BUDGET DEFICIT NARROWED MORE THAN EXPECTED
SAUDI PRINCE: SAUDI ECONOMY AVOIDED RECESSION
SAUDI PRINCE: ANY REFORM MEASURES HAVE SIDE EFFECTS
SAUDI PRINCE: SUSPENDING ALLOWANCES WAS TEMPORARY MEASURE
SAUDI PRINCE: NON-OIL REVENUE IN 1Q EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS
SAUDI PRINCE: OPEC, NON-OPEC DEAL WAS UNPRECEDENTED
SAUDI PRINCE: PIF IS EARNING STATE TENS OF BILLIONS
SAUDI PRINCE: KINGDOM STILL PLANS CASH TRANSFER PROGRAM
SAUDI PRINCE: SAUDIS DESERVING SUBSIDIES `A LITTLE BELOW’ 10MLN
SAUDI PRINCE: DEBT WON’T EXCEED 30% OF GDP
SAUDI PRINCE: RAISING DEBT ALLOWS GOVERNMENT TO SPEND
PRINCE: SAUDI OIL OUTPUT IS DETERMINED BY SUPPLY, DEMAND, OPEC
PRINCE: SAUDI TO OFFER HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF FREE HOMES
PRINCE: PIF TO INVEST 50%-70% OF ARAMCO IPO PROCEEDS IN SAUDI
PRINCE: REST OF ARAMCO IPO PROCEEDS TO BE INVESTED ABROAD
PRINCE: ARAMCO IPO SIZE WON’T BE `FAR FROM’ 5% BY A LOT
PRINCE: ARAMCO IPO SIZE WILL DEPEND ON DEMAND
Here are some highlights leaked earlier today.
Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accused Iran of seeking to control the Muslim world, in remarks that appear to rule out any rapprochement with the Islamic Republic.
“How can I converse with” Iran, Prince Mohammed, 31, said in an interview with Saudi-owned MBC television, which will be aired in full on Tuesday night. He said Iran is preparing the ground for the arrival of the Mahdi, a prophesied Shiite savior, and wants to “control the Muslim world.”
The world’s biggest oil exporter and Iran are on the opposing sides of major Middle East crises, including the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. The kingdom is bogged down in a two-year war in Yemen, where it’s been trying to restore the rule of an internationally-recognized government against Shiite rebels aligned with Iran.
Saudi Arabia’s powerful deputy crown prince has ruled out any dialogue with Iran, a country he said was busy plotting to control the Muslim world.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi defense minister, said in a TV interview to be broadcast later on Tuesday his country could crush Iran-aligned fighters in Yemen where Saudi forces head a coalition of Gulf Arab states intervening in a civil war.
Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran compete for influence in the Middle East, supporting rival groups in Syria’s civil war. In Yemen, Iran denies providing financial or military support to the Houthis who are fighting government forces allied with Saudi Arabia.
Asked if Saudi Arabia was ready to open a direct dialogue with Tehran, Mohammed said it was impossible to talk with a power that was planning for the return of the Imam Mahdi – whom Shi’ites believe was a descendent of the Prophet who went into hiding 1,000 years ago and will return to establish global Islamic rule before the end of the world.
“How do you have a dialogue with this (Iran)?” Mohammed said in clips of the interview posted on social media.
“Its (Iran’s) logic is that the Imam Mahdi will come and they must prepare the fertile environment for the arrival of the awaited Mahdi and they must control the Muslim world.”
Under Iran’s constitution since the 1979 revolution, the country’s supreme leader is the earthly representative of the Imam until his return.