The functions of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency can be described as follows: it issues national currency, the Saudi Riyal; it acts as a banker to the government; it supervises commercial banks; it advises the government on public debt; it manages the Kingdom’s foreign exchange reserves; it conducts monetary policy for promoting price and exchange rate stability; and it promotes the growth and ensures the soundness of the financial system.
SAMA was established in 1952. During its early years, SAMA′s primary task was to implement currency reforms and banking development. From 1960 to 1972, SAMA focused on banking regulations against the background of full convertibility of the Riyal. From 1973 to 1982, SAMA′s preoccupation was to contain inflationary pressures in the booming economy, oversee Saudi-ization of foreign bank branches and manage the massive foreign exchange reserves. From mid 1980s, SAMA′s priorities have been to introduce financial market reforms with a strong and developed banking system and a secure and efficient payment and settlement network and to assist the government in managing public debt. Over the years, with the growth of the economy, expansion of the financial system and increase in fiscal operations of the government, SAMA′s responsibilities have increased severalfold. Its monetary policy, conducted in co-ordination with the fiscal policy of the government, has promoted domestic price and exchange rate stability, thereby contributing significantly to the consolidation and development of the Saudi economy.
Mode of Election
Term of Appointment :4 years for Governor and Vice-Governor, extendable by Royal Decree, and 5 years for the other members, extendable by Royal Decree.
(last updated: 04-September-2003)
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