Saudi foreign assets rise to SR2.148 trillion in May

Updated 28 June 2016
0

Saudi foreign assets rise to SR2.148 trillion in May

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign-currency reserves rose modestly in May for the first time in 16 months, probably due to a $10 billion syndicated loan concluded in the previous month.
Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency’s (SAMA) net foreign assets climbed 0.1 percent to SR2.148 trillion ($573 billion), the first gain since January 2015, according to official data. Foreign currencies and deposits abroad rose to SR744.7 billion from SR693 billion in April, while investment in foreign securities dropped, the data show.
The Kingdom agreed to terms with banks for its first sovereign loan in 15 years in April, three people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. The International Monetary Fund forecasts this year’s budget shortfall at 13.5 percent of gross domestic product.
The gain in reserves “was probably the impact of the syndicated loan that happened at the end of April,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.
“They still need to turn more to the external markets to meet a significant part of their funding needs.”
While the price of Brent crude advanced 3.2 percent in May, the fourth straight monthly gain, they remain below $50 a barrel. SAMA’s foreign assets are still down $99 billion from May 2015.
“It’s good to see reserves settle, but assuming May was the month in which the funds from its $10 billion loan agreement were disbursed, the underlying trend is still clearly downward,” said Simon Williams, HSBC Holdings Plc’s London-based chief economist for central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.


Lockheed unveils new F-21 fighter jet configured for India

Updated 20 February 2019
0

Lockheed unveils new F-21 fighter jet configured for India

  • The firm said the new plane is tailored to India’s needs
  • A number of airplane manufacturers are competing to win India’s upcoming military purchase

NEW DELHI: Lockheed Martin offered India a new combat jet, F-21, on Wednesday to be made locally, in a bid to win a large military order worth over $15 billion.
The US defense firm had earlier offered its F-16 fighter used by countries around the world for the Indian air force’s ongoing competition for 114 planes to be made in India.
But Lockheed, unveiling the plan at an airshow in the southern city of Bengaluru, said it was offering India a new plane configured for its needs.
“The F-21 is different, inside and out,” Vivek Lall, vice president of Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said in a statement.
The company will build the plane in collaboration with Tata Advanced Systems, the firm said.
Lockheed is competing with Boeing’s F/A-18, Saab’s Gripen, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon and a Russian aircraft for the air force order.