Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor ‘does not see more bank mergers’

Saudi’s central bank governor, Ahmed Al-Kholifey, says he doesn’t believe there will be any deflation. (File photo/AFP)
Updated 24 February 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor ‘does not see more bank mergers’

  • Kholifey says he doesn't expect there to be any deflation
  • Data released last week showed that Saudi Arabias annual consumer price index fell 1.9% in January

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s central bank does not see more bank mergers for the time being beyond those already announced, its governor Ahmed Al-Kholifey said on Sunday.
His comments came after National Commercial Bank, the Kingdom’s biggest lender by assets, and Riyad Bank said in December they had begun preliminary talks to potentially create a combined group with $183 bln in assets.
That move came two months after Saudi British Bank (SABB) and smaller rival Alawwal Bank agreed a binding deal to create Saudi Arabia’s third-biggest lender in the first major tie-up for the country’s banking sector in recent times.
Kholifey also told reporters he does not expect deflation in Saudi Arabia thanks to consumer demand and real estate loans. He said liquidity was strong.
“I don’t think there will be any deflation, all data reflect optimism, we will soon publish real estate financing and you will see a big leap, and as you know real estate is one of the main drivers, as for the consumer sector it is active,” he said.
Data released last week showed that Saudi Arabias annual consumer price index fell 1.9 percent in January from a year earlier as housing, water and energy prices all dropped.
This was the first fall in prices in Middle East’s biggest economy since 2017. Prices had continued to rise throughout 2018 after the introduction of a value-added tax.


Egypt’s aviation ministry to increase departure fee for travelers in November: Reports 

Updated 19 March 2019
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Egypt’s aviation ministry to increase departure fee for travelers in November: Reports 

  • Media said the increase to the passenger departure fee will raise the amount to $25

CAIRO: Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has reportedly announced a $5 increase in the travelers’ departure fee starting from next November, local newspapers reported on Tuesday.

Media said the increase to the passenger departure fee will raise the amount to $25, to be obtained indirectly for each passenger flying on regular or charter flights — both internationally and domestically — from Egyptian airports. 

The rate has not changed since 2013, the ministry said in a statement quoted by Al-Ahram Newspaper

The proposed increase was adopted by the Supreme Council for Pricing after "careful consideration" and according to normal practice in airports worldwide, it added.  

The ministry said the increase is in line with the challenges and demands needed for the development of the entire service system at Egyptian airports.