Finance Minister: The announced budget spending will likely remain unchanged … We are looking at the privatization of health and educational care companies


Finance Minister Mohamed Al-Jadaan said that spending in the budget announced in December will likely remain unchanged until the end of the year, but with the reallocation of some sectors, stressing that the government is studying the needs of the Saudi economy and will provide the required support to ensure recovery.

According to Reuters, Al-Jadaan explained in statements during an event organized by Bloomberg Income tax would require a lot of time to prepare, he added, “There is no plan imminent to implement, but we do not exclude anything.”

Al-Jadaan said that the Kingdom will consider selling assets in sectors that were not considering its privatization before. Noting that privatizations will likely bring in more than fifty billion dollars in the next four or five years.
He added that Saudi Arabia is likely to go to global debt instrument investors again this year, but a decision has not yet been issued regarding the planned offering currency.

And about the Public Investment Fund, The minister said that the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund has abundant liquidity in the local market.
He added that the fund will allocate, through secondary offerings, part of its local holdings to ensure “recycled fully developed investments” and investment in something else that the private sector finds difficult to invest in.
“But this is not motivated by the need for liquidity. They have abundant liquidity.”

In the dossier of the G20 leaders’ summit, he made it clear that no final decision has been taken yet on the summit and whether it will be held via face-to-face or remote meeting, adding that the matter is still under discussion.
The G20 leaders’ summit is scheduled for November. Saudi Arabia will host this year’s summit, in which representatives of the world’s largest economies will participate.

On the privatization file, Al-Jadaan said that the government is considering privatizing health care companies and the education sector, and a few companies will be put on the financial market in 2020-2021. Noting that Saudi Arabia will likely issue international debt again this year, but he stressed that no decision has yet been taken on the currency of the upcoming international debt offering, adding, “We have issued domestic debt that is much more than what was planned for this year.”

Al-Jadaan preached that the July data suggests an economic recovery, but there is still a lot of uncertainty, adding that the pace of the Saudi economy’s contraction will likely be less than 6.8 percent expected by the International Monetary Fund, with the demand for tourism in Saudi Arabia rising in July thanks to local turnout.


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