Saudi fund launches $1bn pandemic stimulus plan to help industry

Saudi fund launches $1bn pandemic stimulus plan to help industry
Saudi Industrial Development Fund has launched a SR3.7 billion ($1 billion) stimulus plan to support industrial projects affected by the coronavirus pandemic. (AFP)
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Updated 17 June 2020

Saudi fund launches $1bn pandemic stimulus plan to help industry

Saudi fund launches $1bn pandemic stimulus plan to help industry
  • The fund will provide loans to finance the purchase of raw materials for pharmaceutical and medical supplies companies for up to six months

RIYADH: The Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) has launched a SR3.7 billion ($1 billion) stimulus plan to support industrial projects affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative aims to support more than 500 industrial projects by deferring and restructuring loan instalments for small, medium and large industrial enterprises.

It will also  provide lines of credit to finance up to three months of operating expenses for qualified small and medium enterprises, and issue loans for medical and pharmaceutical supplies producers, SIDF said on Tuesday.

The package will support 381 small enterprises by delaying or restructuring loan installments worth SR800 million. A further 123 medium-sized enterprises will benefit from SR800 million in financial support while 15 large enterprises will get SR1.3 billion. Some 14 medical sector enterprises with loans that fall due in 2020 will get about SR70 million in support.

SIDF Vice President of Credit and Business Adel Alsuhaimi said that the move aims to offer lines of credit to partly finance up to three months of operating expenses.

The industrial fund will also offer loans to finance the purchase of raw materials for pharmaceutical and medical supplies companies for up to six months.

Governments worldwide are being forced to intervene to shield companies in economically important sectors from financial collapse as the coronavirus pandemic brought production to a standstill.

The SIDF was established in 1974 to provide financial support to the private industrial sector.


Oil prices rise as market awaits deal output deal

Updated 03 December 2020

Oil prices rise as market awaits deal output deal

Oil prices rise as market awaits deal output deal
  • OPEC and its allies create uncertainty with two-day delay to meeting to decide whether to increase production

LONDON: Oil prices rose on Wednesday as the market awaited a pact from producers on output, which many traders expect will continue to be reined in, and Britain’s approval of a COVID-19 vaccine gave hopes for a demand recovery a boost.

Prices were hit earlier by a surprise build in oil inventories in the US and as OPEC and its allies created uncertainty with a two-day delay to a formal meeting to decide whether to increase production in January.

Brent crude oil futures were up 1.9 percent at $48.31 in late afternoon trade in London, while West Texas Intermediate crude was also up about 2 percent to $45.46.

Industry data from the American Petroleum Institute showed US crude inventories rose by 4.1 million barrels last week, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a draw of 2.4 million barrels.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other allies, a group known as OPEC+, postponed talks on next year’s oil output policy to Thursday from Tuesday, according to sources.

The group this year imposed production cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) as the coronavirus pandemic hit fuel demand.

It had been widely expected to roll those reductions over into January-March 2021 amid spikes in COVID-19 cases.

But the UAE said this week that even though it could support a rollover, it would struggle to continue with the same deep output reductions into 2021.

“Energy markets will remain on edge until OPEC+ gets past tomorrow’s meeting. Oil prices should continue to have underlying support as vaccine makers announce start dates for beginning immunizations,” he added.

Britain on Wednesday became the first western country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, jumping ahead of the US and the EU in what may be a first step toward a return to normal life and boost to oil consumption.