Saudi Arabia deposits $5 billion in Turkey's central bank
Saudi Arabia has deposited $5 billion with the Turkish Central Bank through the Saudi Development Fund.
Ahmed Al-Khateeb, the kingdom's tourism minister and chairman of the Saudi Development Fund, signed an agreement with Turkey's Central Bank Governor Sahap Kavcioglu, a fund statement said on Monday.
The deposit is "a testament to the close cooperation and historical ties" between the two countries and Saudi Arabia's "commitment to support Turkey's efforts to strengthen its economy and promote social growth and sustainable development," the statement said.
The Saudi Arabia deposit came after a 7.8-magnitude, 7.5-magnitude earthquake on Feb. 6 that was followed by more than 7,500 aftershocks and two other quakes that plunged the country into its worst disaster in more than 80 years.
While Turkey's net international reserves recovered from just over $6 billion last summer, the lowest level in at least 20 years, they have lost about $8.5 billion since the earthquake.
The Turkish Central Bank's net foreign exchange reserves fell by about $1.4 billion to $20.2 billion in the week ended Feb. 24, bank data showed Thursday.
Turkey's reconstruction and recovery costs may exceed $68 billion as a result of the disaster, the World Bank estimates.
The country suffered an estimated $34.2 billion in direct property damage from the Feb. 6 disaster, or about 4 percent of 2021 gross domestic product, the Washington-based lender said in its 50-page rapid damage assessment report last month.
The Saudi deposit follows joint efforts by Ankara and Riyadh to mend ties that were ruptured after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.