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Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that ongoing political tensions in the Kingdom of Bahrain (BBB/Watch Neg/A-3) and Sultanate of Oman (A/Watch Neg/A-1) remain a significant issue for the credit standing of both sovereigns. This is despite the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC's) March 10 announcement of a US$20 billion economic aid support package over ten years, to be shared equally between the two governments.
Dubai's government approved a 2011 budget that sees the budget deficit cut to US$1 billion due to the authorities continuing to cut spending.
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah unveiled additional financial support measures in mid March estimated to cost SR350 billion (US$93 billion). An estimated SR135 billion (US$36 billion) worth of measures were announced at the end of February.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services it has lowered its long- and short-term local and foreign currency sovereign credit ratings on the Kingdom of Bahrain to 'BBB/A-3' from 'A-/A-2'.
A recent survey showed that companies in the Middle East remain reluctant to fully implement sufficient risk management policies despite the negative effects the global economic crisis had on corporate companies that did not have proper risk strategies in place.