Rajhi Bank to lend $14bn

Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank is expected to lend around $14 billion (Dh51.3bn) for different projects in the Gulf countries, a senior bank official said on Tuesday.

Hidayathullah Baig, the bank's head of project finance, said yesterday that Al Rajhi is backing four possible bids for power and water projects in the Gulf to which it could lend between $2 billion (Dh7.3bn) and $4 billion.

The Gulf's biggest lender by market value that complies with Islamic law may also lend towards an $8bn to $10bn Saudi rail project, said the bank's head of project finance, Baig said.

Al Rajhi's client, Tarabot, was the lowest bidder on that project, Baig said

A group of seven Saudi firms and Australia's Asciano was selected to develop the rail project at a cost of $5bn.

Al Rajhi is supporting three possible bids for power and water projects in Saudi Arabia and one in Bahrain, and will underwrite between $500 million and $1bn of the loans for the winners, he said. The bank is also in talks with state-owned Saudi Aramco about possibly helping finance about $10bn of refinery projects, and also with Total about a refinery project in the Kingdom, Baig said, without being more specific.

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