Saudi Central Bank extends SME loan relief program until December

The Saudi Arabian Central Bank has extended loan relief measures for small and medium-sized enterprises by three months.

The measures were introduced last year to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 on the private sector and help small businesses weather the pandemic.

The deferred payment program, which was established in March last year, has been extended until December 31, the Saudi Central Bank said in a statement. declaration Wednesday.

The program was extended in June for three months until September 30.

The program was extended “for the benefit of micro, small and medium enterprises [MSME] which continue to be affected by the precautionary measures linked to Covid-19, ”the central bank said.

The extension of the MSME support program is “based on the assessment of funding entities”.

So far, the value of deferred payments stands at 174 billion riyals ($ 46.4 billion), while financing secured through another program has allowed companies to mine an additional 11 billion riyals.

“The aim of these programs was to support the private sector as well as the liquidity of the financial system, which should help mitigate the economic impact of the precautionary measures of Covid-19 on the MSME sector,” Sama said, as the central bank is known. .

Sama has taken a number of steps to stabilize the kingdom’s economy since the pandemic began last year, cutting interest rates and implementing a 50 billion riyal stimulus package.

Saudi Arabia’s swift response to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic has reduced its impact on the kingdom’s economy, which is expected to grow by 2.1% this year, the International Monetary Fund said in May.

The pace of recovery will accelerate next year, with the largest Arab economy growing 4.8 percent in 2022, after contracting 4.1 percent in 2020, the IMF said.

Rising oil prices, the easing of Opec + production ceilings and the introduction of a mass vaccination program to stem the pandemic will boost Saudi Arabia’s economic growth until the end of 2024 S&P Global Ratings said on Tuesday.

A sharp increase in the kingdom’s non-oil gross domestic product will also support the dynamics of economic growth, S&P said in its review of Saudi Arabia. He estimates that the kingdom will grow by 2.4% per year on average throughout the 2021-24 period.

Update: September 29, 2021, 7:00 p.m.


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