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Saudi fund to examine Jordan’s request for $53 million loan

By JT - May 20,2015 - Last updated at May 20,2015

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury and SDF Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Yousef Bin Ibrahim Al Bassam tour the airport road project on Tuesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN – The Saudi Development Fund (SDF) board of directors is scheduled to discuss a Jordanian request for a long-term, low interest loan worth $53 million at a meeting next month, according to its managing director. 

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury and SDF Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Yousef Bin Ibrahim Al Bassam on Tuesday discussed the Kingdom’s request for the loan to finance the construction of a steam generation unit at Samra Electric Power Generating Company, a ministry statement said. 

The soft loan would carry an interest rate of 2 per cent with a maturity period of 24 years and a grace period of four years, according to the ministry. 

Bassam said the request will be discussed by the fund’s board of directors meeting slated for June. 

Earlier on Tuesday, the government and the SDF signed two grants agreements to carry out two projects — a fibre-optic project worth $50 million and a $30 million industrial estates infrastructure venture in Tafileh, Madaba, Jerash and Salt, part of projects financed by the second phase of Saudi Arabia’s share of the Gulf Development Fund, according to the ministry.

Talks between Fakhoury and the SDF official also covered other issues including Jordan’s requests to continue the implementation of development schemes funded by Saudi Arabia. 

The minister briefed the Saudi official on economic and financial challenges facing the Kingdom due to instability in the region and the repercussions of the Syrian crisis on the budget and infrastructure. 

Fakhoury also briefed him on the “Jordan 2025” economic blueprint launched this month, with the aim of drawing up long-term strategies to stimulate the Kingdom’s economy. 

For his part, Bassam praised efforts exerted by the government to overcome economic and financial challenges, particularly with regard to the Syrian refugee crisis and the reform programmes being undertaken to adjust the economy and face these challenges, according to the ministry statement.

He also commended the government and the Planning and International Cooperation Ministry for their “efficient management” of the Gulf Cooperation Council grant, highlighting the SDF’s interest in further supporting priority programmes and development projects.

Fakhoury and Bassam also toured the Queen Alia International Airport road project, which is 100 per cent complete, with funding from the Saudi grant at a value of $34 million, the statement said.

 

Saudi Arabia “has delivered on its share” of the Gulf grant, the ministry said, with the value of programmes and projects signed so far with the SDF, as the grant’s manager on behalf of the Saudi government, totalling $1.1544 billion. 

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