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Sun 17 Feb 2008 05:14 PM

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Saudi FX remains unchanged

Kingdom retains foreign exchange and monetary policy after Shura council meeting on inflation.

Saudi Arabia is keeping its monetary and foreign exchange policies unchanged for now, the finance minister and central bank governor told a council that advises the king, one of the councillors said.

"We were not led to believe that there will be a change for now," said Osama Abu-Gherara, deputy chairman of the Shura Council's finance committee, referring to monetary and foreign exchange policy.

He was speaking after the council, whose members are appointed by the king, hosted Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Hamad Saud al-Sayyari - governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency - to debate how to tackle surging inflation.

"They pledged continued action to curb inflation," Abu-Gherara told Reuters by telephone. "Nothing was said about a revaluation," he added.

Saudi Arabia pegs its riyal to the dollar at a rate that has been fixed for 22 years.

Partly driven by a rise in global commodity prices and the weak US currency, inflation surged to a 16-year high of 6.5% in December.

(Reuters)

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