Arab international financial reserves grew by around $20 billion in 2011 and are projected to swell by nearly $115 billion in 2012 because of strong oil prices.
At the end of 2011, the 21-nation Arab League controlled nearly $1,018 billion in official financial reserves compared with around $998 billion at the end of 2010.
Their 2011 level was more than double the reserves of about $469 billion at the end of 2006 and most of the increase was in Saudi Arabia, which controlled over half the total Arab financial reserves at the end of 2011, official Arab data showed.
"There was a big increase in those reserves in 2011 because of high oil prices…they are expected to gain nearly $115 billion to peak at $1,133 billion at the end of 2012 as oil prices remain high and some Arab countries are pumping oil at higher rates," the Kuwaiti-based Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation (IAIGC) said.
The report showed 13 Arab countries, mainly those in the oil-rich Gulf, recorded asset increase while four reported a decline and those in one member remained stable. The countries which suffered a fall were Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Jordan.
A breakdown showed Saudi Arabia controlled the largest foreign reserves in the region as they stood at around $538 billion at the end of 2011. IAIGC, a key Arab League financial establishment, expected those assets to surge to $608 billion this year.
The Kingdom's reserves are controlled by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), central bank, and a large part of them has been built up over the past five years as a result of higher oil prices and output by the Gulf country.
Algeria emerged as having the Arab world's second largest reserves of around 188.8 billion at the end of 2011, according to IAIGC, which projected them to climb to $210.8 billion at the end of 2012 after its sovereign wealth fund was included in those assets.
Iraq came third with around 55.7 billion which are expected to swell to nearly $63.9 billion at the end of this year, the report showed.
The UAE's reserves stood at around $54.1 billion at the end of 2011 and IAIGC forecast them to rise by $16.1 billion to $70.2 billion at the end of 2012.
The report did not cover the massive assets controlled by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world's largest SWFs with assets of $300-800 billion.
The report put the 2011 assets at $30.5 billion in Lebanon, around $26.6 billion in Egypt, $23.4 billion in Morocco, $23 billion in Kuwait and $17.8 billion in Qatar.