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Saudi Arabia Seen by Former Adviser Assuming $80 Oil

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Saudi Arabia’s 2015 budget is probably assuming an oil price of $80 a barrel, and will be seen as a sign of confidence in the market, according to a former economic adviser to the country’s government.

The assumption is down from $103 a barrel for this year, John Sfakianakis, who used to be chief economic adviser to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance, said by phone after the budget was announced yesterday. The world’s biggest crude exporter set 2015 spending at 860 billion riyals ($229 billion) with revenue falling to 715 billion riyals from 1.046 trillion riyals in 2014, the Finance Ministry said. Oil, which has slumped 47 percent this year to $60.23 a barrel in London, accounted for 89 percent of its 2014 revenue.