Saudi unemployment falls on economic stimulus

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - DUBAI: Saudi shares rose 1.5 percent on Wednesday following the announcement of a SR12 trillion ($3.2 trillion) stimulus package for the private sector.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the “Shareek” program on Tuesday evening which will see 24 of the Kingdom’s biggest names such as and SABIC, leading a massive investment drive.
Private sector businesses will be helped to invest SR5 trillion between now and 2030, along with SR3 trillion from the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and SR4 trillion as part of a new national investment strategy, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.
“Building a vibrant and prosperous private sector is one of the national priorities for the Kingdom, and that is why we are today inaugurating a new and more powerful era in terms of cooperation and partnership between the government and private sector,” the crown prince said late Tuesday.
The Saudi market rose on the news with the Tadawul All-Share Index gaining 1.5 percent in early trade, led by the banking, utilities, and petrochemicals sectors.

The companies agreed to lower dividends and redirect these funds into the domestic economy in exchange for other financial incentives.
The announcement would accelerate growth momentum in the Saudi economy, Hedi Ben Mlouka, CEO of FIM Partners, told Bloomberg TV early Wednesday.
Major employers across the Kingdom would start to sign new agreements in the coming months to stimulate fresh investment in the economy, said Public Investment Fund Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan.
Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that the new investment program would play a big part in diversifying the economy and boosting competitiveness.
Aramco CEO Amin Nasser told Asharq Business that the program would help large companies increase their domestic investments and also add more mega projects such as the King Salman Energy City project and the King Salman International Complex for Marine Industries and Services.


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