Rebranded Saudi central bank expands mandate

Saudi Arabian stockSaudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and his council of ministers have approved a law to change the name and responsibilities of its main financial regulator and central bank. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) will now be known as the Saudi Central Bank (SCB). The rebranding will also see a change in the regulator’s responsibility as well its composition and its reporting lines. The new law gives the bank a broadened mandate through three objectives – maintaining monetary stability, promoting confidence in the financial sector and supporting economic growth. The latter responsibility is designed to give the SCB a role in supervising the fintech sector and encouraging more innovation. The central bank will now report directly to the king and not any government agency, a change which authorities claim will give it more independence by setting financial policy, managed by the Ministry of Finance, apart from financial policy, managed by the bank. “The new law enhances the role of the Saudi Central Bank, meets today's requirements, keeps pace with the rapid global economic and financial development, and is in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 that aims to make the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia an exemplary and leading nation in all aspects,” stated the SCB. Despite the name change, the SAMA acronym will be retained for now while any coins or notes bearing the SAMA insignia will remain as legal tender. The central bank will also continue to follow the US federal reserve currency rate, in line with other Gulf Cooperation Council states. © 2020 funds global mena

Sponsored Profiles

There’s no doubt that Africa has been seen increasingly as an attractive prospect for inbound investment in recent years, with investors seeing real potential in the continent, particularly in the private equity, infrastructure and real estate asset classes, as it experiences strong economic growth.

Plausible explanations exist for why low-volatility stocks perform better than their high-volatility counterparts.

Aberdeen Asset Management has set up its first Middle East office in the newly established Abu Dhabi Global Market. Andrew Paul, senior executive officer, explains why.

A recent sovereign bond issue from Saudi Arabia underlines the appeal of emerging market investing. What must investors consider when allocating to this asset class? Firas Mallah of BMO Global Asset Management shares his views.

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: ‘Financing is the blood of Iran’s economy’

Amid a fresh wave of American sanctions, Romil Patel spoke to Meysam Hamedi, director of financial markets and instruments at Iran’s Securities & Exchange Organization (SEO).

INTERVIEW: Totally mega

In 2016, global consulting firm PWC forecast the emergence of five global ‘megatrends’ in the next two decades. Stephen Anderson, its Middle East clients and markets leader, talks about their...

INTERVIEW: Protecting the investment

Rasmala’s trade finance fund recently passed $100 million in assets. Doug Bitcon, head of credit strategies, explains why he has to be hands-on.

EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW: A natural interest in the topic

Since 2016, Guillermo Ortiz has been a chairman of Latin America’s BTG Pactual. The former central banker of Mexico talks to Nick Fitzpatrick.


Middle East Investor Roundtable 2020: Dimensions of diversification

Investors in the Middle East consider the tools that will be needed to navigate the Covid-19 crisis, the continued appetite for dividend and why it’s all about tech. Chaired by Romil Patel.

South Africa asset management roundtable: Global rebound on ice

Experts discuss the investment implications of the coronavirus pandemic, a delayed rebound in global growth and dealing with South Africa’s energy issues head on. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

South African roundtable: Taking the bull by the horns

Our panel discusses Chinese investment in Africa, financial institutions’ contribution to economic sustainability and regulatory concerns. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

ROUNDTABLE: Hooked to the global caravan

With the MENA region at a tipping point, our panellists talk about economic diversification, the impact of regulation and the delayed Saudi Aramco listing. Chaired by Romil Patel in Dubai.