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Saudi central bank to extend deferred payment programme for SMEs

The extension will help the SMEs impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic crisis for another three months from July

Saudi Arabia’s central bank recently announced that it has planned to extend a deferred payment programme to benefit the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), according to the media. The programme was launched in March 2020, and the current growth in extension will help the SMEs impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic crisis for another three months from July.

The deferred payments value has totalled $44.53 billion. Saudi Arabia’s economy was hit hard by 2020’s historic oil price crash and the Covid-19 pandemic. Recent data from the officials state that the economy dropped three percent annually in the first quarter of 2021 due to a sharp drop in oil output.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has planned a transformation of the non-oil economy for Vision 2030. Saudi’s economy grew by 2.9 percent in the first quarter of this year as the Covid-19 restrictions eased in the region.

Mohammed Al-Jadaan, the finance minister of Saudi Arabia, recently issued a license for the STC Bank and Saudi Digital Bank. It is the first-ever license issued to the country’s digital banks. The decision to issue the licences is in line with the Saudi Financial Development Programme, which is a part of Saudi Vision 2030.

Mohammed recently tweeted that the programme aims to develop efficient digital infrastructure, encourage entrepreneurship, and increase job opportunities in the financial sector. He further added that the licensing process falls under the framework of developing the financial sector system and positively contributes to the support and development of the nation’s economy.

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