Saudi king slashes gasoline prices at home by 25%

With gasoline prices at historic highs in the United States and some other Western countries, Saudi King Abdullah issued a decree Sunday lowering domestic gasoline prices by about 25 percent immediately. According to a government statement, the decrease was to reach 30 percent by year's end. The drop in prices means Saudis now will be paying 60 halalahs per liter of regular gasoline, or about 60 US cents a gallon. The price of super drops to about 76 US cents a gallon. There are 100 halalahs in the Saudi riyal, which is worth about 26 US cents. The statement said the king issued the decree to ease the "cost of living burden on Saudi citizens." The big reduction in gasoline prices in the world's largest oil producing nation was announced as prices in oil importing nations reached record levels and oil company profits soared to all-time highs. The price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States is above US$3 in some regions.