Saudi Arabia’s government has begun injecting large amounts of money into the economy, which could boost growth at the end of this year after a sharp slowdown due to low oil prices, central bank data showed on Monday.
Its finances strained by shrunken oil revenues, Riyadh raised $17.5 billion last month in its first international bond issue – the biggest emerging market bond sale on record.
Riyadh did not hold that money overseas but quickly brought it into the country, Monday’s data indicated. Instead of expanding because of the bond proceeds, the central bank’s net foreign assets shrank by $10.8 billion from the previous month to $535.9 billion in October – implying the government may have brought home a total of about $28.3 billion last month.
Meanwhile, total deposits at Saudi commercial banks, which had been trending lower because of government spending cuts, jumped by 27.2 billion riyals ($7.2 billion) in October to 1.610 trillion riyals – their biggest increase in over a year.