News Column

SAMA net foreign assets reach SR2.737 trillion

July 28, 2014

Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia



July 28--JEDDAH -- The Kingdom's M3 money supply growth edged up to 12.3 percent year-on-year in June from a five-month low of 12.1 percent in the previous month, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) data showed.

Bank lending growth to the private sector was also slightly up at 12.3 percent in June from 12.0 percent in May, Reuters reported.

The central bank's net foreign assets fell to SR2.737 trillion ($730 billion) in June from a record high of SR2.744 trillion in May. They were up 7.0 percent from a year ago, the lowest rate of increase since May 2010.

Food prices still remain the second largest contributor to Saudi Arabia's annual inflation, after rental and housing related services, according to researchers researchers.

"We expect inflation in the second half of the year to gradually increase compared with the first half," said a report from Jadwa Investment.

"We expect the average 2014 inflation to register 3 percent year-on-year," it said.

Saudi annual CPI inflation remained unchanged at 2.7 percent for the third consecutive month in June, Jadwa Investment said.

In a separate report, Jadwa recently revised its Saudi crude production estimate to 9.7 million bpd for 2014, up from 9.4 mbpd previously.

The main factors for the revision include, lower than anticipated output from other OPEC members, faster upturn in the US economy, and continued higher year-on-year domestic Saudi consumption.

Saudi Arabia consumption averaged 1.9m bpd in the first half of 2014, up 28 percent, year-on-year. This rise was much higher than other GCC countries, which only increased by an average of 1 percent, over the same period.

The sharp rise in oil demand from Saudi Arabia is largely a result of the startup of the 0.4m bpd Satorp refinery in Q4 2013, which has pushed up refinery intake levels since the beginning of the year, said the Jadwa report.

Going forward, increased demand for generation in electricity during the summer months will see Saudi Arabian oil consumption rise in Q3 2014 and continuing economic growth will sustain oil demand throughout the remainder of 2014.

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(c)2014 Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

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Source: Arab News (Saudi Arabia)


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