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Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency

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At the time of its establishment, Saudi Arabia did not have a monetary system of its own. Foreign currencies were used as a medium of exchange, along with Saudi silver coins. Saudi bank notes had not yet been issued. Banking was conducted by foreign bank branches. Therefore, the first task of the SAMA was to develop a Saudi currency. The SAMA also paid attention to the need for promoting the growth of a national banking system. In March 1961, Saudi Arabia converted to the Saudi Riyal, in accordance with Article VIII of the Articles of Agreements of the International Monetary Fund. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the SAMA focused on controlling inflation as the economy boomed, expanding the banking system, and managing foreign exchange reserves. From mid 1980s, SAMA’s priorities have been to introduce financial market reforms.

Governor: Dr. Fahad AlMubarak

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