Saudi Arabia to form $13bn housing refinancing company

Saudi Refinancing Company said to be part of government efforts to develop mortgage sector in kingdom
Saudi Housing Minister Majed Al Hogail. (ITP Images)
By Reuters
Wed 07 Dec 2016 09:54 AM

Saudi Housing Minister Majed Al Hogail announced on Tuesday the formation of a company to refinance up to 50 bln riyals ($13.33 billion) for the kingdom's housing sector over the next five years, state news agency SPA said.

It said the new firm would be called the Saudi Refinancing Company but provided no further details.

Saudi authorities outlined plans earlier this year to raise the proportion of Saudis who own their own homes by 5 percentage points to 52 percent by 2020.

The initiative is part of an ambitious reform agenda to diversify the economy of the world's top oil exporter away from hydrocarbons as global crude prices have slumped.

Al Hogail's announcement appears to be part of long-awaited government efforts to develop a housing mortgage sector in the conservative kingdom, where the restrictions of Islamic sharia law have made it difficult to secure lending against property.

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Last Updated: Thu 26 Jan 2017 01:27 PM GST

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