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Saudi banks lending most since 2007

According to data by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama), banks in the kingdom are lending the most in at least five years as the government's plan to invest $500bn in new housing, infrastructure and industry boosts confidence in the kingdom's economy, Bloomberg has reported. Bank credit climbed 13% in the 12 months ending in May to SR868bn ($231bn). "Bank lending to the private sector will increase by 14% this year," said Paul Gamble, Riyadh-based chief economist at Jadwa Investment.