Exchange Rates & Regulations


Saudi Arabia imposes no foreign exchange restrictions on capital receipts or payments by residents or nonresidents, beyond a prohibition against transactions with Israel.  Although officially linked to the IMF's Special Drawing Rights, Saudi Arabia in practice pegs its currency, the Saudi Riyal, to the U.S. Dollar.

Saudi Arabia last devalued the Riyal in June 1986 when it set the official selling rate at SR 3.745 = $1.  The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) and all residents may freely and without license buy, hold, sell, import, and export gold, with the exception of gold of 14 karats or less.  The Saudi government is considering a law to regulate the transportation of money, precious metals, and valuable documents in excess of $133,000.

- General Financing Availability and Terms of Payment
Saudi policies facilitate the free flow of financial resources.  Credit from the commercial banks is allocated on market terms, and foreign investors can obtain credit on the local market.  The private sector has access to a variety of credit instruments.

"Soft" term financing is available from specialized credit institutions: the Saudi Agricultural Bank, the Saudi Credit Bank, the Public Investment Fund, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), and the Real Estate Development Fund.  The Saudi banking system is well capitalized and well provisioned.  SIDF loans are available to finance foreign-owned businesses in Saudi Arabia under the Foreign Investment Law.