Demand for Saudi riyals up due to Hajj

A Saudi money changer displays Saudi Riyal banknotes at a currency exchange shop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in this July 27, 2017 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 August 2017

Demand for Saudi riyals up due to Hajj

JEDDAH: Demand for Saudi riyals has increased at banks, and at local and foreign exchanges, as pilgrims and tourist companies use the currency for their Hajj needs, bankers told Aleqtesadiah newspaper.
The most exchanged currency during Hajj is the US dollar followed by the euro, Singapore dollar, Indian rupee, Indonesian rupiah, Emirati dirham and Malaysian ringgit, said Abdullah Al-Sayrafi, the manager of an exchange.
He added: “Moneychangers are dealing carefully with floating currencies and the decisions on whether to sell or not. However, the majority consider that quick selling, despite the small profit, is better than losing in the event of a decrease in the exchange rate of some currencies such as euro, sterling pound and Moroccan dirham.”
Al-Sayrafi noted that the currency exchanges are making profits, but not as big as the profit wholesale shops are making due to the high Hajji demands that reach SR5 million per day.
Economic analyst Mohammed Al-Dahyan said the exchange of pilgrims’ currencies to riyals, and back to their currencies before they leave, benefits the economy.
He clarified that the risk lies in the quick change of the currency exchange rate which might cause big losses to the exchanger in the event of an exchange rate decrease, except the US dollar, which has a fixed rate in exchange for the Saudi riyal.
He mentioned that the exchange of Hajjis’ currencies to riyals, and back to their own currencies before they leave, is one of the positive factors that benefits the economy, indicating that the exchanges ensure a different exchange rate to benefit from the profit margin.

King Salman meets GCC leaders for 40th Gulf summit in Riyadh

Updated 23 min 58 sec ago

King Salman meets GCC leaders for 40th Gulf summit in Riyadh

  • Heads of the delegations land in Riyadh before the 40th Supreme Council meeting gets under way
  • Among the many issues expected to be discussed is a greater level of integration between Gulf countries

RIYADH: GCC leaders arrived in Riyadh Tuesday for a summit that will focus on improving integration between Gulf countries.

The 40th Supreme Council meeting will be chaired by King Salman, who met the representatives from each country as they landed.

The heads of the delegations including the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif Al-Zayani said Gulf leaders will discuss a number of important issues to enhance the process of cooperation and integration among member states in various political, defense, security, economic and social fields.

They will also review regional and international political developments, security conditions in the region, and their implications for the security and stability of the GCC countries.

Among the topics on the agenda is the war in Yemen and Iran’s interference in regional affairs.

At a preparatory meeting on Monday, Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC.

His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani’s term.