Saudi Central Bank
|Headquarters||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia|
|Established||4 October 1952|
|Ownership||100% state ownership|
|Central bank of||Saudi Arabia|
SAR (ISO 4217)
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA); Arabic: البنك المركزي السعودي previously known as Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), established in 1952, is the central bank of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. After the name change in 2020, the Saudi Central Bank continued to use the same acronym SAMA.
Prior to the establishment of the Saudi Central Bank, the Saudi Hollandi Bank, a branch of the Netherlands Trading Society from 1926 acted as a de facto central bank. It kept the Kingdom's gold reserves and received oil revenues on behalf of the Saudi Arabian government. In 1928 it assisted in the establishment of a new Saudi silver coin, commissioned by King Abdulaziz which became the Kingdom's first independent currency. The Saudi Hollandia Bank handed over its responsibilities to the SAMA when it was established in 1952 and became a model for other foreign banks in the kingdom.
The modern central bank operates through regulatory infrastructure developed by Irish firm Vizor. In March 2020 and April 2020, the SAMA moved 150 billion Saudi riyals (US$ 40 billion) to the Public Investment Fund (PIF). US$ 25 billion was transferred in April and US$ 15 billion in May. 
SAMA is the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia, the functions of the SAMA include issuing the national currency, the Saudi Riyal, supervising commercial banks, managing foreign exchange reserves, promoting price and exchange rate stability, and ensuring the growth and soundness of the financial system, operating a number of cross-bank electronic financial systems such as MADA (previously SPAN), SARIE, and SADAD.
List of governors
|Fahad Almubarak||Since 2021|
|Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey||2016-2021|
|Muhammad Al Jasser||2009–2011|
|Hamad Ibn Saud Al Sayari||1983–2009|
|Abdul Aziz Al Quraishi||1974–1983|
|George A. Blowers||1952–1954|
Leadership and structure
This section needs to be updated.(March 2021)
A board of directors oversees the operations of SAMA. This comprises the governor, vice-governor and three other nominated members from the private sector. The terms of appointment are 4 years for the governor and vice-governor, extendable by Royal decree, and 5 years for the other members, also extendable by Royal decree. Members of the board cannot be removed except by Royal decree.
The SAMA senior management comprises the governor, the vice-governor and five deputy governors.
Board of Directors
|Governor, Dr. Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey||Chairman|
|Vice Governor, Abdulaziz Salih Alfuraih||Vice Chairman|
|Hamad S. Al Sayari|
|Muhammad Obaid bin Sa’eed bin Zagar|
|Abdulaziz bin Muhammad Al Athel|
|Name||Position||Date of appointment|
|Dr. Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey||Governor||8 May 2016|
|Abdulaziz Salih Alfuraih||Vice Governor||22 July 2014|
|Hashem Othman Al Hekail||Deputy Governor for Banking Operations||2 May 2013|
|Tareq Abdulrahman AlSadhan||Deputy Governor for Supervision||1 October 2015|
|Ahmed Abdulkarim Al Kholifey||Deputy Governor for Research And International Affairs||2 May 2013|
|Ayman Mohammed Al Sayari||Deputy Governor for Investments||2 May 2013|
|Ali Abdulrahman Al Mahmoud||Deputy Governor for Administration||2 May 2013|
The SAMA balance sheet is denominated in Saudi Riyals, which is pegged at an official rate of 3.75 against the US dollar. All currency notes issued by SAMA are fully backed by equivalent gold deposits.
(Millions of Saudi Riyals)
|Commercial Banks' Deposits||36,277||44,698||50,715||54,976||63,511||68,011|
|Foreign entities' Riyal Deposits||14,939||12,488||10,300||10,310||3,774||3,750|
|Currency cover (gold)||106,054||121,066||123,127||136,029||169,033||164,930|
|Cash in vault||23,842||27,053||23,876||25,060||29,187||24,171|
|Deposits with banks abroad||246,792||379,487||335,673||343,887||414,007||495,246|
|Investments in foreign securities||790,559||1,154,247||1,071,542||1,181,916||1,427,820||1,446,610|
2012 figures are at end of 1st quarter.
SAMA Foreign Holdings
In addition to its functions, the Saudi Central Bank controls SAMA Foreign Holdings, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. The fund is the third largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, with assets of over $700 billion.
In October 2015, Governor Fahad Abdullah Al-Mubarak of the Saudi Central Bank was ranked #2 on the Public Investor 100.
- Capital Market Authority (Saudi Arabia)
- Electronic Securities Information System
- List of banks in Saudi Arabia
- Saudi Payments Network (SPAN)
- Saudi riyal
- "Saudi Arabia's SAMA renamed Saudi Central Bank". www.tradearabia.com. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
- "Saudi Hollandi Bank History". Saudi Hollandi Bank. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- Albert Habib Hourani; Philip Shukry Khoury; Mary Christina Wilson (1993). The Modern Middle East: A Reader. University of California Press. p. 587. ISBN 978-0-520-08241-0.
- "SHB Overview". Saudi Hollandia Bank.
- "Technology consultant of the year: Vizor Software". 23 January 2018.
- "SAMA Had Transferred $40 Billion to PIF, More Firepower for Market Opportunities | SWFI". swfinstitute.org. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
- About the SAMA SAMA
- "Historical preview".
- "SAMA Management". Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency 48th Annual Report, p. 36
- "SWFI Fund Rankings". Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- "Fahad Abdullah Al-Mubarak – Public Investor 100". Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. Retrieved 25 October 2015.