SIDF zeroes in on SMEs; extended 4,238 loans

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Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH
— The Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) is now transforming itself to best meet the needs of industrial investors and to ensure financial sustainability through the implementation of its Strategic Development Project.

The regulations of the Fund have never been changed ever since its establishment 40 years ago, said Ibrahim Al-Mojel, SIDF director general, speaking at a meeting with industrial investors at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. There is more hope that it will facilitate funding to industrial investors with more focus on small and medium establishments.

The Fund has received in total 5,357 orders for loans in 2017 and 4,238 investors have already got loans with a total value of SR148 billion and Al-Mojel’s expects that the fund will contribute to the GDP by 40 percent.

The Fund has started employing women in different departments which helped it overcome the obstacles that women investors faced previously at the Fund, he added.

Among the top managers at the Fund is Noor Shabib, head of Strategy and Transformation.

Speaking at the meeting, Shabib said the Fund has some 26 initiatives, each of them has a special team that follows the implementation of the development project. She added they are now trying out 15 of these projects which will be effective by September.

Officials at the Fund explained that they are now reviewing the regulations for obtaining funds, provide training to employees through cooperation with international universities and offer consultations to investors, and consider the differences between companies applying for the fund such as their activities and size.

On the technical level, SIDF will develop an automation of the fund system and launch an application that will facilitate interaction with investors and reduce the time required for funds’ approvals.

The Fund collaborates with the Ministry of Finance through Nama program that supports distressed companies. It also cooperates with the National Industry and Logistics Development Program, housing programs at the Ministry of Housing, Sabic, Aramco, and Maaden.

Al-Mojel also said SIDF collaborated with Modon to provide both the land and the fund to investors. So far, it has offered 300 funds. In addition, SIDF has arranged contracts with three banks to provide loans it has guaranteed.


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