Riyadh Saudi Arabia
Small and mid-sized Saudi industrial firms will be able to cover their operational expenses for up to three months through tapping the new aid package. Image Credit: Reuters

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia will offer a 3.7 billion riyal ($1 billion) stimulus package to support more than 500 small and medium-sized industrial companies hurt by the coronavirus.

The initiatives, announced by the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, are part of a wider package of governmental support, and include the deferral and restructuring of loan payments for hundreds of companies.

The fund will also offer line-of-credit to partly finance up to three months of operating expenses for qualified companies, and will "continue to explore solutions that will support the private sector," it said.

Businesses are struggling to stay afloat after measures to slow the spread of the virus, coupled with historic turmoil in global oil markets, have upended the economy.

Gross domestic product is expected to shrink the most in two decades this year. The kingdom had put a particular focus on developing its manufacturing and industrial sectors in recent years as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's plan to reduce dependency on oil.