Saudi king approves $19bn stimulus

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Saudi king approves $19bn stimulus

Saudi king approves $19bn stimulus

(Riyadh) – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman approved 72billion riyals ($19.2bn) worth of measures to stimulate growth in the private sector.

The measures include residential housing loans worth 21.3bn riyals, a 10bn riyal fund to support economic projects, and 1.5bn riyals to support distressed companies, the government announced.

A 2.8bn riyal government fund will be created to invest in smaller companies, while the government will adjust the fees which it charges for services to save smaller companies 7bn riyals.

More money would be spent on projects such as developing the kingdom’s broadband infrastructure and promoting advanced construction techniques. Officials did not give details of most of the stimulus measures.

Fahad al-Sukait, a cabinet adviser who briefed reporters on the stimulus plan, said the measures outlined on Thursday were part of a four-year, 200bn riyal scheme to aid private businesses.

Of that amount, 40bn riyals was allocated this year in the form of capital increases for state funds which support the economy by lending in areas such as
housing.

The 72bn riyals will be spent over the next four years, including 24bn riyals in 2018, Sukait said. Officials are still drawing up plans to spend the remaining 88bn riyals of the scheme, he added.

Following are next year’s measures:

Residential housing loans worth 21.3bn riyals

A 10bn riyal fund to support economic projects

1.5bn riyals to support distressed companies

A 2.8bn riyal government fund will be created to invest in smaller companies

400m riyals will be spent on highly efficient air conditioning equipment

5bn riyals of export financing

800m riyals to boost the capital of Kafalah, a programme which lends to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

1.6bn riyals of indirect financing to SMEs

7bn riyals worth of customs fees will be returned to SMEs

5bn riyals for a program supporting large investments; the government did not give details

2.56bn riyals of spending on the country’s broadband and fiber optics infrastructure

13.87bn riyals to promote advanced construction techniques