Assaf Says Saudi Arabia May Be Ready to Raise IMF Contribution

Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf said the world’s top oil exporter may be willing to increase its contribution to the International Monetary Fund.

“We have been there for the IMF for a long time; over 35 years we have been providing loans to the IMF. Also we have a large shareholding,” al-Assaf said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Davos, Switzerland. “We like to maintain that or increase it.”

“I really cannot answer exactly who is going to contribute and for that matter Saudi Arabia’s contribution,” al-Assaf said.

The IMF, which co-finances loans to Greece, Ireland and Portugal, identified a potential global financing need of $1 trillion in coming years and is seeking $500 billion in new lending resources from its members to address potential loan demand. To avoid a 1930s-style worldwide depression, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has called on other countries to contribute.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon also yesterday called for more nations to raise funding for the IMF.

Next month’s meeting of the Group of 20 in Mexico will help determine “some issues that have not been settled with regards to the role of the Europeans versus the role of the rest of the world,” al-Assaf said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alaa Shahine in Davos, Switzerland at asalha@bloomberg.net; Olivia Sterns in London at osterns1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Fraher at jfraher@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.