The Saudi Riyal is the official currency of Saudi Arabia. Its currency code is SAR, and its symbol is SR. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), the country's central bank, is responsible for issuing and regulating the Saudi Riyal.
Exchange rate regime:Pegged to USD, with a target level of 3.75 SAR per USD
Saudi Arabia's Monetary Policy
SAMA's principal objective is to maintain the stability of the Riyal's purchasing power. The Saudi Riyal is pegged to the U.S. Dollar, maintaining a fixed exchange rate regime that provides a stable economic environment and promotes financial market development.
SAMA manages liquidity in the banking sector through tools such as repo and reverse repo operations, reserve requirements, and SAMA bills, which influence credit growth and inflation.
As a major oil exporter, Saudi Arabia's government revenue heavily depends on oil prices. Consequently, fluctuations in oil prices directly impact Saudi Arabia's fiscal and external accounts, which can affect the stability of the Riyal.
Key Features of SAR
The Saudi Riyal is divided into 100 halalas. Coins are minted in 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 halalas and 1 and 2 riyals, while banknotes are in circulation in 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 riyals denominations.
The designs on the banknotes and coins reflect Saudi Arabia's history and culture. Banknotes depict the Saudi King on one side and significant landmarks on the other, representing the country's heritage and modern development. The 500-riyal note, for example, showcases King Salman and the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site.
Financial analysts regard the Saudi Riyal as a stable currency, largely due to Saudi Arabia's substantial oil revenues, providing a significant source of foreign exchange. However, the Riyal's stability can be affected by geopolitical uncertainties in the Middle East and fluctuations in global oil prices.
SAMA exercises regulatory and supervisory authority over banks operating in the Kingdom. It has implemented prudential standards to ensure the safety and soundness of the banking system, contributing to the Riyal's stability.
Key considerations to bear in mind
Payment instructions should contain the beneficiary's IBAN, name, and address.
Payment Processing Time
The time taken for a payment to reach the recipient's bank account can vary. Domestic transfers within Saudi Arabia typically process quickly, while international transfers may take a few business days. Consider the processing time when planning your payment to ensure timely delivery. The iBanFirst Payment Tracker can help you track those payments ensure a smooth and efficient payment experience.
Fees and Charges
Banks and financial institutions may apply fees and charges for processing international payments. These fees can vary, so it is advisable to check with your bank to understand the charges associated with your transaction. Check out iBanFirst’s savings calculator to estimate how much you could save with your next international payment.
New Year's Day
Varies - marks the end of Ramadan
Varies - also known as the Feast of Sacrifice
Islamic New Year
Varies - also known as Hijri New Year
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