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Saudi king launches $8 billion in development projects in capital

Reuters  |  RIYADH 

(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's Salman launched projects worth 29.9 billion riyals ($7.97 billion) on Wednesday in the capital Riyadh, the latest in a series of high profile investment announcements that signal support for his son and heir.

State TV showed Salman and his son listening to a briefing on the development projects in areas ranging from healthcare, education and housing to and

In addition to the 360 new projects announced on Wednesday, the proclaimed the opening of 921 other projects already built for another 52.3 billion riyals.

said in a speech during the televised ceremony the development projects were part of the kingdom's 2030 vision, referring to an economic reform programme launched by the

Mohammed, 33, on course to become the first Saudi king from a new generation after a line of six brothers dating back to 1953, has pledged to reform the economy and ease Saudi Arabia's strict social rules.

His international reputation was severely hurt last year by the killing of U.S.-based Saudi in the in October. initially denied the killing but has since acknowledged that its agents carried it out, though it says the leadership was not involved.

In November, King Salman toured the kingdom with the crown prince and launched billions of dollars worth of development projects, in what was seen as a bid to shore up his heir's status following doubts in the wake of the Khashoggi affair.

King Salman served as of Riyadh for five decades, during which the capital grew from a small city of clay houses to a metropolis with skyscrapers, shopping malls and modern infrastructure.

($1 = 3.7501 riyals)

(Reporting by Marwa Rashad and Aziz El Yakoubi; Editing by Peter Graff)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 14 2019. 01:16 IST