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