The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's (KSA) business-friendly environment includes a range of options for government and private project financing, which is readily available for eligible schemes.
Founded in 1974, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) is an important government financial tool for increasing Saudi Arabia attractiveness to investors.
SIDF provides low-cost, medium- to long-term loans for new industrial projects and expansions to existing schemes. These loans are valued by investors and often open the way to further commercial funding.
The SIDF loan programme:
- Can finance up to 50% of project costs (fixed assets, pre-operating expenses and start-up working capital), involving up to $53 million for companies and $160 million for joint-stock companies
- Allows repayment periods of up to 15 years
- Offers investors a two-year grace period between the start of industrial production and the first repayment
- Strengthens projects by offering advice on administration, marketing and technical matters
Since 1971 Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) has provided over $20 billion of medium- and long-term loans and guarantees for industrial and commercial projects. Administered by the Ministry of Finance, PIF loans are for projects not covered by commercial funding and can be for up to $1.3 billion. Furthermore, establishment of a specific financing company in the industrial projects funding(owned by PIF 50%, Aramco 25% and Sabic 25%) which is the Saudi Industrial Investment Company.
Saudi Arabia commercial banks and specialist credit companies also offer project financing. Major commercial banks include Arab National Bank, Al Jazira Bank, National Commercial Bank, Riyadh Bank, SAMBA, Saudi British Bank and Saudi Investment Bank.
Foreign banks licensed to operate in KSA include BNP Paribas, JP Morgan, National Bank of Kuwait, National Bank of Bahrain, Emirates Bank, Gulf International Bank, State Bank of India, National Bank of Pakistan and Deutsche Bank.
For Saudi and foreign companies seeking wider access to capital, the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) is the largest stock market in the Arab world.