Saudi Arabia deposits $5bn in Turkey Central Bank after 2 quakes

 Saudi Arabia has deposited $5 billion at the Central Bank of Turkey through the Saudi Fund for Development.

Saudi Arabia’s deposit comes after 7.8 magnitude earthquake on February 6, followed by more than 7,500 aftershocks and two additional quakes, inflicting the largest disaster on the country in more than 80 years.

About 50,000 people were killed and more than 105,000 buildings damaged. Turkey’s reconstruction and recovery costs may exceed $68 billion as a result of the disaster, the World Bank estimates.

The country sustained an estimat­ed $34.2 billion in direct physical damage from the February 6 disaster, equivalent to about 4 per cent of its 2021 gross domestic product, the Washington-based lender said in its 50-page rapid damage assessment report last month.

Ahmed Al-Khateeb, the kingdom’s Minister of Tourism and chairman of the Saudi Fund for Development, signed an agreement with the gover­nor of the Central Bank of Turkey, Sahap Kavcioglu, the fund said on Monday.

The deposit was made on instruc­tions of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The move is “a testament to the close co-operation and historical ties” between the two countries and of Saudi Arabia’s “commitment to sup­porting Turkey’s efforts to strengthen its economy and to promote social growth and sustainable develop­ment”, the fund said.

The funds will help bolster the Turkish economy and reflect Saudi Arabia’s “strong support for the Turkish people and its confidence in the future of the Turkish economy”.

Turkey’s central bank’s gross reserve assets fell 2.6 per cent to $125.3 billion in January 2023 from the previous month, according to the regulator’s website.

The central bank’s foreign cur­rency decreased by 10.9 per cent to $67.2 billion in January 2023, and gold reserves increased 10.3 per cent to $50.6 billion. —CNN

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