Saudi c.bank says not worried by loan growth, inflation

RIYADH, March 3 Sun Mar 3, 2013 5:47am EST

RIYADH, March 3 (Reuters) - The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency is not concerned about current bank lending growth rates, and inflation is tolerable, the governor of the central bank, Fahad al-Mubarak, said on Sunday.

Asked if he was concerned about a high level of bank lending to the private sector, Mubarak said: "Not at all. The bank lending to the private sector is consistent with all the policies that SAMA puts (in place) and monitors."

He said loans to deposits were now about 75 percent, while SAMA caps the ratio at 85 percent.

"It is positive that the banks continue to lend to the private sector," he told a news conference, adding that the quality of banks' lending portfolios had improved in recent years, resulting in fewer bad loans.

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