S&P lowers Saudi and Oman outlook on low oil price

Standard and Poor's has lowered the outlook for the world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia to stable from positive and its Gulf partner Oman to negative on sliding oil prices. However, the ratings agency affirmed the strong "AA-/A-1+" long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings for Riyadh over the "strong external and fiscal positions" it has built up in the past decade when oil prices were too high. It said low oil prices will place pressure on the kingdom's gross domestic product (GDP) and per capita income because Saudi Arabia's economy is undiversified and vulnerable to a sharp and sustained decline in the oil price.