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Saudi Arabia deposits $5 billion in Turkish central bank

DUBAI: The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) announced on Monday that Saudi Arabia and Turkey have agreed to deposit $5 billion into the Turkish central bank.

Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan, the Saudi Arabian minister of finance, said in December that his nation will make the deposit.

Even though Turkey’s net foreign exchange reserves have increased from just over $6 billion last summer, when they were at their lowest point in at least 20 years, they have lost about $8.5 billion since a devastating earthquake struck the country’s southern region early in February. The earthquake claimed more than 45,000 lives and left millions homeless.

Net international reserves held by the Turkish Central Bank decreased by $1.4 billion to $20.2 billion in the week ending February 24, according to statistics released by the bank on Thursday. The Saudi deposit comes in the wake of coordinated attempts by Ankara and Riyadh to repair relations that were strained following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at the country’s consulate in Istanbul.

Due to market interventions and the fallout from a currency crisis in December 2021, Turkey’s foreign exchange holdings have fallen precipitously in recent years. In comparison to the dollar, the lira lost almost 30% of its value in 2016 and 44% in 2021.

The deposit was signed by Sahap Kavcioglu, governor of the Turkish Central Bank, and Ahmed Aqeel Al-Khateeb, chairman of the SFD and minister of tourism for Saudi Arabia, according to a statement from the SFD.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, the foreign minister of Turkey, stated on Sunday that Ankara is making a concerted effort to continue an UN-backed programme that has allowed Ukraine to transport grain from ports that Russia had blocked after its invasion. Grain was able to be exported from three Ukrainian ports in July thanks to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which was mediated by the United Nations and Turkey. The deal was extended in November and, barring a new extension, would finish on March 18.

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