Font Size

- Aa +

Tue 29 Mar 2016 11:52 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Saudi central bank net foreign assets fall $584bn in Feb

Assets fell 17.3 percent from a year earlier to their lowest level since May 2012

Saudi central bank net foreign assets fall $584bn in Feb
Saudi money, Saudi currency, Saudi economy, Saudi finance, GCC currencies

Net foreign assets at Saudi Arabia's central bank dropped 1.7 percent from the previous month to 2.19 trillion riyals ($584 billion) in February, central bank data showed on Tuesday.

Assets fell 17.3 percent from a year earlier to their lowest level since May 2012. They reached a record high of $737 billion in August 2014 before starting to shrink.

The central bank, which serves as Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, has been drawing down its assets to cover a huge state budget deficit caused by low oil prices.

Most of the foreign assets are believed to be denominated in U.S. dollars, mainly in the form of securities such as U.S. Treasury bonds and deposits with banks abroad. Equities are believed to account for only a small fraction, perhaps under 20 percent. Some assets are managed via global fund firms.

Deposits with banks abroad shrank 2.8 percent from the previous month to $133 billion in February, while investment in foreign securities edged down 0.7 percent to $395 billion.

For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.