Saudi Arabia: Central bank surprises market by upping interest rates

Issue 1056 - 22 Mar 2018

Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (Sama, central bank) on 15 March surprised markets by raising its policy rates by 25 basis points with immediate effect, bringing the benchmark repo rate (the price at which Sama lends to commercial banks) to 2.25% and the reverse repo rate to 1.75%. It marked a change from Sama’s usual approach of waiting for the US Federal Reserve to adjust its interest rates first before following suit.

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