Saudi Arabia’s PIF could see big profit on Uber stake, Future Investment Initiative forum hears

Uber may put forth an initial public offering early next year that values the ride-hailing business at as much as $120 billion, according to a media report. (AP)
Updated 23 October 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s PIF could see big profit on Uber stake, Future Investment Initiative forum hears

  • Lubna Olayan, head of the Olayan Group conglomerate, highlighted a potential doubling in the value of PIF’s stake in Uber
  • Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund is potentially looking at a windfall profit on its investment in Uber Technologies

RIYADH: The Public Investment Fund (PIF), the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, is potentially looking at a windfall profit on its investment in Uber Technologies, the American ride-hailing company, it emerged at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh.
Lubna Olayan, head of the Olayan Group conglomerate, highlighted a potential doubling in the value of PIF’s stake in Uber if the San Francisco firm goes ahead with an initial public offering next year.
Speaking on a panel entitled “Can global investment inspire a collective vision of the future,” she remarked that PIF first invested $3.5 billion in Uber in 2016 when it was valued at approximately $60 billion.
“Now the forecast valuations for the IPO are around $120 billion. Congratulations,” she said to Yasir Al-Rumayyan, managing director of PIF.
Al-Rumayyan replied: “Uber is creating lots of jobs in Saudi Arabia and making life easier for drivers, customers and shareholders.”
PIF’s profit on any Uber IPO could be even bigger, because the Saudi organization is a major investor in the SoftBank Vision Fund, which is also holds a sizeable chunk of Uber shares from a later round of fundraising.
Al-Rumayyan told the forum that PIF’s holdings are on track to be valued at $400 billion by 2020, and $2 trillion by 2030. By then, he said, PIF’s portfolio would be split 50-50 between domestic and global investments. About 10 percent of PIF’s funds are currently invested outside Saudi Arabia.
Al-Rumayyan said it was not true that all of PIF’s investments went into high-tech assets, pointing to its 50 percent stake of a $40 billion infrastructure fund in partnership with US group Blackstone, and the hotel chain Accor.
In Saudi Arabia, PIF wants to broaden its investment in the economy, especially in the tourism and entertainment sectors. “We did not have these interests before and we want to enhance these sectors,” Al-Rumayyan said.


Brent eases from 2019 highs as markets await US-China trade talks outcome

Updated 19 February 2019
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Brent eases from 2019 highs as markets await US-China trade talks outcome

  • The slight downward correction was driven by concerns about the health of the global economy this year
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch expects Brent prices to average between $50 and $70 per barrel

SINGAPORE: Brent crude oil prices eased away from 2019 highs on Tuesday on caution that economic growth may dent fuel demand this year, although supply cuts led by OPEC still meant markets were relatively tight.
International Brent crude oil futures were at $66.08 per barrel at 0220 GMT, down 42 cents, or 0.6 percent from their last close, but still not far off the 2019 high of $66.83 a barrel hit in the previous session.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $55.71 per barrel. While that was up 12 cents from their last settlement, it was below the $56.33 2019 high from the previous day.
Traders said the slight downward correction was driven by concerns about the health of the global economy this year.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note that the Sino-American trade dispute was hurting economic growth globally.
“Addressing global trade tensions is key for improving the economic outlook,” it said in a note.
China’s vice premier and chief trade negotiator, Liu He, and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer lead a round of trade talks this week in Washington.
Considering the economic outlook and supply and demand balances, the bank said it expects Brent prices to average between $50 and $70 per barrel, “anchored around $60.”
Despite some caution around trade, global oil markets remain relatively tight because of supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), with top crude exporter Saudi Arabia cutting the most.
Saudi seaborne crude exports fell in the first half of February, with departures standing at 6.204 million barrels per day (bpd), a 1.341 million bpd decline on the previous month and 0.91 million bpd decline on the year, data intelligence firm Kpler said.
Further providing oil markets with support are US sanctions against petroleum exporters Iran and Venezuela.
Venezuela is a major crude supplier to US refineries while Iran is a key exporter to major demand centers in Asia, especially China and India.