A general view of a housing compound in south of Riyadh, December 17, 2012. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed
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Saudi Arabia appointed a housing minister with a background as a real estate developer Monday, strengthening a trend toward giving top government jobs to people from the private sector as the kingdom grapples with economic and social welfare issues.Salman relieved the previous housing minister, Shuwaish al-Duwaihi, of his post in March – part of a series of shake-ups since Salman took the throne in January.Saudi kings have appointed former businessmen to government jobs in the past, choosing the heads of top merchant families for the post of trade minister, for example.Agriculture Minister Abdulrahman al-Fadhli was head of Almarai, the Gulf's biggest dairy producer, while Health Minister Khalid al-Falih was chief executive of state energy company Saudi Aramco.
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