New Saudi firm offers Islamic housing finance
Riyadh, December 17, 2007
As part of an ambitious plan to enable Saudi nationals to own their own houses, a major Saudi financing company with a capital of SR2 billion ($530 million) has been launched.
The Saudi Home Loans Company (SHL) has started receiving applications from individuals interested in seeking loan facilities.
“The SHL is the first company of its kind to follow Islamic housing finance system,” said managing director Abdullatif Al-Shelash at a Press briefing in Riyadh.
The Press briefing was also attended by ANB managing director Dr Robert Eid, investment manager for the Middle East and North Africa at the International Finance Corporation Walid Al-Marshad and SHL director of operations Tahir Naseem.
The move to set up this housing finance company is significant keeping in view the fact that only 22 per cent of Saudi citizens own their houses, while a huge majority of Saudis are living in rented houses.
Al-Shelash pointed out that the mission of the company was basically to serve the middle and the poor segment of Saudi population, keeping in view the fact that the Kingdom will need some 4.5 million housing units within next five years to accommodate its growing population.
Plans are also afoot to use proposed SHL offices Kingdom-wide and its mobile sales offices to raise awareness about the company’s services. The company is fully geared to support and finance major real estate projects either owned by government agencies or by private firms.
The financing offer is also there for private and independent business houses, which can seek loan facilities provided they have had clean records of their income, expenditure and credit facilities. – TradeArabia News Service