Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Banks Support Private Sector with USD373 Billion | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Saudi money changer counting Saudi Riyals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (File Photo: Reuters)

Riyadh- A banking official has revealed that the private sector borrowed more than SAR1.4 trillion (USD373 billion) from Saudi banks—the official affirmed that Saudi banks succeeded through their efforts in the past decades in supporting a great number of small and medium enterprises as well as giant companies.

The official added that Kafala Program is one of the qualified funding programs.

Talaat bin Zaki Hafez, secretary general of the Radio and Television Commission in Saudi Banks, told Asharq al-Awsat that funding the SMEs doesn’t occur via Kafala Program only despite its importance and expansion but also through other programs launched by Saudi banks.

“Given the economic and commercial importance of the SMEs sector, it is responsible for recruiting up to 52% of labor force and contributing to the added value of the economy—therefor Saudi banks focused on this sector and granted it credential facilities required by the general capital and fixed assets funding,” he added.

Speaking of the Saudi banks support to Kafala program, Hafez said that there is an urgent need for sustainable initiatives to arrange coordination between banks and funding parties knowing that Saudi Arabia has the strongest economy among the GCC countries—Saudi Arabia also came second in the World Bank report of 2015 on easiness of performing actions.

Kafala Program is a unique initiative that serves the needs and demands of the Kingdom, said Hafez, in which around 8451 small and medium enterprises benefited from it in the third quarter of 2016. Hafez also stressed the importance of raising awareness towards the program and its benefits.