The government’s reserves and deposits with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) dropped at the end of January to SR1.39 trillion, the lowest level in 21 months.

This was a 2 percent change on a monthly basis compared to December, and 8 percent change on an annual basis compared to January last year.

“The reserves and deposits of the government is part of the liabilities in SAMA’s financial statements, which amounts to SR2.79 trillion, equal to its assets,” Al-Eqtisadiah reported.

The assets include investments in security bonds, deposits with banks abroad, cash, foreign exchange, gold, and other assets. “The government reserves and deposits are divided into three categories, the general reserve of the government, allocations for government projects and government’s current account.”

Commenting on the fall in reserves and deposits, John Sfakianakis, Middle East director at Ashmor...
GAZA CITY: With the war-battered Gaza Strip’s borders closed, thousands of people have been shut out...
Several citizens and residents in the Kingdom have reacted angrily over the services of airline comp...
CAIRO: An Egyptian court declared Hamas a “terrorist organization” on Saturday, further isolating the blockaded rulers of the Gaza Strip once openly welcomed by the country’s toppled Islamist-dominated government.The ruling is unlikely to have any immediate effect on Hamas, still reeling from last summer’s war with Israel and choked by an Israeli-Egyptian blockade set up in 2007. Moussa Abu Marzouk, Hamas’ No. 2 leader, i...
Many Saudi families are abandoning their disabled children at the country’s social care institutions, which is affecting the physical and mental well-being of these young people, and their ability to integrate into the community, say experts.Specialists at the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center for Women in Dammam said that people with mental and physical disabilities need contact with their relatives.Rabab Al-Marhoun, a...

SAUDI ARABIA »

Muhammad Al-Umrah, the director general of Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) in Asir, has admitted that it is very difficult to renovate and restore the nearly 4,000 historical villages in the region according to the information provided by the Urban Observatory.He noted that the p...
The Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) held a career training program for Saudi job seekers in 13 career fields at Ismail Abu Dawood Hall in Jeddah on Wednesday. The program was organized in cooperation with the National Recruitment Program.Prior to the event, registration for the training and rehabilitation pro...
The Ministry of Health announced on Friday that the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) had claimed two more lives.The people who died were two Saudi men aged 84 and 51, from Queiyah and Hofuf. They were non-medical personnel and had pre-existing illnesses. There were no infections recorded in the 24 hou...
Google Maps has become a source of considerable help for motorists wishing to avoid the highly crowded roads in Jeddah. Recently, it has been helping them to choose the the least busy roads to use in order to reach their destination. The most crowded of streets witnessing the highest level of traffic incidents on weekdays i...
Over 824 shopkeepers have been reported in Riyadh for storing and selling goods under unsavory conditions, posing public health hazards for the community.A team of field inspectors at the Riyadh municipality booked these offending shops on Wednesday, which according to the municipality reports, led to the closure of 28 shop...
A Riyadh-based group has planted 2,300 trees of six varieties for Saudi Aramco in Qurais, Eastern Province, with the use of a super water-saving polymer it had invented.“There have been several delays in planting the trees due to the winter season, during which the different varieties could have frozen,” said Ibrahim Alalim...
The General Health Affairs Directorate in the Eastern Province has decided to refer the case of the medical error in the treatment of journalist Mohammed Althubayti to the attorney general, while the physician who oversaw the health condition of the patient has been banned from traveling. In a press statement issued Thursda...
Blood money, or diya, as defined by the Kingdom's Shariah law stands at SR300,000 for manslaughter and SR400,000 for murder, but in reality the family of the murder convict ends up paying millions to blood money brokers.Mefleh Al-Qahtani, chairman of the Human Rights Commission, described those brokers as having no conscien...
A number of educators have warned against using private transport means to commute female students to school, arguing that many ethical, economic and social adverse implications might result from it.One of the tasks entrusted to female transport supervisors at schools is to follow up and supervise private transport means pr...
Maj. Gen. Nasser Al-Mutairi, director of the Mohammed bin Nayef Center for Counseling and Care, said that his facility has reformed 2,950 young men who are now all fully integrated in society.Nasser made these remarks on Monday, during a lecture at the headquarters of the Muslim World League, where several Saudi experts ta...
For decades, the Council of Senior Scholars has only used the quarterly Journal of Islamic Research to communicate with the public. Now it has decided to also employ new media platforms for this task.The council recently opened an account on Twitter because its members believe this is the way to communicate with young peopl...
There is a growing need in the Kingdom to build cheap and environmentally friendly houses for the Saudi capital's increasing population, according to an expert from a well-known architectural firm in the kingdom.“According to World Bank (WB) figures, the population of the Saudi capital is increasing by at least 150,000 year...
A court in Hafr al-Batin has sentenced a Saudi citizen to death for insulting Allah, as well as the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his daughter Fatima, a local daily reported.The court issued a preliminary ruling based on charges leveled by the prosecutor against the citizen who was charged with insulting the Prop...

MIDDLE EAST »

ANKARA: Imprisoned Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan has called on his fighte...

CAIRO: An Egyptian court declared Hamas a “terrorist organization” on Saturday,...

ISTANBUL: Jailed militant leader Abdullah Ocalan called on his followers to atte...

LONDON: Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to defeat radical terrorists and defe...

GAZA: World-renowned graffiti artist Banksy has caused a stir in the Gaza Strip,...

WORLD »

LONDON: John Sawers, former head of UK’s MI6 spy agency, said Russia has become...

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin on Saturday vowed to bring the “vile” killers o...

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has signed a one-week funding bill for the Ho...

KABUL, Afghanistan: An Afghan official says the death toll from a massive avalan...

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama condemned what he called the “brutal” and...

SPORTS »

DUBAI: Roger Federer claimed the 84th title of his legendary career, kept his no...

LONDON: Wayne Rooney ended his eight-game Premier League scoring drought with a...

DOHA: Lucie Safarova continued her fine start to 2015 by claiming her first ever...

TORONTO: Golden State led from start to finish and won 113-89 at Toronto in Frid...

EDINBURGH: Italy’s perseverance was rewarded as a last-gasp penalty try gave the...

ECONOMY »

Investments in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be a key topic of discussion at the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) 2015, to be held in Dubai from March 30 to Apr...
NEW DELHI: India’s federal government has kept its health care budget for 2015-16 on a tight leash and asked states to contribute more funds for running the country’s flagship health programs.The government announced 297 billion rupees ($4.81 billion) for its main health department, roughly 2 percent higher than current yea...
OMAHA: Billionaire Warren Buffett says owning stocks is the key to building wealth over time, but investors must avoid the common mistakes of trading too often and paying high investment fees.The billionaire investor says there’s every reason to expect stocks to perform well long-term, even if prices are volatile.Buffett sa...
LONDON: OPEC's oil supply has fallen this month as bad weather delayed exports from Iraq's southern ports, a Reuters survey found on Friday, slowing an expansion of supplies in the group's second-largest producer.The survey also found slightly higher output in Saudi Arabia, a sign that the largest producer in the Organizati...
NEW DELHI: India has announced a cut in corporate taxes and other initiatives for a more stable and predictable tax regime in a bid to woo foreign investors and spur faster growth in Asia’s third biggest economy.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unveiled his government’s first full budget after storming to power at last year’s...
WASHINGTON: US economic growth braked more sharply than initially thought in the fourth quarter as businesses slowed their pace of stock accumulation and the trade deficit widened, but the underlying fundamentals remained solid.Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual pace, revised down from the 2.6 percent p...
LONDON: Oil prices have probably touched bottom and should recover in the second half of 2015 as the collapse in the market over the last year begins to curb production, a Reuters survey of analysts showed on Friday.Oversupply is likely to keep a lid on oil over the next few months, and prices could retreat a little in the...
The Royal Commission of Jubail (RCJ) organized a conference on construction opportunities, in collaboration with MEED, in which experts and specialists took active part.Ahmed bin Mutair Al-Balawi, GM of technical affairs in the RCJ, presented the Ras Al-Khair industrial project and explained the government's aims and object...
Several local and regional industrial factories in Jeddah intend to transfer their industrial activities from Jeddah to the Industrial Valley at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) for its strategic economic location. An estimated 50 percent of Jeddah factories will be expected to change their location during the next few ye...
LONDON: Sterling steadied after a rollercoaster week which has seen it scale seven-year highs against the euro even as doubts appear over how much more it can gain ahead of a potentially unsettling election in May.Helped by an afternoon recovery in Europe for the euro against the dollar, the pound bounced back from lows bel...
TOKYO: Japan’s inflation rate has fallen to its lowest level since just after Tokyo launched a high-profile offensive aimed at conquering years of falling prices and tepid growth, data showed.The disappointing figures — weighed by weak consumer spending and falling energy prices — challenge Bank of Japan chief Haruhiko Kuro...
ISTANBUL: Turkish Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci sought to calm jittery investors, appearing to dismiss rumors that he would resign and giving a brief lift to the lira currency after it tumbled to a record low.Basci’s future, and the independence of the central bank, have been a concern for investors, particularly since...
BERLIN: Germany’s parliament has approved an extension of Greece’s bailout after Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who has voiced doubts about whether Athens can be trusted, promised he would not let Greece “blackmail” its euro zone partners.With 542 members of the Bundestag voting “yes,” including almost all of Chancell...

OPINION »

I just wrote a few weeks ago about the immense challenges that Saudi entrepreneu...
Certain regional developments these days give an impression as if the Arab world...
THE ongoing turmoil in Ukraine has frequently been compared to the Yugoslav cris...
Last Sunday, the global media reported that Turkish tanks had rolled into Syria...

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ART & CULTURE »

Dareen M. Edress is the marketing manager of “Ba9ma Banat,” an innovative institution that revives the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) among young girls through different programs and interesting products such as calendars, diaries and books comprising the sayings of the Prophet (pbuh).
In a conversation with Arab News...

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY »

Apple is said to be working on producing electric cars as early as 2020 and a team is now working on the project.
The task is not going to be easy, but Apple is the one company that can pull off this feat and surprise the market.
Apple has reinvented itself several times in the past from the days of the Apple Macs and PowerBooks to th...

FASHION »

Ghalia Mahmoudi is a happening fashion blogger who writes about local and international fashion and style. She is a marketing student sharing her fashion addiction with the world through her blog www.vogueoverdosed.com.
Stylish people have always surrounded Mahmoudi...

TRAVEL »

Soaked in Celtic and medieval history, Edinburgh is a cultural tapestry that’s largely visually defined by hills, cathedrals, and the bold stone towers of Edinburgh Castle. The city is very festive where people like to celebrate everything from art, music, and food to theater, sports and comedy.
One of the most touristic activities in the...

FOOD & HEALTH »

About 90 percent of camels in the Gulf region are carriers of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which requires the urgent need for a vaccine, according to a leading Health Ministry official.In addition, the virus can be transmitted over a 1-meter distance, Abdullah Asiri, undersecretary for preventative health at the ministry, was quoted as saying in a local publication on Tuesday.Asiri said that 50 percent of camels in Al-Ahsa region carry the virus. A person who comes into contact with infected camels can transmit the virus to family members without showing symptoms of the disease, he said.He said mass extermination of these camels was not an acceptable solution...
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative neurological disorder that affects around seven million people globally, and one million in the United States alone, usually afflicting people older than 50. The disease strikes 2 percent of those over age 65, and 5-10 percent of cases occur in people under 50. The cause remains unknown, preventing us from arresting the disease’s development — though environmental and occupational factors loom large in recent research.Chinese and Indian texts from 1,000 BC appear to describe a similar affliction. But James Parkinson was the first to describe the disease in detail, in 1817. Those developing Parkinson’s suffer slow movement, tremors, stiffness, difficulty...
Riyadh has grown so much in the last 10 years and this is particularly noticeable when you look at restaurants. Nowadays most restaurants have opened outlets in Riyadh’s new districts. This is the case with Can Café. This fashionable coffee shop has a branch on the trendy Al-Tahliya Street lined up with some of the best restaurants in the capital and another outlet on Omar Bin Abdul Aziz Road (Exit 14) in the Rabwa district. Can Café is a good place to have breakfast food at any time of the day! You can order “Four pieces of French Toast with maple syrup, orange juice and American coffee” for SR32. “French Toast”, known in French as “Pain Perdu”is a delightful dessert consisting of slices...

OFFBEAT »

KORIYAMA, Japan: Britain’s Prince William is spending the latter half of his four-day stay in Japan, starting Saturday,...
MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor on Friday tested H1N1 virus positive after she was admitted into Sterling Hospital in Rajkot.Sonam, who is in Gondal town of Rajkot district, some 30 km away from Rajkot, for the shooting of the film ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ which also features Salman Khan, was rushed to hospital on Friday morning after she complained of viral fever. “She was admitted to hospital with complaint of viral fever and we sent her samples for various tests including swine flu. She has been tested swine flu positive,” Dr. Chirag Matravadia, Head, Critical Care Unit at Sterling...
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama on Friday paid tribute to late “Star Trek” actor Leonard Nimoy, lauding his portrayal of the logical Mr.Spock as well as his contributions to the arts and sciences.“Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy,” Obama said in a statement, after the actor’s death at his Los Angeles home at age 83.The US president praised the Boston-born star as a “lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time.”“And of course, Leonard was Spock — Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the...

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