The head of the International Monetary Fund has predicted that the economies of the oil-rich countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council will grow at sustainable but reduced rates.

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, spoke at a news conference Saturday after attending a meeting of the six-nation GCC.

Lagarde praised the GCC countries' management of oil prices and reserves and said it contributed to the stability of the world's economy.

In return, Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf praised the role of the IMF in dealing with regional economic woes in the wake of the Arab uprisings that replaced longtime leaders in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya and rattled local economies. Saudi Arabia is one of the largest donors to countries of the region and contributors to the IMF.