Saudi Electricity Co. secures $1.75B in loans

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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s national electricity company on Wednesday announced it had secured $1.75 billion in international loans, its largest to date, to finance future plans.

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The five-year loan is financed by eight international banks, according to a statement published by the Saudi Electricity Company.

They are HSBC, Standard Chartered, NATIXIS, Citibank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Mizuho Bank.

The statement did not detail the company’s “diverse capital expenditure projects”.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, took a serious hit when crude prices plummeted in mid-2014, forcing Riyadh to cut subsidies and delay projects.

The kingdom last year announced its Vision 2030 plan, which aims to diversify the Saudi economy and reduce reliance on oil revenue.

Saudi Arabia had forecast a budget deficit of $53 billion this financial year, down slightly from last year’s shortfall.

The deficit however halved in the first six months of this year, the finance ministry said Sunday, following sweeping government spending cuts and a stabilisation in oil prices.

Saudi Arabia is due to introduce its first value-added tax (VAT) in early 2018.

The country is also preparing to sell just under five percent of energy giant Aramco next year.

AFP

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