October 25, 2016 / 3:46 PM / 3 years ago

Saudi central bank asks banks to reschedule property loans as austerity bites

RIYADH, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s central bank said on Tuesday it had asked local banks to reschedule the property loans of citizens whose incomes had been reduced by government austerity measures.

Last month the government said it was cutting the allowances of employees in the public sector, where about two thirds of Saudis work, to save money as low oil prices strain state finances.

Economists estimated the cuts might reduce the income of many people by about 20 percent, making it harder for them to service their property and consumer loans.

At the end of last month, the central bank asked local banks to reschedule consumer loans to help cash-strapped borrowers service them; it is now doing the same with real estate loans. (Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Writing by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Alison Williams)

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