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Saudi arabia to start infrastructure fund

(SFD) Governor Stephen Grove announced the launch of Saudi infrastructure fund with various financial tools

Saudi Fund Development (SFD) Governor Stephen Grove said that the fund aims to establish a new fund dedicated for infrastructure with various financial tools to meet investors’ needs

In an interview with CNBC Arabia, Grove said he expects the launch to be during the first half of 2021, adding that its size has yet to be determined.

He added that the total capital of the fund is at 350 billion Saudi riyals ($ 93.33 billion) and there are no plans to increase its value at this point.

Covid impact

Since the Coronavirus affected all economic sectors, the SFD does not prioritize  one sector over the others.

The governor said that the fund provided resources equally to all sectors.

SFD have been directing most resources to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These businesses make up the majority of government-funded clients and also the most affected by Covid.

Loan restructuring

Grove said that SFD provided aid to individuals and companies through  restructuring existing loans. The fund also provided loans to working capital and supported sectors such as aviation and transportation.

He added that the fund tries to create balance between combining the financial aspect of all funds and accumulating their capital in one portfolio. This, he said, will lead to a unified investment strategy.

“This process has been launched over the past two months and several options will be implemented early next year,” Grove said.

SFD’s long-term strategy aims at transforming into an integrated entity for financing development. The focus will be on how to support private sector activity and encourage private investment.

The fund’s role

Grove said that new Saudi infrastructure fund will not replace commercial banks or private financing institutions, but rather will integrate with them and provide incentives to the private sector.

He added that the fund mainly focuses on looking for ways to mitigate risks that prevent investors from entering basic or sub-sectors, using tools that reduce risks.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz established SFD in October 2017. It is organizationally linked to the Prime Minister.

The fund aims at raising development funds and banks performance so that they achieve their goals and keep pace with what serves the development priorities and the special economic needs of the Kingdom.

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