PIF and BlackRock chiefs reveal investment targets in Riyadh

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, CEO of the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). (Photo courtesy: screen grab)
Updated 24 October 2017
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PIF and BlackRock chiefs reveal investment targets in Riyadh

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is targeting annual returns of between 3 and 9 percent across its portfolios in the long term, its managing director said on Tuesday.
Yasir Al-Rumayyan was speaking at the opening session of a major conference hosted by the PIF in Riyadh.
Panelists included BlackRock Chairman Larry Fink, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Victor Chu, CEO of First Eastern Investment Group.
They were quizzed on their outlook for investment returns as individuals and states worldwide grapple with how to ensure sufficient retirement fund during an extended period of low growth across global economies.
Al-Rumayyan said that some assets could reach annual returns in the low teens.
“We don’t want to be a sitting duck to be shot down by only being in conventional investments. We want to go beyond – that is what Vision 2030 is all about.”
He also revealed that he wants the Future Investment Initiative to become an annual event which would help the Kingdom prepare for the future.
BlackRock’s Fink warned: “Long term growth rates are decelerating quite rapidly and this is going to present pension funds with bigger liability issues – but this is also one of the reasons we have to address this issue of retirement today with expected returns — whether it’s 4, 6 or 8 (percent).
“It means you have to put money away sooner to get to the expected pool of money you want in retirement.”
Asked about his own forecasts for what was possible and realistic as an investment return, he said: “The BlackRock Investor Institute came out with a 10-year forecast of 4 percent – with a balanced portfolio. I tend to think it will be closer to 6 percent. We’re in a world of low inflation.”
Dozens of the biggest names in global business have arrived in the Kingdom for the Future Investment Initiative (FII), which is being hosted by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) — the body that is spearheading a slew of economic reforms.
Saudi Arabia is undergoing unprecedented economic and social reforms as the Kingdom seeks to reduce reliance on oil and gas revenues while creating thousands of new jobs for a youthful population.


FaceOf: Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Mesher, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Cameroon

Updated 40 min 57 sec ago
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FaceOf: Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Mesher, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Cameroon

Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Mesher has been serving as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon since 2013. 

Al-Mesher has served at several Saudi embassies around the world. He has also served as the charge d’affairs in Venezuela and Brunei between 2001 and 2003.

He was appointed the charge d’affairs in Gabon in 2011.

Al-Mesher has attended several regional and local conferences and forum covering various topics including combatting terrorism. 

He also represented the Kingdom at UN’s 54th session in New York in January 2000 and at the 13th summit of the Arab League held in Riyadh. 

He was also a member of the administrative management inter-ministerial committee to open information offices in Egypt, America, Japan, France and Germany. Al-Mesher was also part of a team assigned to assess the performance of the Kingdom’s information offices worldwide. 

Al-Mesher holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in diplomatic science from the Diplomatic Studies Institute in Riyadh. 

On Saturday, he attended the inauguration ceremony of a Grand Mosque in Cameroon’s Marwa city with other Saudi personalities. The 2,700-square-meter mosque, which was funded by Saudi Arabia, can accommodate 5,000 worshippers, including 400 women in a separate prayer hall.

Another Saudi-funded project, a new extension to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Islamic Center, was also opened on Thursday. It includes nine classrooms, an auditorium, a women’s prayer hall, a large canteen, and the center’s newly renovated mosque.