Saudi Electricity, other big firms to pay bonuses after king's order

Companies in big payout after King Salman says Saudi state employees should receive two months of extra salary
Saudi Electricity, other big firms to pay bonuses after king's order
Saudi Arabias King Salman. (Getty Images)
By Reuters
Mon 02 Feb 2015 01:22 PM

Several of Saudi Arabia's largest companies announced on Monday they would pay out hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses after the new king ordered that Saudi state employees should receive two months of extra salary.

Saudi Electricity Co will distribute 545 million riyals ($149 million) among its Saudi employees, it said in a bourse statement. The government owns 81 percent of the Gulf's largest utility, according to Reuters data.

Saudi Telecom Co (STC), 70 percent state-owned, will pay an extra 395 million riyals to its Saudi employees, it said in a similar filing, adding that the payout would be recorded in its first-quarter earnings.

Last week, Saudi Arabia's King Salman ordered the immediate payment of two months of bonus salary to all state employees and pension to retired government workers, marking his accession to power after the death of his brother King Abdullah.

"The Saudi Electricity Company has decided to grant two months' salary for all key Saudi staff and trainees," the company said in a statement to the kingdom's stock exchange, adding that the bonus paid to each staff member would not exceed 50,000 riyals.

Southern Province Cement, which is majority-owned by state funds, said it would pay two months' salary to Saudi employees and half a month's pay to non-Saudis.

King Salman's announcement did not give a monetary figure, but analysts said the payout to state employees could be worth some 70 billion riyals, while additional handouts to pensioners, students and others could make total spending much larger.

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