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.


Lebanon central bank reassures foreign investors about deposits

Updated 25 January 2020

Lebanon central bank reassures foreign investors about deposits

  • Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor asked if there was any risk to dollar deposits
  • The heavily indebted country’s crisis has shaken confidence in banks

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s central bank said on Saturday there would be no “haircut” on deposits at banks due to the country’s financial crisis, responding to concerns voiced by a UAE businessman about risks to foreign investments there.

Emirati Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor, founder of the Al-Habtoor Group that has two hotels in Beirut, posted a video of himself on his official Twitter account asking Lebanon’s central bank governor if there was any risk to dollar deposits of foreign investors and whether there could be any such haircut.

“The declared policy of the Central Bank of Lebanon is not to bankrupt any bank thus preserving the depositors. Also the law in Lebanon doesn’t allow haircut,” the Banque Du Liban (BDL) said in a Twitter post addressed to Al-Habtoor, from Governor Riad Salameh.

“BDL is providing the liquidity needed by banks in both Lebanese pound and dollars, but under one condition that the dollars lent by BDL won’t be transferred abroad.”

“All funds received by Lebanese banks from abroad after November 17th are free to be transferred out,” it added on its official Twitter account.

The heavily indebted country’s crisis has shaken confidence in banks and raised concerns over its ability to repay one of the world’s highest levels of public debt.

Seeking to prevent capital flight as hard currency inflows slowed and anti-government protests erupted, banks have been imposing informal controls on access to cash and transfers abroad since last October.

A new government was formed this week, and its main task is to tackle the dire financial crisis that has seen the Lebanese pound weaken against the dollar.

Al-Habtoor had asked Salameh for clarity for Arab investors concerned about the crisis and those thinking of transferring funds to Lebanon to try to “help the brotherly Lebanese.”