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SAMA renamed to Central Bank of Saudi Arabia, policy remains unchanged says governor

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The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has changed its name to the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia but will continue to use the abbreviation “SAMA,” said the bank’s Governor Ahmed al-Kholifey on Wednesday in an interview with Al Arabiya.

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Al-Kholifey added that SAMA will continue to supervise the same sectors and the monetary policy will also remain the same.

On Tuesday, the Saudi Council of Ministers, chaired by King Salman, approved the changes. The council emphasized that the central bank is responsible for setting and managing monetary policy, choosing its tools and procedures, and establishing a framework for governing the bank’s business and decisions.

Al-Kholifey also said that the extension of the monetary agency’s stimulus plans are being studied.

Earlier in June, Saudi Arabia said it will pump 50 billion riyals ($13.3 billion) into the banking system to help manage the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the drop in oil prices.

The move has been put in place to support financial stability and boost credit facilities to the private sector, according to a statement by SAMA. The program is aimed at helping banks amend and restructure loans without additional fees and support private sector employment.

“As part of G20 efforts, we hope to replace the Libor system by the end of 2021, and we have worked hard to change it and we are looking for alternatives,” the governor said, responding to the outcomes of G20 central bank governors’ meetings.

“Focusing on financial inclusion, financial technologies, and enhancing cross-border cash payments are among the highlights of the G20’s work this year,” he added.

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