Saudi Arabia‘s net foreign assets dropped to 1,636.2 billion riyals ($436.30 billion) in April, down nearly 1.9% from 1.667.4 billion riyals in March, central bank data showed on Monday.
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The central bank does not disclose the reasons for the change in foreign assets. An economist said it could be linked to the kingdom supporting the investment drive of its sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF).
“The drop is unlikely to be linked to budgetary needs, and is more likely support for investments, as we have seen last year with a $40 billion transfer to the PIF,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.
The Gulf state has been financing its budget through debt issues and withdrawals of government reserves at the central bank, which last year also pumped $40 billion of foreign reserves into PIF to help fund investments.
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