KAFD to restart construction as workers told to return to work

Reuters reports ownership transferred to finance ministry and claims to be settled

News agency Reuters has reported that workers have been told to prepare to return to work on the $10 billion King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) after ownership of the project was transferred from Saudi’s Public Pension Agency to the Kingdom’s finance ministry and Public Investment Fund (PIF).

The construction of a commercial hub located in the Saudi capital Riyadh which could help power the Kingdom’s plans to move away from being an oil-dependent economy began shortly after its announcement over a decade ago.

Reports that there would be a potential shift in ownership of KAFD to PIF first surfaced last year with the fund’s real estate adviser Hilmi Ghosheh touted to steer the project’s management – a role that has been conducted by developer Al Ra’idah’s CEO Waleed Aleisa.

Last month it was further reported that constructor Saudi Binladin had received $2.9 billion to help turn the ailing business around with KAFD considered a priority development. Reuters claims that five sources – who asked not to be identified – told its reporters in the last few days that the Saudi government is to release $613.3 million to ensure the project will be completed. It was also reported that existing claims will also be paid

“It is a transfer (of ownership), not a transaction. The Ministry of Finance will take the legal ownership and PIF will have the operating rights,” a Reuters source said.



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