Creditors have agreed in principle to Saudi Binladin Group’s (SBG) request for a two-year extension on a 10 billion riyal ($2.7 billion) Islamic credit facility used to pay for delayed building work at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, sources said.

Reuters reported last month that SBG had asked a syndicate of banks for the credit to be extended beyond its maturity at the end of 2017 to the end of 2019.

This had now been agreed, subject to the signing of legal documents, and should be finalised by March, one source said.

Another source described the deal as financially rewarding for the creditors as SBG will continue to pay interest throughout the period of the extension.

The loan will now have a similar timeframe for the completion of the mosque project, which has been delayed to allow the Saudi government to defer some of its spending plans.

SBG, which due to historically close ties to the government has emerged as one of the heavyweights of the kingdom’s construction sector, and the Ministry of Finance were not immediately available for comment. More info

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