New York: Some analysts say Saudi Arabia’s 2019 revenue forecast is surprising because they estimate it to be based on a relatively high price of oil.

The plan defies “the laws of arithmetic,” said Ziad Daoud, the Dubai-based chief Middle East economist at Bloomberg Economics. The government’s projections may be based on a crude price as high as $80 a barrel in 2019, and it would have to climb to $95 a barrel to balance the budget, he said. Brent crude traded near $56 a barrel on Wednesday.

The immediate reaction from stock investors is lacklustre, with the main Saudi gauge falling as much as 0.8 per cent in the first 10 minutes of trading. That follows a muted response from bond investors on Tuesday: Saudi Arabia’s $5 billion of bonds due 2028 closed little changed.