Last updated: 3 February, 2012

Saudi king and IMF chief discuss world economy

King Abdullah and visiting International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde met on Friday in the Saudi capital and discussed the “world economy,” the official SPA news agency reported.

The two reviewed “IMF action and developments in the world economy” in the presence of the Saudi finance minister and central bank governor, it said, without elaborating on what was discussed.

Oil giant Saudi Arabia is a member of the G-20 group of leading economies under pressure to boost their contributions to the IMF’s resources for crisis intervention.

The Fund says it wants to raise another $500 billion (380 billion euros), on top of the nearly $390 billion it has available now, to help countries in financial straits.

“The IMF will count on its main member states” to provide funding, Lagarde was quoted as saying in an interview published on Friday by Saudi daily Asharq Al-Awsat, without naming Saudi Arabia.

“The financial crisis is a global problem, considering its effects on all nations,” Lagarde said, according to an Arabic translation of her comments.

“It is therefore in the interests of everyone to commit to a track that will ensure an exit to this crisis.”

Lagarde arrived in Riyadh from Tunisia, where she assured authorities of the IMF’s support. She is on a two-day visit to the kingdom, her first since being appointed last year to head the world body.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of crude oil, saw a record budget surplus in 2011 of more than $81 billion.