Binladin pays a month’s back wages to 35,000

Updated 19 May 2016

Binladin pays a month’s back wages to 35,000

RIYADH: Seven Saudi banks have paid SR100 million to workers of troubled Saudi Binladin Group, covering only one month of the money owed to them, according to a report in a local publication Wednesday.

These monies were for about 35,000 Saudi and expatriate workers earning under SR4,000. The vast majority will likely be paid by Ramadan 15, sources were quoted as saying. Other sources said the company secured a SR2.5 billion loan from a group of local banks to pay employees’ wages and end-of-service benefits.
Binladin has declined to describe its financial situation publicly, but Gulf commercial bankers have said they believe it owes local and international banks a total of about $30 billion, and some think it may have to restructure some of that debt.
Many workers have reportedly refused to leave the country because they are afraid they may not be paid once they do so. There are hundreds of Saudis earning over SR5,000 who have not been paid, causing them distress as Ramadan approaches and regular payments on cars and other items become due.
Binladin recently fired 80,000 workers because it said that it wanted to rationalize costs. The company was recently allowed to compete for new contracts after the government lifted a ban on its operations following last year’s crane crash in Makkah, for which it was held partially responsible.
A Binladin spokesman said in an emailed response to Reuters news agency that the company doesn't comment on its financial issues or relationships with business partners.
"We remain focused and committed to carry out our promise and deliver the contracted projects to the highest standards and satisfaction of our clients, as we have always been doing."
Two of the sources, declining to be named because of commercial sensitivities, said Binladin had pledged land as collateral for the loan. They did not elaborate on the size or location of the land, or how long the loan was for.
When the government lifted the ban on bidding for state projects on May 5, it also removed a travel ban imposed on top Binladin executives after the disaster. Days later, Binladin made delayed salary payments to some 10,000 workers.

2 more Houthi drones shot down by Saudi-led Coalition forces

Updated 10 min 6 sec ago

2 more Houthi drones shot down by Saudi-led Coalition forces

  • Three drones, six ballistic missiles launched toward Saudi Arabia by Houthis in a span of 24 hours
  • All six missiles and three drones were shot down by Coalition air defenses

JEDDAH: Two more drones launched by Houthi "terrorists" from Sanaa toward Saudi Arabia were shot down early Monday, Coalition forces supporting Yemen's legitimate government said. 

Coalition forces have successfully intercepted six ballistic missiles and three drones launched by the Houthis toward Saudi Arabia in a span of 24 hours from Sunday morning.

In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), coalition spokesman Colonel Turki Al-Maliki said the two drones were intercepted and shot down over Yemeni air space by Saudi-led air defense forces.

On Sunday evening, six ballistic missiles fired from Yemen were also intercepted by the coalition as they headed towards Jazan in south-west Saudi Arabia.

Al-Maliki said the missiles were launched by Houthis from Saada province "in an attempt to target civilian and civilian installations in Jazan city.” 

Earlier on Sunday, the coalition shot down a Houthi drone targeting the Saudi city of Khamis Mushayt, state news agency SPA reported.

The drone attack targeting Khamis Mushayt, state was the second on the city in recent days. 

Earlier this month, 10 drones attacked the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction plant in Saudi Arabia near the UAE border. The attack caused no injuries and did not disrupt operations, Saudi Arabia said.

Al-Maliki said the attacks reflect the size of the Houthi’s losses on the battlefield in Yemen as a result “of the continuing military operations deep inside Saada governorate.”

"All attempts by the Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia to launch drones are doomed to fail and the coalition takes all operational procedures and best practices of engagement rules to deal with these drones to protect civilians," Al-Maliki said on Monday.