quotes ‘Sah’ sukuk encourages citizens to save

10 February 2024
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Updated 10 February 2024

‘Sah’ sukuk encourages citizens to save

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance and the National Debt Management Center launched a sukuk under the name “Sah,” targeting Saudi nationals above 18 years of age to encourage them to save.

“Sah” is the first government sukuk issued aimed at enhancing saving habits by motivating Saudis to deduct a portion of their income periodically and allocate it to their savings.

The sukuk supports the Financial Sector Development Program, part of Saudi Vision 2030, aimed at raising the savings rate among Saudis from as low as 6 percent to the international standard of 10 percent by 2030.

This can be achieved through enhancing financial planning and emphasizing the importance of saving.

“Sah” falls under the Saudi government’s sukuk program, denominated in Saudi riyals, and will be issued on a monthly basis.

The sukuk possesses several features designed to attract Saudi nationals to save.

It is Shariah compliant and allows individuals to subscribe with a minimum monthly amount of SR1,000 ($266) and a maximum amount of SR200,000 ($53,300) throughout the life of the program.

Additionally, it offers attractive returns that compete with prevailing market rates, especially since the sukuk is backed by the government, making it a low-risk financial instrument.

It also allows individuals to redeem during the periods specified according to the published annual calendar; however, individuals will not be eligible to receive accrued returns and profits due to early withdrawal.

The first issuance of “Sah” was this month with a payout rate set at 5.64 percent. The allocation is scheduled to take place on Feb. 13, and the redemption period will be on Feb. 18-21, while the redemption amounts will be paid on Feb. 25.

It is important to note that subscribing to the “Sah” savings product requires opening an account with either SNB Capital, Aljazira Capital, Alinma Investment, SAB Invest, or Al Rajhi Capital.

Hani Al-Madini, CEO of the National Debt Management Center, explained that the sukuk is an initiative that represents an incentive for the private sector to cooperate and participate in developing and launching other savings products for specific goals for different categories of individuals, whether through banks, fund managers, or financial technology companies, etc.

I believe that issuing “Sah” is a great financial initiative led by the Saudi government to encourage people to save and enhance financial inclusion in the Kingdom. This initiative entitles everyone to access financial products and services that meet their needs, such as having a bank account or savings product like “Sah.”

It will not only benefit Saudi individuals by encouraging them to save, but it will also have a positive impact on the national economy. It is expected to stimulate economic growth and elevate national savings rates to international standards.

• Talat Zaki Hafiz is an economist and financial analyst. X: @TalatHafizYou