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Saudi Arabia rules out financial curbs on expats

Saudi Arabia has denied reports of freezing bank accounts of expatriates whose financial dealings are higher than their wages, it was reported today.

"There is no truth in reports circulating in some media and social networking sites that banks operating in the Kingdom are directed to freeze accounts of expatriate workers whose transactions exceed the prevalent wages of their jobs," the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) tweeted.

"Banks constantly apply the necessary measures to different clients' banking accounts and take the necessary steps in line with relevant regulations and instructions," SAMA added.

Migrant workers account for about 10.5 million of Saudi Arabia's 34.8 million populations, reports Gulf News.

In recent months, the Kingdom has taken a series of measures to shore up its economy and support the private sector hit by the economic impact of an outbreak of the new coronavirus and low oil prices.

As of July 1, Saudi Arabia began applying a hike in the value-added tax (VAT), tripling the tax to reach 15 per cent.

It has also suspended a living cost allowance given to state employees..