The Saudi Initiative for Mitigating COVID-19 Impact: SAMA

The initiatives taken by the Saudi government in light of the COVID-19 outbreak are unmatched globally, with around 30 new regulatory moves in motion as of March 18. The Saudi government is investing SR120 billion to mitigate potential damages and overcome the challenges the virus outbreak poses, with SR70 billion dedicated to the private sector and a SR50 billion contribution from SAMA (Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority) directed mainly towards financial institutions, banks and small facilities. The latter contribution, however, benefits the private sector as well, and SAMA plans to maintain employment in the private sector during the crisis. The Monetary Authority aims to execute said plan through providing financial needs such as facilitated interim loans. 

SAMA also launched three different programs to support SME’s: 

SR30 billion program to postpone payments (March 14–September 14 2020)

SR30 billion invested to benefit banks and financial institutions to postpone outstanding payments by small and medium size enterprises. All small and medium size enterprises benefit from the program if they were originally classified by their associated financial institutions according to the international standard for financial reports number 9 on March 14, 2020. You can make sure of your business classification by reaching out to your financial associates. 

Lending financing program worth SR13.2 billion (March 14 2020–March 14–2021)

Facilitated financing of SME’s through granting loans for small and medium size business owners. All SME’s benefit from the program with no conditions besides the policies implemented by their respective financial associates. 

Program to support funding guarantees worth SR6 billion (March 14–September 31 2020)

SR6 billion deposited among financial institutions allowing exemptions for SME’s from costs of funding guarantees. The program also supports financial expansion. There are no conditions applicable for the program; it is valid for all SME’s and all financial institutions under the supervision of SAMA.