RIYADH — Saudi Arabia has invested 73 percent of its total reserves in securities of foreign countries, according to a financial report. Saudi total assets reached SR2.62 trillion last August while the invested portion in foreign securities reached SR1.92 trillion, according to the report by Al-Eqtisadiah Arabic daily, said Arab News.
The Kingdom has steadily increased investments in foreign securities and jumped tenfold in a nine-year period at SR1.92 trillion in August compared to SR202 billion in January 2005, the report said quoting the latest data released by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).
Saudi investments in (foreign) securities reportedly increased by 21 percent compared to the levels of August 2012, which stood at SR1.6 trillion and 1.3 percent compared to figures of July 2013 at SR1.9 trillion.
Saudi investments in foreign securities reached more than twice the Kingdom’s budget in 2013, which amounted to SR820 billion, the report said.
SAMA’s assets (reserves) are composed of gold, special drawing rights (SDRs), reserves at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), foreign currencies and deposits abroad, in addition to investments in foreign securities.
Investments in (foreign) securities captured 73 percent of Saudi total reserves, followed by foreign currency and deposits abroad at 25 percent, reserves at IMF (1 percent), SDRs (1 percent), and gold (less than 1 percent).
Growth in SAMA’s reserve assets has recorded the highest during last August on year-to-year basis where share of investments in foreign securities pushed the growth by 102 percent to reach in total SR1.92 trillion.
Share of other components of reserves dropped at different levels: foreign currencies and deposits abroad contracted by 1 percent to reach SR644.3 billion compared to SR648,6 billion in August 2012, reserves at IMF by 2 percent (SR19.9 billion), SDRs by 4 percent (SR35.6 billion), whereas gold has maintained its levels since five years at SR1.56 billion, the report said.
Earlier, a report released by Jadwa Investments said Saudi foreign assets surged to a record high of SR2.56 trillion ($682 billion) in July 2013 as a result of robust oil revenues and possibly a higher return on SAMA’s investments.
The oil prices (Brent) averaged $108.6 per barrel in July compared to $103.2 per barrel in June while the Kingdom oil output rose from 9.6 million barrel per day (mbpd) in June to 9.7 mbpd in July, said the report.
Within foreign assets, SAMA’s deposits with foreign banks contracted 9 percent year-on-year in July, investments in foreign securities accelerated by 21.4 percent and foreign currency assets (excluding gold reserves) rose by 13.4 percent, it said.