Saudi economy ‘can hit IMF growth forecast’

Ahmed Al-Kholifey, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority. (Reuters)
Updated 17 September 2018
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Saudi economy ‘can hit IMF growth forecast’

  • The IMF said last month that growth in the non-oil sector was expected to accelerate as the Kingdom moved ahead with economic reforms

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s economy can achieve an International Monetary Fund forecast of 1.9 percent gross domestic product growth this year, the central bank governor said on Sunday.

The IMF said last month that growth in the non-oil sector was expected to accelerate as the Kingdom moved ahead with economic reforms.

Ahmed Al-Kholifey, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), made the comments during a press conference in Riyadh.

SAMA also said its foreign reserves have been increasing this year and a large proportion of recent capital outflows had been due to foreign investment by other Saudi institutions, Reuters reported.

Ayman bin Mohammed Al-Sayari, deputy governor for investment, said the foreign reserves increased last month to $509-510 billion at the end of August from $502 billion in July.

The deputy governor said Saudi institutional investors were coming to the central bank to exchange their local currency for hard currency that would be used to invest abroad.

“A lot of the capital flows or at least a considerable portion of that ... figure was merely some other institutional investors, quasi-sovereign, who have elected to ... invest more internationally than locally,” he told the news conference.

This pattern was seen in the first two quarters of the year, he said.

Brent oil has jumped near $80 a barrel from $67 at the end of 2017, swelling Saudi Arabia’s current account surplus and shrinking its state budget deficit.


Owner of Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal Bank appoints chairman and CEO

Updated 21 April 2019
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Owner of Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal Bank appoints chairman and CEO

  • Eraiqat is currently group chief executive of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)
  • Eraiqat will serve as chairman at Al Hilal in addition to his current role at ADCB

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi Islamic lender Al Hilal Bank said on Sunday its owner, the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, had appointed Alaa Eraiqat as the bank's chairman.
Eraiqat is currently group chief executive of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), which is expected to merge with Al Hilal Bank and Union National Bank (UNB) in the first half of 2019.
Eraiqat will serve as chairman at Al Hilal in addition to his current role at ADCB.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Council, a sovereign wealth fund which combined with Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala last year, also appointed Amr Saad Al Menhali as chief executive of Al Hilal Bank.