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Central bank governor says Saudi will stick to currency peg

Image for illustrative purposes.
A gas station attendant counts money in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 1, 2006.

Image for illustrative purposes. A gas station attendant counts money in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 1, 2006.

REUTERS/ Sultan Al Fahad - RTR1CYZH
RIYADH, May 2 (Reuters) - The governor of Saudi Arabia's central bank said on Tuesday that the kingdom would stick to the currency peg linking the Saudi riyal to the U.S. dollar.

"The peg exchange rate has served us very well and it continues to serve us, so we will stick to it," Ahmed al-Kholifey told an investment conference.

He also said the central bank was comfortable with Saudi Arabia's level of banking services and their sophistication, but that it was not content with the amount of credit being provided by banks to small and medium-sized enterprises, which was about 2 percent of the total.

In an effort to boost the kingdom's savings rate, the central bank is working with the Ministry of Education to instill a savings culture in younger Saudis, and working with the Ministry of Finance to develop sukuk that could be used by individual savers, Kholifey added.

(Reporting by Riyadh Reuters team; Editing by Andrew Torchia) ((Davide.Barbuscia@thomsonreuters.com;))
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