King Salman renames Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority to Saudi Central Bank

The central bank said it will continue to use the acronym 'Sama' due to its historic significance

Saudi Arabia renamed its banking regulator Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency to Saudi Central Bank under a new law approved by King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

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.

The Saudi Central bank will continue to be responsible for maintaining monetary stability, promoting the stability and enhancing confidence in the country financial sector, and supporting economic growth in the kingdom.

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

Like most of its GCC peers, the kingdom's banking regulator pegs its currency to the US dollar and follows the Federal Reserve interest rates moves.

The Saudi Central Bank said it will continue to use the acronym Sama due to its "historic significance and relevance locally and globally".

The banknotes and coins of all denominations bearing the name of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority will remain in circulation and keep their status as legal tender, the statement added.

Sama has led Saudi Arabia’s efforts to shield the country’s economy from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Governments across the world have rolled out nearly $12 trillion in fiscal stimulus, supported by about $7.5tn in monetary action by central banks.

The kingdom has rolled out 142 stimulus initiatives with a total value of 214 billion Saudi riyals ($57bn) since the outbreak. In June, Sama injected 50bn riyals into its banking sector to boost liquidity and the lending capacity of financial institutions. This follows a 50bn riyal stimulus package and other initiatives to support small and medium sized enterprises in March.