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Thu 9 Oct 2008 02:03 PM

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Saudis must be shielded from crisis - king

King Abdullah tells state bodies to limit effects of financial crisis on savings.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has ordered state bodies to look into limiting the effects of the global financial crisis on Saudis' savings, Saudi media reported on Thursday.

"The king has entrusted a number of relevant agencies to study in depth how to deal with this issue," Crown Prince Sultan told reporters in comments carried in Asharq Al-Awsat and other newspapers.

He was responding to a question about whether the government would take measures to protect the savings and investments of Saudis in light of the crisis on world financial markets.

The crown prince gave no more details.

Saudi Arabia's central bank said on Wednesday that there was no need to provide emergency funds to banks in the world's largest oil exporter as the financial sector faced no shortage in liquidity.

Muhammed Al-Jasser, central bank vice governor, said the central bank was ready to provide sufficient liquidity if needed but no bank had approached it for additional funds.

"The situation is stable and does not require any emergency measures as if there were a problem with the banks meeting their commitments," he told Al Arabiya television.

He also said bank deposits were safe and economic growth healthy, adding that Saudi Arabia had no exposure to economies and companies suffering from the global credit crunch or sub-prime problems since most lending was local.

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