JEDDAH – Saudi Arabia’s banks remain sound, with lending forecast to continue its upward trend next year, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) Governor Muhammad Al-Jasser said Saturday on the sidelines of a conference in Riyadh.
"I expect it (lending) to be good" in 2012, he said, despite fears of global contagion over the protracted European debt crisis.
"We are not affected by what is happening in Europe. Our lending and deposits are internal... We have, to a great extent, protection from these developments but we are not in an isolated island," he said.
Al-Jasser said lending levels had risen by more than 9 percent in 2011. "In reality, lending has risen by more than 9 percent this year ... an excellent level," he said.
Moreover, he said the Kingdom’s inflation levels are not worrying and will continue to decline.
"Inflation levels are not worrying. Inflation has become stable since the beginning of the year between around 4.6 and 4.9 (percent)... I expect it to continue its decline," Al-Jasser said. – SG/Reuters