April 8, 2011 / 1:34 PM / in 7 years

Saudi fund extends $25.5 loan for Bosnia road

SARAJEVO, April 8 (Reuters) - Saudi Fund for Development extended a 35 million Bosnian marka ($25.5 million) loan for a ring road project in Zenica, central Bosnian, on Friday.

The contract signed by Yousef Bin Ibrahim AL-Bassam, the fund’s vice chairman and managing director, and Bosnia’s Deputy Finance Minister, Fuad Kasumovic, builds on two other contracts signed with Saudi investors at a business forum this week.

Saudi Al-Shiddi Group formed a joint venture on Thursday with Sarajevo-based construction company Ans Drive, with initial capital of $5 million, to engage in construction projects in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Shiddi Group director Sulaiman al-Shiddi also signed a contract to form a joint venture with Bosnia’s largest engineering group Energoinvest, with starting capital of $10 million.

Energoinvest, which has lost projects in Libya worth around 200 million euros ($288 million) because of turmoil there, hopes to make up lost ground with Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Gulf.

Saudi investors, led by the International Development Bank (IDB), last year formed a joint company for Bosnia tasked with preparing prospective projects for investors.

Saudi Arabia’s Sheikh Saleh Kamel, the chairman of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry and founder and chairman of Bahrain-based Islamic banking group Al Baraka BARKA.BH, pledged $50 million for Bosnian projects until the next business forum. (Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Dan Lalor) ($1 = 0.6943 euro)

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