Saudi boosts investment in foreign bonds
Riyadh, March 5, 2013
Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama) saw its investment in overseas bonds and shares soar to SR1.7 trillion ($453.2 billion) by December 2012, thus registering a 21 per cent growth over the previous year, said a report.
This accounted for 70 per cent of the Saudi central bank's total assets which ballooned to SR2.49 trillion in January this year, SR13 billion more than that of December 2012, thus reflecting the strength of the Kingdom's economy, said a Arab News report.
Sama's foreign asset base underwent a significant expansion owing to oil-related foreign exchange inflows accrued to the Saudi government in recent years, the report stated.
Its deposits with banks operating outside the Saudi territory increased by 20.4 per cent in 2011 to hit SR414 billion from SR343.9 billion in 2010.
The Saudi agency's investment in foreign securities surged considerably by 20.8 per cent to hit SR1.4 trillion in 2011 compared with a rise of 10.3 per cent the previous year. The currency cover rose by 24.3 per cent to SR169 billion in 2011 compared to a rise of 10.5 per cent in 2010.
According to the central bank’s monthly bulletin, there was a 19 per cent growth in Sama's assets in January this year and an increase of SR406 billion compared to its financial position in January 2012.
The balance sheet of Sama continued to show expansion primarily on account of significant oil revenues and public spending in recent years, said the report.
The Saudi economy continued its strong growth in 2011 driven by several positive developments at the domestic and global levels.
The Kingdom’s daily average oil production rose by 14 per cent to 9.3 million barrels in 2011 compared to 8.2 million barrels in 2010. These positive developments were reflected on the Saudi economy’s major indicators.
Saudi Arabia’s GDP at current prices recorded a rise of 31 per cent to SR2.24 trillion in 2011 from SR1.7 trillion in 2010. GDP at constant prices (base year 1999) grew by seven per cent to SR941.8 billion from SR879.8 billion in 2010, the report stated.
The net foreign assets of the banking system shot up by 22.3 per cent to hit SR2.1 trillion in 2011 against a rise of 7.3 per cent in 2010. Sama also accounted for 93.8 per cent of the net foreign assets of the entire banking system in 2011 against 94.4 per cent in 2010.