Leading Saudi construction company Saudi Oger has asked banks to freeze repayments on at least SAR 13 bn of debt, Reuters reported on Tuesday quoting unnamed sources.
The company asked for the freeze in order to gain time to collect more money owed by Saudi Arabia’s government, which itself has stalled payments to the private sector due to a drop in oil prices. On Monday, the Saudi Council of Economic, Development Affairs decided to resume payments immediately and aims to pay back all dues by the end of the year.
Even though details of the purported freeze remain unclear, it would give the company breathing space to collect dues. If agreed upon by the banks, this would mark one of the largest debt restructuring deals since the slide in oil prices, according to the report.
In September debts, owed to Saudi Oger by the government amounted to SAR 30 bn, according Reuters, while unpaid dues to the construction sector in total might amount to as much as SAR 80 bn.