Saudi wealth fund aims to nearly double size by 2020

Participants watch a movie advertising a Red Sea project at the three-day Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh where the PIF pledged to create 20,000 domestic jobs. (AFP)
Updated 26 October 2017

Saudi wealth fund aims to nearly double size by 2020

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main sovereign wealth fund wants to increase its financial clout to SR 1.5 trillion ($400 billion) by 2020 as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to boost private-sector growth and wean itself off oil export dependence.
The assets-under-management goal, laid out by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) on Wednesday, came on the second day of an international conference in Riyadh. It was accompanied by publication of PIF’s first comprehensive business program, outlining targets for investments and returns for 2018-2020.
PIF, which is expected to receive proceeds from the planned sale of 5 percent of state oil company Saudi Aramco’s shares, has currently around $230 billion worth of assets under management. It plans to create 20,000 direct domestic jobs, and 256,000 construction jobs by 2020. This will increase PIF’s contribution to Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product from 4.4 percent to 6.3 percent, it said in a statement on Wednesday.
Investments will be in sectors such as real estate and infrastructure as well as in new areas of activity in the Saudi economy through the establishment of companies such as the Saudi Arabian Military Industries company and the Saudi Real Estate Refinancing Company.
One of the biggest tasks facing PIF will be the delivery of a $500 billion plan to build a business and industrial zone extending into Jordan and Egypt, announced at the start of the conference on Tuesday.
PIF also set a new target to increase total shareholder return to 4 to 5 percent between now and 2020 from 3 percent, it said on Wednesday.
“The PIF Program represents a vital milestone as we work toward realizing Vision 2030,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the economic reform plan’s architect, said in a statement.
The 96-page program said PIF will structure its investments in six areas: Saudi equity holdings, sector development, real estate and infrastructure, mega projects, international strategic investments and a “diversified pool” across global asset classes. It said “long-term” average annual return from these areas would be between 6.5 and 9 percent.
Outside of Saudi Arabia, PIF’s investments will be in a number of assets such as fixed-income, public equity, private equity and debt, real estate, infrastructure and alternative investments such as hedge funds, the fund said.
PIF Managing Director Yasir Al-Rumayyan said the fund was open to investing in more big ticket items such as US ride services company Uber.
It also outlined its four major sources of funding to include capital injections from the government, government asset transfers, loans and debt instruments as well as retained earnings from investments.
— Reuters


Saudi Arabia condemns Nice church attack

Updated 29 October 2020

Saudi Arabia condemns Nice church attack

  • The foreign ministry stressed the importance of rejecting practices that breed hatred, violence and extremism
  • The Muslim World League (MWL) also condemned the attack and described it as a “terrorist crime”

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia condemned an attack at a church in the southern French city of Nice that killed three people on Thursday.
The Kingdom’s foreign ministry expressed its categorical rejection of the extremist attack in Notre Dame Basilica and others like it, and said that they are inconsistent with all religions, human beliefs and instincts. 
The ministry stressed the importance of rejecting practices that breed hatred, violence and extremism.
The ministry also expressed its condolences to the families of victims and the French government and public, wishing those injured a speedy recovery. 
The Muslim World League (MWL) also condemned the attack and described it as a “terrorist crime.”
The MWL added that Islam is innocent of such attacks and considers them “ugly crimes” that are a product of terrorist ideologies.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also condemned the attack and said it rejects extremism and terrorism in all shapes and forms regardless of motives.

The Council of Senior Scholars condemned the Nice Attack and said it is the duty of people to practice tolerance and constructive cooperation in the world. 

It added that Islam places utmost importance on protecting civilians.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt also condemned the attack.