MT spent the Christmas period glued to the business news cycle, but if your sense of work/life balance is a little more fine-tuned then here are five stories you may have missed.
1. Oil rout comes back to bite the Saudis
The plunging price of crude over the past past year and a bit has been portrayed as an attempt by OPEC to thwart the efforts of shale producers, whose oil costs a lot more to extract. But the short-term impact on the Saudi Arabian public purse has been pretty horrendous.
Last Monday the kingdom revealed a budget deficit of 367bn riyals (£66.2bn), 15% of its GDP, after oil revenues slumped 23%. The slump has forced it to introduce a ‘radical’ deficit reduction plan, including increased prices for electricity, water and petrol and plans to privatise some government assets. It also wants to introduce a sales tax in cooperation with other Gulf states.