Saudi foreign assets rise to SR2.148 trillion in May

Updated 28 June 2016

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.


Hikma raises annual sales outlook for top two units

Updated 07 August 2020

Hikma raises annual sales outlook for top two units

  • Core operating profit for the six months to June 30 rose 15 percent year-on-year to $284 million

Hikma Pharmaceuticals revised its annual sales outlook for two of its biggest divisions on Friday and reported higher first-half profit, as hospitals and distributors stocked up on critical medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UK-based company, which supplies many generic drugs including anaesthetics, pain medications, sedatives, neuromuscular blocking agents and anti-infectives, said core operating profit for the six months to June 30 rose 15 percent year-on-year to $284 million.