Saudi Arabia’s current account surplus would swell from around 27.8 percent of GDP in 2011 to 33 percent in 2012 before falling back to 23 percent in 2013, Saudi American Bank Group (SAMBA) said in its quarterly report on Saudi Arabia. The fiscal surplus is expected to widen from 14.8 percent of GDP to 19.9 percent in 2012 before slipping to 14.2 percent in 2013.
Moreover, strong oil prices will catapult Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets by $356 billion in the next two years to an all-time high of just below $one trillion, the report further said.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign assets already gained just under $100 billion through 2011 because of high oil prices and output and their level is projected to soar to $778 billion at the end of 2012, it said.
At the end of 2013, the assets controlled by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency could peak $926 billion, it said.
At that level, the assets will account for nearly 144 percent of the Gulf Kingdom’s projected GDP of $642 billion in 2013.
Higher oil prices and production boosted Saudi Arabia’s foreign assets by nearly SR352 billion in 2011 to an all time high of SR2,057 billion before hitting another record of SR2,154 billion at the end of March this year.
It was the biggest annual increase in the foreign assets since 2008, when they rocketed by a whopping SR513 billion mainly because of a 50 percent rise in crude prices that allowed the largest Arab economy to record its highest fiscal surplus of SR580 billion.
The increase last year was also more than double the assets growth of around SR135 billion through 2010, when they ended the year at SR1,705 billion compared with SR1,570 billion at the end of 2009, the report said.
A surge in oil prices to a record high average along with a one million bpd increase in Saudi Arabia’s crude production widened its fiscal surplus to nearly SR307 billion in 2011 from SR87 billion in 2011. The current account surplus also shot up to $156 billion from $69 billion.
The Saudi Gazette