Saudi Arabia replaces SAMA governor

Saudi Arabia replaces SAMA governor
Fahad Al-Mubarak
Updated 07 May 2016

Saudi Arabia replaces SAMA governor

Saudi Arabia replaces SAMA governor

RIYADH: The Kingdom has appointed Ahmed Al-Kholifey as Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority governor, replacing Fahad Al-Mubarak as part of a government reorganization, SPA reported..
Al-Kholifey, named to the role in a royal order from King Salman, was previously deputy governor for research and international affairs at SAMA.
The announcement comes as Saudi Arabia reorganizes ministries to “focus and clarify responsibilities and ease procedures to offer better services,” SPA and news agencies reported.
Changes include replacing longstanding oil minister Ali Al-Naimi with Khalid Al-Falih, chairman of the Saudi Aramco.
Major changes were also made to the economic leadership, with Majed Al-Qusaibi named head of the new Commerce and Investment Ministry.
A veteran of SAMA and graduate of King Saud University in Riyadh and Colorado State University, Al-Kholifey had also served from 2011 to 2013 as executive director for Saudi Arabia at the IMF in Washington, Reuters reported.
He is set to take over a central bank with more limited functions than it had under his predecessor. While SAMA remains responsible for monetary policy, it will no longer act as the country’s biggest sovereign wealth fund because a larger one is being created under the Vision 2030 reforms.
Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf, who has held the post since 1996, remains in place. However, other economic departments have over the past year taken over some of his ministry’s responsibilities.
Saturday’s decrees broke up the Water and Electricity Ministry, with the water portfolio added to a new Environment, Water and Agriculture Ministry, and electricity added to the new energy ministry.
“The merging of ministries is opening the door to efficiency gains that the government is keen to enforce,” said John Sfakianakis, head of economy at the Jeddah and Geneva-based Gulf Research Center.
Two other senior economic figures, royal court adviser Yasir Al-Rumayyan and former SAMA governor Mohammed Al-Jasser, were appointed advisers to the Secretariat General of the Cabinet.
The royal decrees also merged the ministries of labor and of social affairs into a new department, and created a new Commission for Recreation and Culture.