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Expatriate remittances increase in first half

By JT - Jul 22,2015 - Last updated at Jul 22,2015

AMMAN – Remittances of Jordanian expatriates rose by $27 million or 1.5 per cent during the first half of this year compared with the same period of 2014, the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) announced Tuesday.

According to CBJ figures, the transfers during the January-June period reached $1.877 billion compared with $1.850 billion.

"Usually remittances by expatriates surge in summer," Diraniyeh said, noting that the weeks ahead of Ramadan see higher cash transfers from abroad.

President of the Jordanian Exchange Association Alaa Eddine Diraniyeh said cash transfers by Jordanians working abroad are expected to continue to grow this year and to exceed the figure recorded in 2014. 

Last year, remittances reached over $3.66 billion (JD2.6 billion). 

Money transfers by expats usually peak in the summer as they tend to buy properties or make deposits in local banks, according to Diraniyeh. 

Economist Fahed Fanek says if expatriates’ remittances continue to flow back home at this rate, as expected, they will record higher figures than the year before to constitute around 10 per cent of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product.

Expatriates’ remittances are supposed to be influenced to some degree by the prevailing economic circumstances in the Gulf countries. In this respect, it was noticed that the Gulf economies were not affected by lower prices of petroleum in the world market, as predicted, Fanek said in a recent article in The Jordan Times.

Official figures estimate the number of Jordanian expatriates at around 750,000, the majority of whom live in the Gulf states.

 

Over 300,000 Jordanian workers, mostly professionals and skilled labourers, are based in Saudi Arabia, followed by the UAE with nearly 200,000, the figures say.

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