Saudi home ownership subsidies hit SR29.6bn

Saudi home ownership subsidies hit SR29.6bn
Sakani has helped 124,208 families with housing solutions and options between January and July this year. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 16 August 2021

Saudi home ownership subsidies hit SR29.6bn

Saudi home ownership subsidies hit SR29.6bn
  • Over the four years ending in June 2021, the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) has provided subsidies of SR29.6 billion to more than 520,000 families

RIYADH: Subsidies for Saudi families who want to own their own home have been increased as the Kingdom aims to raise the rate of home ownership to 70% by 2030.

Over the four years ending in June 2021, the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) has provided subsidies of SR29.6 billion to more than 520,000 families, the fund’s CEO Mansour bin Madi said. The REDF administers funds for the Ministry of Housing’s Sakani program.

Sakani has helped 124,208 families with housing solutions and options between January and July this year, including 97,822 families who were able to move into new homes. The accomplishments were during the Sakani Forum for the second quarter of 2021, held in Riyadh on Sunday, SPA reported.
Sakani also announced the inauguration of a comprehensive residential information and resource center in Madinah, on King Abdullah Road, under the auspices of the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing, Majid bin Abdullah Al-Hogail. The center aims to provide all housing system services under one roof, including housing projects under construction in the Madinah region. 

The average time for approval of benefits under by the Sakani program, following online applications, has been significantly reduced, the program revealed.

The subsidized real estate loan option to purchase existing houses has benefited 53,000 families while 40,000 families have benefited from the self-construction option. The Sakani online platform recorded 7.7 million visits in the year to July. There were about 57,000 visits to the comprehensive housing centers in Riyadh, Al-Khobar and Jeddah over the same period, the Deputy Minister of Housing Essam Alghamdi said during his speech at the forum.

The national scheme runs in partnership with the private sector and channels financing options to people who can also construct their own homes.


Saudi Arabia, Oman to sign 13 trade and investment agreements

Saudi Arabia, Oman to sign 13 trade and investment agreements
Updated 17 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, Oman to sign 13 trade and investment agreements

Saudi Arabia, Oman to sign 13 trade and investment agreements

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Oman plan to sign thirteen trade and investment agreements, Oman’s minister of commerce, industry and investment promotion said to Asharq. 

The announcement came during the Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman visit to the Sultanate. 

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Italy’s Enel to launch renewable power project in Australia

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Updated 16 min 54 sec ago

Italy’s Enel to launch renewable power project in Australia

Italy’s Enel to launch renewable power project in Australia

RIYADH: Enel SpA is the latest European energy giant to announce plans to expand its renewable electricity sales in Australia. 

The Rome-based company will launch a “greentailer” offering 100 percent renewable power to help customers meet sustainability objectives, Bloomberg reported citing a statement by Enel.

The offering initially targets commercial and industrial users but plans to expand to residential users.

This will happen after Enel is issued a retail license this week by the Australian Energy Regulator, the statement said.

The move comes less than a month after the Royal Dutch Shell bought one of Australia’s largest household providers of renewable power.

Enel plans to switch from coal by 2027 and gas by 2040, toward clean energy. It already has 55 GW of renewable energy in its 90-GW global portfolio, Bloomberg said.


Egyptian business sector debt dropped by 77% in 3 years

Egyptian business sector debt dropped by 77% in 3 years
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 06 December 2021

Egyptian business sector debt dropped by 77% in 3 years

Egyptian business sector debt dropped by 77% in 3 years

RIYADH: Companies in the Egyptian business sector have managed to decrease their debts by a notable 77 percent in three years.

Hisham Tawfik, minister of Public Business Sector said the debts dropped from 44 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.8 billion) to 10 billion Egyptian pounds, with the remainder mostly consisting of taxes.

Tawfik said that a settlement had been reached on the debt with only taxes outstanding.

He added that the original value of the debt in 2018 also included costs such as electricity and petroleum. 


Oil gains after Saudi price hike indicating confidence in the demand outlook

Oil gains after Saudi price hike indicating confidence in the demand outlook
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 06 December 2021

Oil gains after Saudi price hike indicating confidence in the demand outlook

Oil gains after Saudi price hike indicating confidence in the demand outlook
  • The price hikes were implemented just days after OPEC+ had agreed to boost output in January

RIYADH: Oil prices rose after top exporter Saudi Arabia raised prices for its crude sold to Asia and the US, shrugging off worries around the omicron variant and suggesting confidence in the demand outlook. 

Bloomberg reported that oil giant, Saudi Aramco, raised its key Arab Light grade for customers in Asia by 60 cents from December to $3.30 a barrel above a benchmark, according to a statement.

The price hikes were implemented just days after OPEC+ had agreed to boost output in January.

"The Saudi move to increase pricing is driving the market,” said Warren Patterson, Singapore-based head of commodities strategy at ING Groep NV.

“A bit of an odd move, given the supply hike in January, the omicron uncertainty and the expectation of a better supplied market in the first quarter of 2022.”


US’s Lockheed Martin to design NASA space station

US’s Lockheed Martin to design NASA space station
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 06 December 2021

US’s Lockheed Martin to design NASA space station

US’s Lockheed Martin to design NASA space station
  • The company will be working on the Starlab project along with Nanoracks and Voyager Space

RIYADH: Lockheed Martin, the US-based aerospace company has confirmed it is one of three partners awarded a $160 million contract by NASA. 

As per the contract, the company is to design NASA’s Starlab commercial space station as part of the US agency’s Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Development program, Cobb County Courier reported. 

The company will be working on the Starlab project along with Nanoracks and Voyager Space. 

“Starlab is the confluence of Lockheed Martin’s rich space expertise and history, Nanoracks’ innovation, and Voyager’s financial savvy,” said Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager at Lockheed Martin.

“This team is equipped to aid NASA on its mission to expand access to LEO and to enable a transformative commercial space economy,” she added. 

Last month, the company appointed Robert Lightfoot as the new executive vice president of the Space business area as of Jan.1 2022.