KSA hikes utility tariffs in wider price reforms
Adjustments in electricity and water prices are expected to take effect on January 11, setting the pace for several other GCC countries set to implement utility subsidy reforms next year
Saudi electricity and water bills are set for a sharp rise following Monday’s cabinet approval of the first of a series of comprehensive economic, fiscal, and structural reforms amid low oil prices.
Adjustments in electricity and water prices are expected to take effect on January 11, setting the pace for several other GCC countries set to implement utility subsidy reforms next year.
Starting Tuesday, petrol prices have been increased by more than 50 per cent for some products as the kingdom cuts a wider range of subsidies after posting a record budget deficit.
The council of ministers headed by King Salman decided to raise the price of higher-grade unleaded petrol to 0.90 riyals ($0.24) per litre from 0.60 riyals, a hike of 50 per cent, and for lower-grade petrol to 0.75 riyals ($0.20) from 0.45 riyals per litre, a 67 per cent rise.
Saudi Arabia's stock market was generally little changed early on Monday as traders cautiously awaited the release of the kingdom's 2016 state budget, while Egypt recouped some of previous session's losses.
The Saudi index rose in the opening minutes but then came well off its highs and after 80 minutes of trade, was up just 0.2 percent.
However, Saudi Electricity Co (STC) and National Gas and Industrialization Co surged 9.9 and 6.8 percent respectively.