Ratings agency Fitch on 22 March downgraded its long-term sovereign credit rating for Saudi Arabia by one notch to ‘A+’ (with a stable outlook).

A+ is the agency’s fifth highest rating, though it is two notches below the ‘AA’ rating afforded to Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar. Of other GCC countries, Oman is rated ‘BBB’, the second lowest investment grade, whilst Bahrain has a ‘B+’ ‘junk’ rating (see chart).

This marks...