Foreign Remittances From Saudi Arabia Decline by 34 Percent in June

Published July 30th, 2017 - 10:59 GMT
Remittances by foreign workers have witnessed a steady fall in recent months as banks in Kingdom reported a gradual decline in foreign remittances. (AFP/ File)
Remittances by foreign workers have witnessed a steady fall in recent months as banks in Kingdom reported a gradual decline in foreign remittances. (AFP/ File)

Remittances by foreign workers have witnessed a steady fall in recent months as banks in Kingdom reported a gradual decline in foreign remittances. The introduction of the dependent fee is likely to attribute a further fall in the amount being remitted by expatriates in the months ahead.

The remittances by expatriates fell by 34.5 percent or equivalent of SR5.41 billion during June, compared to the same period in 2016, according to data released by Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).

Expatriates workers sent SR10.43 billion to their families or back home in June of this year compared to SR15.84 billion in June, 2016, it stated. An average monthly drop of 20 percent has been observed in foreign remittances from May, the SAMA data reads.

The fall of remittance of June is highest in last 11 months according to SAMA statistics.

"The footfall of customers observed in our bank has dropped to some extent," said Vijay Goel, general manager of State Bank of India in Jeddah. "Due to vacation season, and other reasons might have been behind it. As far as it concerns our bank, we haven’t observed much of a fall," he added.

The value of expatriate remittances during 2016 was SR151.89 billion and SR156.9 billion in 2015. The booming period from 2005 to 2015 had seen significant growth in foreign remittances as number of employment visas also issued during the period is considered as high.

The slowdown of the construction sector and subsequent impact on other fields have largely attributed to the decline in remittances according to some economists.

The Kingdom is second largest country in the world in terms of remittances made by it expatriate workforce that numbered 11.7 million.

Around 200 million migrant workers across the world remitted more than $445 million to their families in 2016. Asia remains the main recipient region, with 55 percent of the global flows and 41 percent of total migrants, according to an UN study report.

The report said India was the top receiving country of remittances in 2016 at $ 62.7 billion, followed by China, Philippines and Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia and the US account for the lion share remittances to Asian countries.

By Irfan Mohammed

 

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