Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor expects SR71bn Q2 surplus

Dr. Ahmed Al-Kholifey said the data had improved since earlier in the year after an annual decline in money supply at the end of July 2018. (SPA)
Updated 17 September 2018

Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor expects SR71bn Q2 surplus

  • Dr. Ahmed Al-Kholifey said the data had improved since earlier in the year after an annual decline in money supply at the end of July 2018

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor said on Monday that the Kingdom’s current account is expected to record a surplus in the second quarter of this year worth SR71 billion ($19billion).
Dr. Ahmed Al-Kholifey, who heads the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), said the data had improved since earlier in the year after an annual decline in money supply at the end of July 2018 of less than 1percent, the Saudi press Agency reported. This was due to a decrease in the volume of time deposits and savings by 11%.
Speaking at the SAMA headquarters in Riyadh to highlight the bank’s 54th annual report, Al-Kholifey said the monetary base grew by 2.2 percent in July 2018 compared to the same month last year.
The bank loans to the private sector recorded a rise in July 2018 by less than 1% compared to last year's decline by 1.5 percent.
Meanwhile, consumer loans recorded an annual growth rate of 1 percent in the second quarter of 2018. Loans of small and medium enterprises increased to 3.9 percent of total loans during the second quarter, compared to 2 percent last year.


Russia vows cooperation with OPEC to keep oil market balanced

Updated 21 November 2019

Russia vows cooperation with OPEC to keep oil market balanced

  • Moscow not aiming to be world’s No.1 crude producer, Putin tells annual investment forum

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have “a common goal” of keeping the oil market balanced and predictable, and Moscow will continue cooperation under the global supply curbs deal.

OPEC meets on Dec. 5 in Vienna, followed by talks with a group of other exporters, including Russia, known as OPEC+.

“Our (common with OPEC) goal is for the market to be balanced, acceptable for producers and consumers and the most important — and I want to underline this — predictable,” Putin told a forum on Wednesday.

In October, Russia cut its oil output to 11.23 million barrels per day (bpd) from 11.25 million bpd in September but it was still higher than a 11.17-11.18 million bpd cap set for Moscow under the existing global deal. Putin told the forum that Russia’s oil production was growing slightly despite the supply curbs deal but Moscow was not aiming to be the world’s No. 1 crude producer. Currently, the US is the world’s top oil producer.

“Russia has a serious impact on the global energy market but the most impact we achieve (is) when working along with other key producers,” he said. “There was a moment not that long ago when Russia was the world’s top oil producer — this is not our goal.”

Russia plans to produce between 556 million and 560 million tons of oil this year (11.17-11.25 million bpd), Energy Minister Alexander Novak said separately on Wednesday, depending on the volume of gas condensate produced during cold months.

Russia will aim to stick to its commitments under the deal in November, Novak told reporters.

Russia includes gas condensate — a side product also known as a “light oil” produced when companies extract natural gas — into its overall oil production statistics, which some other oil producing countries do not do.

As Russia is gradually increasing liquefied natural gas production (LNG), the share of gas condensate it is producing is also growing. Gas condensate now accounts for around 6 percent of Russian oil production.

Novak told reporters that in winter, Russia traditionally produces more gas condensate as it is launching new gas fields in the freezing temperatures.

“We believe that gas condensate should not be taken into account (of overall oil production statistics), as this is an absolutely different area related to gas production and gas supplies,” he said.

Three sources told Reuters on Tuesday that Russia is unlikely to agree to deepen cuts in oil output at a meeting with fellow exporters next month, but could commit to extend existing curbs to support Saudi Arabia.

On Wednesday, Novak declined to say that Russia’s position would be at upcoming OPEC+ meeting. Reuters uses a conversion rate of 7.33 barrels per ton of oil.