Saudi Arabia to deposit $5bn in Turkish Central Bank

Saudi Arabia is in discussions with Turkiye to deposit $5 billion in the Turkish Central Bank, Reuters reported a spokesman of the Ministry of Finance in Riyadh as saying on Tuesday.

“We are in final discussion to make a $5bn deposit with the Central Bank of Turkiye,” the spokesman said in an emailed response to Reuters.

A Turkish official said that discussions are at the final stage with Saudi Arabia over a swap or deposit agreement. However, the Central Bank declined to comment on the issue.

Such a deposit could boost the falling value of the Turkish lira and help support the economy, which has been witnessing a record level of inflation. Analysts said that this could also help President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shore up support ahead of elections due by June next year.

Turkiye’s Central Bank has swap deals in local currencies with several of its counterparts worth a total of $28 billion, explained Reuters. It signed a similar deal with China for $6bn, with Qatar for $15bn, and with the UAE for around $5bn.

The talks with Saudi Arabia follow the joint efforts of Ankara and Riyadh to mend ties that were ruptured after the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi-Turkish trade growing

It is to be mentioned that the volume of trade between Saudi Arabia and Turkiye increased 73.7 per cent in June amid an improvement in diplomatic and economic relations between the two countries.

According to the data released late August by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Statistics, the kingdom’s trade with Turkiye rose to $622 million in June from $358 million in the same month of 2021.

Saudi exports to Turkiye increased by $608 million last June, recording a 74.4 per cent growth, compared to $348 million in the same month of 2021.

Saudi Arabia’s imports from Turkey rose by 47.3 per cent from $9.8 million in June 2021, reaching $14.4 million in June 2022.

The primary Saudi non-oil exports to Turkiye are chemicals and minerals, while machinery, mechanical devices and electrical equipment are the main Saudi imports from Turkiye.