The foreign reserves of the Gulf countries at the end of 2019 amounted to about 620.5 billion dollars, "2.33 trillion Saudi riyals."
According to the analysis of the reports unit in the "Al-Iqtisadiah" newspaper, based on the data of the central banks of the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia acquired the lion's share of foreign reserves in the Gulf countries by the end of 2019 with $ 499.5 billion, representing 80.5 percent of the total.
The foreign reserves of the Gulf countries include investments in securities abroad, foreign exchange and deposits abroad, reserves with the International Monetary Fund, special drawing rights, and gold.
Foreign countries' reserves in foreign currencies help them to support the local currency, exchange rate policy and economic activities.
These reserves help to finance part of the budget deficit "if it occurs", as well as paying debts and providing imports of goods in exceptional circumstances, as well as enabling the economies of countries to absorb economic shocks in general, whether local or global.
In second place after Saudi Arabia, Kuwait comes with 40.2 billion dollars, representing 6.5 percent of the total, then Qatar with 39.4 billion dollars, constituting 6.4 percent of the total.
While the UAE came fourth with foreign reserves worth $ 21.3 billion, representing 3.4 percent of the total Gulf countries by the end of 2019, knowing that the foreign reserves in the UAE do not include reserves or special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund.
The Sultanate of Oman came in fifth place with 16.6 billion dollars, constituting 2.7 percent of the total, then Bahrain in sixth place with foreign reserves amounting to 3.5 billion dollars, and it does not include the reserve or special drawing rights of the International Monetary Fund, but only includes foreign currencies and gold.
It is noteworthy that the report was based on the data of foreign reserves in the Gulf countries at the end of December 2019, with the exception of data for Kuwait and Bahrain at the end of November of the same year.
Saudi reserve assets abroad increased by the end of last December 0.6 percent, "11.05 billion riyals" on an annual basis, to about 1.873 trillion riyals, compared to 1.862 trillion riyals at the end of December 2018. According to SAMA data "The reserves of Saudi Arabia abroad increased at the highest rate in five years, that is, since they increased by 24.9 billion riyals in 2014, as the reserve assets reached 2.721 trillion riyals at the end of 2013, then 2.746 trillion riyals in 2014.
* Economic Reports Unit