Saudi Central Bank’s net foreign assets fall for third month in a row

Follow-ups -eshrag News:

Mon, 2022-03-28 17:30

RIYADH: Saudi Central Bank’s net foreign assets fell 1.2 percent in February, according to data published on its website.

Net foreign assets of the bank, also known as SAMA, fell by SR19.9 billion ($5.31 billion) to SR1.59 trillion.

This is the third consecutive month of decline. 

Assets have dropped for a total of SR85.5 billion since November 2021. Looking at the central bank’s reserve assets — an indicator SAMA discloses as part of IMF reporting — it fell by the same SR19.9 billion in February to $442 billion due to a similar drop in foreign currency reserves.

The latter’s smaller component — “foreign currency and deposits abroad” – saw the third monthly drop in a row of $3.87 billion, while “investment in foreign securities,” which makes up about two-third of the total — fell by $594 million.

The February decline in foreign currency reserves also affected the level of the central bank’s total assets, which fell by $9.41 billion in month to $478 billion.

Foreign currency reserves contribute about 75 percent to the central bank’s total assets. The rest are gold and foreign currencies with SAMA, cash in vault, as well as “other miscellaneous assets.” Noticeably, the latter component also fell by $3.27 billion during February.

As a result, SAMA’s total assets fell again — for the third month in a row, which is rather unusual. Last time it happened in February-April 2020, though the aggregate drop was much bigger at the time — $47.9 billion compared to $26.8 billion in the period between December 2021 and February 2022.

Main category: 
Business & Economy
Saudi Central Bank (SAMA)

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