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/AFP

World

Algeria ready to weather oil price slump: minister

/AFP

Algeria ready to weather oil price slump/AFP

ALGERIA, December 2- Algeria can weather the global fall in oil prices, which on Monday hit their lowest level in five years, thanks in part to currency reserves, its finance minister has said.

“The financial stability of Algeria will not be affected by the oil price drop (because) the government has measures at its disposal to deal with this type of situation,” Mohamed Djellab told public television on Monday night.

He said Algeria had been able to accumulate substantial currency reserves to help deal with the lower cost of oil.

The North African nation benefited from high oil prices between 2005 and 2008 and used the income to pay off much of its foreign debt.

Its foreign exchange reserves stood at $193.26 billion (155.39 billion euros) at the end of June this year, according to the central bank.

Oil futures tumbled to their lowest levels for five years on Monday, extending last week’s sharp sell-off in response to OPEC’s decision to maintain output despite a supply glut and plunging prices.

Djellab said public spending on agriculture, education, health and housing “will not be affected by the fall in oil prices”.

Natural gas and oil, of which Algeria produces 1.13 million barrels a day, account for 96 percent of exports and 40 percent of its gross domestic product.

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