Saudi Arabia’s foreign reserves edge up in May to $444.82 billion amid coronavirus

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Saudi Arabian foreign reserves rose slightly in May after record declines in the previous two months when the kingdom had used tens of billions of dollars to back investments of its sovereign wealth fund.

Net foreign assets of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) increased to $444.82 billion in May from $444.1 billion in April, data from the central bank showed on Sunday.

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Saudi Arabia had transferred $40 billion in reserves to sovereign fund the PIF between March and April to back acquisitions of stakes in overseas companies.

Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan told Al Arabiya in May that the Kingdom is committed to protecting itself from the economic fallout of the coronavirus through any necessary financial measures despite plunging oil revenues.

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“Maximizing the return on the Kingdom’s assets will reflect positively on economic performance and public finances, and reduce the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” al-Jadaan said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA late last month.

Bloomberg had reported in mid-May that PIF bought billions of dollars of stock in companies including BP Plc, Boeing Co., Citigroup Inc., Facebook Inc, Walt Disney Co., and Bank of America Corp.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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