RIYADH May 2 Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health
has received at least six bids to act as financial adviser for
the privatisation of 55 primary healthcare centres in Riyadh,
banking sources said.
The privatisation, which is expected to run into billions of
riyals, is part of the government’s plan to ease the strain on
state coffers from low oil prices by placing industries ranging
from healthcare to airports in private hands.
Albilad Capital, NCB Capital, Gulf International Bank
Capital, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Banque Saudi Fransi
all submitted bids by the deadline of April 26 to act as
financial adviser for the programme, the sources said.
Each bidder is teaming up with a technical adviser for the
project, said one of the sources.
The Ministry of Health did not respond to a request for
The government will decide within the next 45 days which of
the bids it intends to proceed with, one of the sources said.
The government views healthcare as the sector with the best
potential for privatisations and is studying whether to sell off
all public hospitals and 200,000 pharmacies, Vice Minister for
Economy and Planning Mohammed al-Tuwaijri told Reuters on April
The kingdom faces rising medical expenses related to areas
such as accidents, smoking and obesity. Health Minister Tawfiq
al-Rabiah was quoted by Arab News on April 25 as estimating that
medical costs would rise to about 250 billion riyals by 2030.
(Reporting by Tom Arnold; Editing by Mark Potter)