* Saudi government commissioned PwC review - sources
* Review focuses on Oger's major projects - sources
* Findings were due to be shared with Oger in Jan - sources
By Tom Arnold
DUBAI, April 4 Saudi Oger is still waiting for
the outcome of a government-commissioned review into its
billions of dollars of projects in the kingdom, which could help
determine the struggling construction group's future, banking
The findings - also keenly awaited by banks in the kingdom
owed about 13 billion riyals ($3.47 billion) - were due to be
shared with Saudi Oger before the end of January, according to
After dominating the Saudi construction market for years,
Saudi Oger, owned by the family of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad
al-Hariri, began to flounder as a result of cuts in government
spending and payment delays.
The government appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers
(PwC) to conduct the review focusing on Saudi Oger's major
projects in the kingdom and examining claims about how much it
is owed by the government, said the sources, who are familiar
with the matter.
The review is likely to determine how much the company will
receive in outstanding payments, as well as whether it will
continue working on the projects, they said.
PwC, the Ministry of Finance and Saudi Oger did not respond
to requests for comment.
The company is not believed to have been a beneficiary of
recent moves by the government to pay some of the debts it owed
to private sector firms, said one of the sources.
One source estimated Oger was owed about 30 billion riyals
by the government and that many of its building projects, which
constitute the bulk of its business, have been inactive for the
past six months or more as the company's cashflow had run down.
Maintenance projects are the exception, and the company has
continued to work on these, the source said.
The company has been struggling to meet bank payments since
its accounts were frozen by authorities after several lenders
took legal action against it, the sources said.
Alawwal Bank and Banque Saudi Fransi had
recently joined National Commercial Bank (NCB) and
Samba Financial Group in seeking court orders
The sources were unsure which projects were included in the
review but, according to Saudi Oger's website, among the major
schemes it is involved in are the King Abdulaziz Center for
World Culture, the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh
and the King Abdullah International Conference Center in Jeddah.
The sources said one outcome of the review could involve the
government making sufficient payments to the company to allow it
to continue working on the projects until completion, at which
point Saudi Oger would be wound down.
Bankers fear another outcome of the review would be the
government making no payments to the company, leading to failure
and banks losing the money they're owed.
Whatever the outcome, bankers believe the situation could
head in a similar direction as Saudi Arabian family conglomerate
Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers (AHAB). AHAB has around 22.5
billion riyals of claims against it after it collapsed in 2009
along with Saad Group, a separate Saudi business empire led by
($1 = 3.7501 riyals)
(Additional reporting by Marwa Rashad in Riyadh; editing by