Saudi Arabia’s SIDF pumped $4.5bn for industrial support amid COVID-19

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Trainee Reporter
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Saudi Arabia’s leading governmental financial agency, Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) has provided $4.5 billion in loans to mainly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) last year, to support them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the SIDF statement, the fund has approved 212 loans for 201 companies in the industries such as mining, energy, and logistic sectors.

Mr. Ibrahim Almojel, chief executive of SIDF, said, “The fund would continue its contributions this year as it endeavors to attract investments and transform the kingdom into a leading industrial powerhouse and a global logistics hub.”

Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy, has introduced 142 stimulus initiatives worth a total of $57 billion (214 billion Saudi riyals) since the coronavirus outbreak. The Saudi Central Bank has pumped $13 billion (50 billion riyals) into the banking system in June of last year to increase liquidity and lending power.

Established in 1974, the SIDF provides private industry with medium and long-term loans. In 2019, the fund started supporting electricity, logistics, and mining projects in the kingdom.

The agency distributed three financial assistance packages totaling more than $1.3 billion immediately after the COVID-19 outbreak. The fund has unveiled initiatives worth $1 billion in June to support more than 500 industrial businesses affected by the pandemic. These included deferment and restructuring of loan installments.

As per the statement, “The SIDF introduced credit instruments worth $127 million to finance 86 companies’ operating expenses, especially those affected by the pandemic-induced movement restrictions in the kingdom. It also provided an accelerated working capital loan worth $172 million to finance the raw material requirements of companies in the medical sector.”

The industrial fund further stated that it would “stimulate investments in priority economic sectors … and focus on human capital development in 2021.”

Related: Saudi Arabia’s credit support for SMEs surged in 2020 amid COVID-19: SAMA

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