Saudi remittance totals to $27.6bn
Riyadh, November 3, 2013
The World Bank ranked Saudi Arabia as the second top remittance-sending country in the world after the US, with an estimated flow of over $27.6 billion in 2012, said a report.
The UAE comes second in the GCC with $20.3 billion, followed by Kuwait at 8.5 billion, said the report in the Saudi Gazette.
The top three remittance beneficiaries from Saudi Arabia during the period were India ($8.4 billion), Egypt ($5.7 billion), and Pakistan ($3 billion).
The average cost of remitting $200 or its equivalent revealed that Saudi Arabia, alongside Russia, is the cheapest for sending remittances at 4.5 per cent of the amount sent, the report said quoting the ‘Saudi Economic Review’ by the National Commercial Bank. South Africa, on the other had, is the costliest with an average of 20.7 per cent of the amount sent.
The data showed that the cost of remitting funds negatively correlates with the volume of remittance inflow, it said.
“In our opinion, the Saudi Nitaqat programme is expected to swell these figures in 2013 as expatriates boost money transfers prior to leaving the country,” said the report.
In 2012, remittances to the Mena region grew by an estimated 14.3 per cent year-on-year, which is the fastest annual expansion rate, stacking $49 billion, it said.
Egypt accounted for over 40 per cent of remittance inflows to the Mena region, a $20.5 billion or 6 per cent of GDP which is a six-fold increase over the past eight years, surpassing Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.
The officially recorded remitted funds were estimated to have reached $529 billion in 2012, of which $401 billion went to developing countries, involving 192 million migrants who constitute 3 per cent of the world’s population. The latest forecasts suggest remittances to reach $559 billion this year.