Saudi Arabia’s PIF commits $20 billion to $40 billion education, health care fund with Blackstone

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Chief Executive and Managing Director of Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, and Amin Nasser, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aramco, attend the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 24, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 24 October 2017

Saudi Arabia’s PIF commits $20 billion to $40 billion education, health care fund with Blackstone

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), the country’s main sovereign wealth fund, will contribute $20 billion to a $40 billion fund with US private equity firm Blackstone, its managing director said on Tuesday.
The fund will invest in “conventional economy” including sectors such as medical care and education, Yasir Al Rumayyan said at a major investment conference in the capital Riyadh.
PIF and US private equity firm Blackstone announced the fund in May with the execution of a memorandum of understanding for the launch of an infrastructure investment vehicle with an anchor $20 billion contribution by PIF.
As part of Saudi Arabia’s economic reforms announced last year, the Saudi government plans to expand PIF, founded in 1971, to finance development projects in the country.
PIF expects to create over 20,000 jobs by 2020 through its projects, Al Rumayyan also said on Tuesday.
“With our short term plans, we will have more than 20,000 jobs in 2020 and beyond it’s going to be a lot more.”
The Public Investment Fund has a portfolio made up of listed holdings, but also unlisted equity investments, international investments, real estate, loans, bonds and sukuk.


Virus sees Booking.com slash quarter of global staff

Updated 04 August 2020

Virus sees Booking.com slash quarter of global staff

  • The company warned that “up to 25 percent” of employees could go in what it called an “extremely difficult step”
  • Booking.com’s Amsterdam headquarters was expected to be among the sites affected

THE HAGUE: Online travel agency Booking.com said Tuesday it will cut up to a quarter of staff worldwide due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, leading to thousands of job losses.
The Amsterdam-based booking site, which employs around 17,500 people around the world, declined to give an exact number of posts that will be slashed, saying details would become clearer “in the coming weeks and months.”
But it warned that “up to 25 percent” of employees could go in what it called an “extremely difficult step.”
“The Covid-19 crisis has devastated the travel industry, and we continue to feel the impact as travel volumes remain significantly reduced,” the company said in a statement sent to AFP.
“While we have done much to save as many jobs as possible, we believe we must restructure our organization to match our expectation of the future of travel,” it added.
Booking.com’s Amsterdam headquarters was expected to be among the sites affected, Dutch media reports added.
Hard-hit by the slowdown in international travel resulting from the lockdown, Booking.com follows in the footsteps of other digital travel sites such as Airbnb and TripAdviser, which have also laid off around 25 percent of their workforce.
Booking.com applied in April for state support.
Last month it received some 61 million euros ($71.8 million) from the Dutch state, making it the third-largest recipient of support behind flagship airline KLM and Dutch Rail (NS), the ANP national news agency reported.
Founded in 1996, Booking.com has some 28 million listings on its website which is available in 43 languages.