Saudi Binladin cuts jobs, reduces salaries amid coronavirus economic pains

Saudi Arabia’s Binladin Group has cut thousands of jobs and reduced staff salaries between 30% to 70% as the coronavirus outbreak hurts business of the kingdom’s biggest construction company, three sources familiar with the matter said.

The sources declined to be identified and the company did not respond to an email request for comment.

Binladin has dominated the Saudi construction sector for years and is central to the country’s plans for tourism and infrastructure projects aimed at diversifying the economy away from oil revenues by 2030.

Those plans risk being compromised by an economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices that are forcing the government to rein in spending and increase borrowing.

Thousands of its staff have either been let go or sent on unpaid leave, especially those who were working on construction sites in the open and where work has been hampered by the coronavirus outbreak, sources told Reuters.

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