The Region

Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency

Central Banks

Published December 1, 1999  | December 1999 issue

Headquarters: Riyadh

National currency: Saudi Arabian riyal

The Kingdom's central bank is the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), which stands at the apex of the financial system. Its main responsibilities are to:

  • issue national currency,

  • act as a banker to the government,

  • manage public debt,

  • manage the Kingdom's foreign exchange reserves,

  • conduct the Kingdom's monetary policy, and

  • regulate and monitor the Kingdom's commercial banks.

SAMA and the banks have invested substantial resources in upgrading the Kingdom's banking technology to cover a wide range of items such as ATMs, electronic clearing and share trading. The newly established Electronic Funds Transfer System provides considerable advantages for banks and their customers, permitting direct transfers of payments, providing an instantaneous, safe and accurate payments mechanism. SAMA is a member of the Bank for International Settlements.

The objective of Saudi Arabia's monetary policy is to maintain the stability of prices and the Saudi riyal exchange rate.

For more on the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, go to