Shearman & Sterling LLP | Saudi Arabia | Taking Security in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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  • Taking Security in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a nation with a vast and growing population of over 30 million people and significant requirements for soft and hard infrastructure. Historically, the responsibility for procuring this infrastructure has been borne by the Government, but the oil price decline and reduction of hydrocarbon export revenues, which has resulted in the development of the Kingdom’s vision for social reform and economic diversification away from dependence on hydrocarbon export revenues (Saudi Vision 2030), has forced the Kingdom to rethink how it will meet its infrastructure requirements in the future. As well as calling for a greater focus on the development of non-oil and gas-related industries (which creates additional infrastructure demand in and of itself), Saudi Vision 2030 calls for greater participation by the private sector (i.e., through the use of “public private partnerships” and other models where private sector participants bear funding responsibility) in developing the Kingdom’s infrastructure. This increased participation by the private sector can be expected to result in a spike in the use of limited recourse debt finance. Although many limited recourse debt financings have been successfully closed in the Kingdom, the laws of the Kingdom have, historically, presented some challenges for lenders seeking a robust security package in connection with limited recourse debt financings that is comparable to security packages seen in other jurisdictions.