The Kingdom has been working with developers and local banks to solve one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest social and economic problems - a shortage of affordable housing.
Monday 22, April 2019 BY KUDAKWASHE MUZORIWA
The Chief Executive Officer of Al Rajhi Bank said that the bank plans to boost mortgage lending as more affordable housing comes on the market.
Steve Bertamini, the CEO of Al Rajhi Bank, said that the bank's mortgage book grew 27 per cent year-on-year in 2018 and it is looking for double-digit growth for the next two to three years.
Saudi Arabia plans to raise homes ownership by nationals to 60 per cent by 2020, up from 47 per cent in 2016.
Bertamini said that the lender, which has traditionally focused on consumer banking, has been cautiously expanding its exposure to the private sector, amid expectations that government employment may not rise much in the future.
Al Rajhi is also considering opportunities in project finance as public-private partnership contracts for water and renewable energy start to be awarded, in March, Acwa Power signed financial contracts for the $700 million Rabigh-3 IWP desalination project in Saudi Arabia and a sewage treatment plant in Dammam was awarded to a consortium led by Metito Group in January, reported Reuters.