Saudi banks enjoy high liquidity: SAMA chief

SAMA Governor Ahmed Al-Khulaifi

Saudi Gazette report

Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) Governor Ahmed Al-Khulaifi said that the local banks in the Kingdom enjoy high liquidity, loan quality and high profitability.

In remarks to Al-Arabiya television, he noted that SAMA forecast for the growth of the Saudi economy exceeds that of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He said IMF is building its forecasts for the Saudi economy based mainly on oil production while for SAMA it depends not only on the oil sector but also on its non-oil sector and private sector growth. “Most indicators were positive, especially for private sector consumption, fixed capital formation, lending to SMEs or mortgage lending.”

On the public floating of Aramco shares, Al-Khulaifi confirmed that SAMA is in the phase of preparation for the launch and is in the process of continuous discussions with banks. “The discussions will continue until the announcement of the prospectus and then determine the data for banks. Deposits in the banking sector are sufficient to fund Aramco's offer,” the governor said.

In response to the possibility of continued inflation in the negative range, he said that the inflation index remains in the negative range due to the group of rents, which represent about 22 percent of the total index, expected to fade over the next year.

Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose slightly by the end of the second quarter of 2019 by 0.5 percent to SR 642.8 billion compared to SR 639.9 billion in the same period in 2018. The domestic non-oil sector GDP increased by 2.9 percent at the end of the second quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 to reach SR368.4 billion.