Saudi Arabia Macroeconomic Developments
- Saudi Arabia’s GDP grew by 2.5 percent QoQ during Q4 2020 while it contracted by 3.9 percent YoY, according to the General Authority for Statistics (GAStat). Petroleum refining grew 26 percent QoQ in Q4 after contracting for two consecutive quarters. ‘Social & personal services’ (+6.7 percent) and ‘wholesale & retail trade, restaurants, & hotels’ (+5.7 percent) were among the other fastest growing sectors in Q4.
- The total number of loan guarantees under Saudi Arabia’s Kafalah program increased 106 percent YoY in Q4 2020 with total guarantees exceeding SAR3.4 billion ($900 million). The Kafalah program is a partnership between Saudi commercial banks and the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) that offers preferential financing to SMEs in targeted non-oil sectors such as manufacturing, tourism, and entertainment.
- The SIDF approved 212 loans worth SAR17.6 billion ($4.7 billion) during 2020, benefiting 201 projects in the industrial, mining, energy, and logistics sectors. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) accounted for 84 percent of the number of loans.