The Saudis are buying a slice of Middle Eastern cash market, while Middle Eastern market is getting more attention from the Saudis, the World Bank says.
The Saudis’ cash-intensive growth strategy has been fueling an explosion in Middle Eastern currency trades.
The Saudis have spent about $5 billion on the market since 2014, and they are spending another $6 billion this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Saudi Arabia is also spending more on Middle Eastern investments, and more than $3 billion on foreign currency reserves, which it has used to help finance its oil-backed projects in the region.
Middle Eastern investors have been the biggest drivers of Saudi Arabias recent growth in the last few years.
The kingdom has spent about 10 times more on its market than its counterpart in Turkey, which has more than doubled in value.
But while Middle East oil revenues have been growing rapidly, the market has been losing ground to China.
According to a study released last week by the Bank of International Settlements, the Middle East’s economy contracted in 2016 for the first time in seven years.
While the Saudis are still the largest investor in Middle East markets, other countries have also been investing more aggressively in the sector.
Investors are buying more assets from the UAE, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the International Monetary Fund said in a report last week.
This year, the UAE is buying about $1.8 billion in assets, including stakes in oil producers and gold mining companies, the IMF said.