The aggregate liquidity ratio of Saudi commercial banks rose to 14.29% in December 2013 from 13.53% in the previous month, according to the monthly statistical bulletin of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA). The liquidity ratio, which accounts for bank reserves over total deposits, increased due to a strong 8.8% m/m growth in bank reserves held in the form of cash in the vault or as deposits with SAMA to SAR 200bn ( USD 53.3bn ) outpacing the 2.6% m/m expansion in total deposits held by commercial banks to SAR 1 .401tn in December. Meanwhile, the flattening out of borrowing by Saudi households and corporate clients for consumption and investment purposes (Claims on Private Sector) maintained aggregate bank credit extended by Saudi banks constant at SAR 1.123btn in December, while total deposits held by commercial banks jumped by 2.6% m/m to SAR 1 .401tn. As a result, the ratio of bank claims on the private sector to total deposits at commercial banks fell to 80.15% in December from 82.31% in November.
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