RIYADH — Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that Saudi Privatization Program has a pipeline of over 200 projects in 17 targeted sectors, creating tremendous opportunities for investors.
Al-Jadaan opened on Wednesday the second edition of the two-day Financial Sector Conference organized by the partners of the Financial Sector Development Program, including the Ministry of Finance, Saudi Central Bank and Capital Market Authority.
He said, “The number of small and medium sized enterprises has nearly doubled since 2016 as the share of bank financing going to SMEs reached 7.9 percent and 45 percent of SMEs are owned by Saudi women.”
“The Female participation rate in the labor market is now 37 percent. Consumption is strong and home ownership has grown to a record 62 percent, while real estate lending quadrupled since 2018.”
He stressed that the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) offers lessons for regulators, investors, and financial institutions. “Effective implementation of macro-prudential measures contributes to the resilience of the financial system against shocks of this kind.”
Al-Jadaan said in his speech that the Financial Sector Conference is held this year after having achieved remarkable results in the comprehensive development process, the features of which are set out in the Saudi Vision 2030 that aims at bringing about a bright and sustainable future in all fields.
The minister added that the financial sector holds the key to the prosperity of the Kingdom’s traditional and digital infrastructure, and that ambitious goals have been set for the development of the financial sector.
Top achievements since the launch of the vision include Saudi Arabia becoming one of the fastest-growing financial markets worldwide, with banking assets that have increased by 37% since 2019, reaching SR3.6 trillion by the end of last year, and the fact that the number of financial technology companies has risen from 20 in 2019 to 147 in 2022.
“The Kingdom is a reliable investor partner. In this regard, five international financial institutions have joined the local First Traders’ Program, where the Public Investment Fund issued the first-ever $3 billion international green bond in October; the second issue of $5.5 billion was completed last month, boosting the Kingdom’s successes.
“Also, the National Development Fund (NDF) last year injected some $4 billion to support domestic and international investors to implement projects in the industrial, energy, mining and logistics sectors.”
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