Saudi Arabia’s foreign holdings are 16 percent down on the same month in 2015 and are at their lowest level since February 2012. The holdings peaked in August 2014 at $737 billion falling with oil prices.
The assets are likely to consist of US dollars, securities like US Treasury bonds and deposits with banks abroad. The deposits reduced by $8 billion to $125 billion in July, but holdings in foreign securities grew by $2 billion to $371 billion after 10 straight months of contraction.
In an attempt to corner the global market and oust high-cost oil producers like US shale, Saudi-dominated OPEC introduced predatory prices for its oil, pushing crude from $114 a barrel in the summer of 2014 to the current $50.
Last year, the Saudi budget deficit hit an historic high of $98 billion. Riyadh expects this figure to drop to $87 billion. To cover some part of the deficit, the government has been borrowing domestically and abroad.
Despite this, the Kingdom has no plans to cap production, pumping a record 10.67 million barrels of oil per day in July.
Saudi Arabia also expects to issue its first international bonds in October to raise at least $10 billion. Citigroup, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase were hired as global coordinators for the sale, according to Bloomberg.