Domestic credit growth in Saudi Arabia to stay strong - S&P

Mortgage and retail loans to drive growth

Streets in illuminated cityscape, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Streets in illuminated cityscape, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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Domestic credit growth in Saudi Arabia is likely to stay strong in 2021-2022, following the sharp 14 percent year-on-year increase in 2020, said S&P Global Ratings in a note Tuesday.

“We anticipate solid mortgage and retail loan growth, supported by government efforts to meet Vision 2030 targets and strong demand for housing from Saudi nationals. Over the next couple of years, we forecast that mortgage portfolios will expand by about 30 percent a year.”

The Public Investment Fund has recently announced investment initiatives that are expected to spur corporate credit growth, mostly in construction-related industries. This will offset the gradual lifting of support aimed at easing the impact of the pandemic, S&P said. The COVID-19 support package included the deferral of loans to small and midsize enterprises.

“Overall, we project that credit growth will remain stable at about 10 percent in 2021-2022. This suggests that economic imbalances are in the expansionary phase; we see the risks as intermediate, at this stage.”

Under our revised assumptions, domestic private sector credit is likely to consistently exceed 80 percent of GDP in 2021-2022, compared with our earlier expectation of 75 percent,” the report said.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Daniel Luiz)

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