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Revealed: Saudi Arabia Owns $117 Billion of US Debt

17 May 2016 9:17


Saudi Arabia stockpiled $116.8 billion of US Treasuries as of March, the Treasury Department announced, ending four decades of keeping the figure secret.

That makes Saudi Arabia the 13th largest foreign holder of US debt, though well behind the $1 trillion-plus owned by China and Japan each.

Unlike with most other major owners of US debt, the Treasury Department kept Saudi Arabia’s precise holdings secret since the 1970s. Saudi’s holdings were lumped together with that of other oil exporting nations, including Venezuela and Iraq.

But that policy ended on Monday as the Treasury Department disclosed precise holdings by specific countries that were previously grouped together. A Treasury official told CNNMoney the move was made following a review aimed at trying to provide more “comprehensive and transparent” data.

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