Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority gets a new name – Saudi Central Bank

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Under a new law approved by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) will be renamed to Saudi Central Bank, the central bank has announced.

The Saudi Central Bank will report directly to the king under the new law but it will continue to enjoy financial and administrative independence, the regulator said in a statement on its website.

A central bank statement confirmed that the new law identifies the central bank’s objectives, which include maintaining monetary stability, promoting financial sector stability and promoting economic growth.

The law also confirms that the Saudi Central Bank will be responsible for setting the monetary policy and choosing its instruments and procedures.

Due to its historic significance and relevance locally and internationally, the Saudi Central Bank will continue to use the acronym “SAMA”. Furthermore, banknotes and coins bearing the name of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority will remain in circulation and will maintain their legal tender status.

The Saudi Central Bank’s governor, Ahmed Alkholifey, said that SAMA has studied the best international practices in central bank laws and related recommendations and have been analyzing them to ensure their consistency with the local environment and the Kingdom’s economy. He affirmed that the latest step comes from the wise leadership’s keenness to continue progress, keep abreast of best international practices and achieve the public good since SAMA’s establishment in 1952.

SAMA has led the efforts of Saudi Arabia to safeguard the economy of the country from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Since the outbreak, the kingdom has launched 142 stimulus initiatives with a total value of $57billion.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, pegs its riyal currency to the dollar at 3.75 per one US dollar, a rate unchanged since 1986.