Saudi Financing Initiatives Seek to Earmark 20% of Lending Program to SMEs

Saudi Arabia’s development funds announced a set of initiatives to alleviate the repercussions of the Corona pandemic on SMEs. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Arabia’s development funds announced measures to support government initiatives. This is to alleviate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. With the SMEs and the medical sector receiving a great share.

The Kingdom launched initiatives to support small and emerging projects; with the aim to earmark 20% of the lending portfolio to this segment at a value amounting to $31.5bn.

The National Development Fund recently announced programs worth SAR22bn in support of development priorities and economic needs within the urgent initiatives announced by the government to face the consequences of the novel coronavirus.

Saeed Al Zahrani, Assistant Director General of the Social Development Bank (SDB); said the Kingdom was planning to support small and emerging projects within the framework of a portfolio of SAR118bn. His remarks came during a virtual session held in Riyadh on Thursday, to reveal financing initiatives in support of the SMEs.

For his part, Ahmed Al-Gwaiz, Vice President of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SDIF), said that the priority in programs and initiatives focuses on essential activities, especially the medical sector and health supplies.

He emphasized that the SDIF vision was to maintain the sustainability of those projects after the end of the pandemic.

Gwaiz underlined that the Fund was seeking to finance 40 projects in the medical sector. Requests for three projects have been implemented to date, at a value of SAR150mn. While other requests are under consideration, he said.

Bader Almalik, Vice President of the Saudi Agricultural Development Fund, announced the postponement of installments for 4,000 beneficiaries until September, in order to support their work during the current period.

He also revealed initiatives to stimulate SMEs through operating and indirect loans amounting to 300 million riyals.