Saudi investors are likely to repatriate at least part of their $600 billion capital holdings in the West in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, Saudi bankers anticipate, awaiting better times for the local banking sector.
In the period between January and September 2001, 40.8 billion Saudi riyals ($10.88 billion) were transferred out of the Kingdom, in the form of expatriate labor transfers and foreign currency purchases. Foreign currency acquisition in the Saudi kingdom totaled 283 billion Saudi riyals ($75 billion) in the third quarter of 2001, a 1.6 percent drop from SR 287.8 billion ($76 billion) the previous quarter.
Saudi banks purchased SR 110.7 billion ($29 billion) of these foreign currencies from international banks, SR 74.3 billion ($19 billion) from clients, SR 55.5 billion ($14 billion) from local banks and SR 41.4 billion ($11 billion) from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, reported Al-Watan.
Saudi banks granted SR 185.3 billion ($49 billion) worth of credit to various sectors in the first nine months of 2001, of which 21 percent was awarded as long-term credit, 17 percent as medium term and 62 percent as short-term credit. The private sector’s total payable liabilities to Saudi banks increased by 2.35 percent to SR 182.7 billion ($48 billion) in the third quarter of 2001, up from SR 179 billion ($47 billion) in the second quarter of the same year.
A total of 2,456 Automated Teller Machines (ATM) operated throughout the Kingdom in the third quarter of the current year, compared with 2,369 in the second quarter. Saudi banks distributed 500,210 ATM cards during the third quarter. — (menareport.com)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )