Saudi Arabia’s mountain of oil money is shrinking.
After years of raking in cash from lofty prices, oil-producing countries are getting squeezed by the crash in crude oil prices.
Even mighty Saudi Arabia.
The cash crunch caused the OPEC leader to sell bonds over the summer to raise at least $4 billion. It was the first time Saudi Arabia tapped the bond markets in eight years.
Now there are signs Saudi Arabia is pulling out cash from global asset management firms like BlackRock (BLK).
The Saudi central bank has yanked $50 billion to $70 billion over the past six months, Nigel Sillitoe, CEO of financial services market intelligence firm Insight Discovery, told CNNMoney.
By freeing up cash held overseas, the Saudis are shoring up its finances at home.
“The Saudis feel much more comfortable bringing liquidity home in times of crisis. They like to keep cash on hand,” said Michael Nayebi-Oskoui, Middle East and South Asia analyst at Stratfor, a geopolitical intelligence and advisory firm.