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Saudi sovereign fund signs $15bn loan with 17 international banks

A man counts Saudi riyal banknotes at a market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 3 October 2016 [Fayez Nurdeline /AFP/Getty Images]
A man counts Saudi riyal banknotes at a market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 3 October 2016 [Fayez Nurdeline /AFP/Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), announced yesterday that it had agreed to a $15 billion multi-currency revolving credit facility with 17 banks.

In a statement reported by news agencies, the PIF said that this load would give it access to extra capital that can be deployed quickly when needed.

Sources had said the new loan would be used for general corporate purposes, Reuters reported, adding that a revolving loan is one that can be drawn, repaid and drawn again during the agreed lending period.

PIF started raising bank debt in 2018 with an $11 billion facility, followed in 2019 by a $10 billion loan which it repaid last year.

The new loan is being provided by 17 banks from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States, PIF said in its statement.

READ: Saudi's grand economic vision has 'credibility gap'

Reuters reported last month that PIF could raise between $13 billion and $15 billion, according to one source, with others saying the one-year facility could be renewed four times.

The PIF, the engine of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's economic reform plans for Saudi Arabia, manages a portfolio worth $400 billion.

It has boosted its firepower through several funding sources in recent years, including a $40 billion transfer from central bank reserves last year, Reuters said.

Bin Salman, the architect of Saudi Vision 2030 that aims to wean the economy off oil, said the wealth fund plans to pump at least 150 billion riyals ($40 billion) into the local economy each year through to 2025.

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