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Saudi banks raise gov’t bond holdings by SAR 62bn in February

Saudi banks raise gov’t bond holdings by SAR 62bn in February
Saudi banks’ government bond holdings hit SAR 331.16 billion in February

By: El-Sayed Gamal

Riyadh – Mubasher: Saudi banks increased their government bonds holdings by 22.9%, or SAR 61.77 billion ($16.47 billion), year-on-year in February.

Saudi banks’ holdings of government and semi government bonds jumped to SAR 331.16 billion ($88.31 billion) in the second month of 2019 from SAR 269.39 billion ($71.84 billion) in the corresponding month a year earlier, according to recent data released by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

Month-on-month, the kingdom’s banks’ holdings of government bonds went up 3.4%, or SAR 10.93 billion ($2.91 billion), from SAR 320.24 billion ($85.4 billion) in January.

Since the beginning of 2019, Saudi banks’ holdings of government bonds grew 8.6% or SAR 26.23 billion ($6.99 billion) from the end of last year.

In 2018, Saudi banks’ holdings of government bonds surged 19.85%, or SAR 50.51 billion ($13.47 billion) to SAR 304.93 billion ($81.31 billion), compared to SAR 254.42 billion ($67.84 billion) in 2017.

Total bank credit provided to public institutions rose 10.7% to SAR 50.41 billion ($13.44 billion) in February from SAR 45.52 billion ($12.14 billion) in the same month a year earlier.

Meanwhile, bank claims on public sector in the kingdom soared 21.2% or SAR 66.66 billion ($17.78 billion) year-on-year to SAR 381.57 billion ($101.75 billion) in February, compared to SAR 314.91 billion ($83.98 billion).

In December 2018, the oil-rich kingdom’s finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan revealed the country’s plans for issuing bonds worth about SAR 120 billion ($32 billion) in the first half of 2019.

Translated by: Zeinab Adel