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Saudi unemployment rate drops to 11.3% in second quarter despite rising number of jobless women

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RIYAD / JEDDAH / DUBAI: Assets held by the Saudi Central Bank increased by SR 23.5 billion ($ 6.2 billion) month on month to reach SR 1,872 trillion in August 2021, according to released data by the Saudi Arabian Central Bank.

Compared to August 2020, SAMA’s assets increased by SR 35.9 billion ($ 9.5 billion).

The central bank saw a decline in bills and repo deals in August, which is a good sign for the Saudi economy, said Mohamed Ramady, a London-based independent economist. He said this means Saudi banks are investing more outside (SAMA), “instead of placing their excess deposits overnight with the central bank and SAMA also does not borrow from banks, crowding out the private sector “. SAMA’s reserve holdings, Special Drawing Rights have seen a remarkable increase, increasing by over 160% this month.

This reflects Saudi Arabia’s “sizable contribution” to helping third countries.

SAMA data showed that the net foreign assets of commercial banks increased by 8.16% to reach SR 58.43 billion in August.

Bank claims on the government also increased by SR 10.74 billion to reach SR 465.32 billion in August, reflecting a growth rate of 2.36%. In addition, bank claims on non-financial public sector enterprises increased by 5.25%, from SR 88.43 billion in July to SR 93.07 in August. This is contrasted by the very slight increase in bank claims on the private sector, amounting to a growth rate of only 0.56 percent.

Ramady said: “These changes in lending models can be explained by the interest of Saudi commercial banks in new government projects, such as Red Sea Development Co. and NEOM.”

Claims on the private sector

Private sector claims of commercial banks increased by SR 10.96 billion to SR 1,956.29 billion in August.

This increase represents a monthly increase of 0.56%, according to the figures, with a quarterly growth rate of 3.33%.

Saudi central bank data also showed a decline of SR 2.10 billion in commercial bank assets of – a decline of 0.1% from July.

More Saudis took out new mortgages in August after a slight upturn in lending seen in July, official data showed.

Total contracts reached 22,121 for a value of SR 10.12 billion in August 2020.

Discounts

Remittances from non-Saudis reached SR 13.7 billion in August, an increase of 9.8% from the previous month.

Central bank data showed payments were up from SR12.5 billion in July, reversing the 7% drop from the previous month.

External debt

Gross external debt in the second quarter of 2021 stood at SR 959,544 million compared to SR 923,325 million in the first quarter, an increase of 4%, according to the data.

Long-term government debt securities and government loans remained the same in the second quarter, while short-term money and central bank deposits declined 16.4% in the second quarter of 2021 , amounting to SR 6,974 million compared to SR. 8,344 for the first quarter of the year, a decreasing amount of SR 1,370 million.


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