RIYADH: The Saudi Central Bank’s SR50 billion ($13 billion) cash injection has brought immediate relief to commercial lenders in the Kingdom, according to a Bloomberg report.
SAMA made this move as banks in the Kingdom are faced with the worst liquidity crunch in over a decade, the report added.
Amid the temporary relief, a Bloomberg Intelligence report estimates that lenders still need to raise about SR160 billion to finance bigger loan books.
“Banks still must diversify funding. SAMA’s aid just delays a fix,” said Edmond Christou, a senior analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
The latest injection from the central bank have already started showing its impact as the Saudi Arabian Interbank Offered Rate, also known as SAIBOR, fell by about 17 basis points from Friday to 3.13 percent on Sunday, the report added.
Moreover, banks included in the Saudi exchange Tadawul climbed as much as 1.4 percent on Monday, before closing down at 0.3 percent.
People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that funding from the central bank came in at least three separate tranches, with the first and second injections consisting of three-month deposits amounting to SR15 billion each.
SAMA made one more placement in recent days that included both shorter and longer maturities, the people who wished to remain anonymous added.