Saudi shares plunged the most since early March in the wake of foreboding comments from finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan, who underscored the magnitude of the crisis facing the kingdom in an interview with Al-Arabiya over the weekend.
"The kingdom hasn’t witnessed a crisis of this severity over the past decades", he said, adding that the government will need to adopt "very tough and strong measures" which will be "painful" even as they are "necessary".
He reiterated plans for borrowing some 220 billion riyals in 2020, an amount which would see the Saudis tapping the debt market for the most since their debut in 2016.
"Due to the precautionary measures [to contain the pandemic] non-oil revenues will be dropping as there is a huge reduction in economic activity", he went on to say, noting that the kingdom is doing its best to confront the problem "wisely and efficiently".
Local stocks were not amused. They "wisely and efficiently" dropped a harrowing 7.4% on the session, the worst day since back-to-back deep swoons in March and the third worst
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