RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the Kingdom plans for the Saudi stock exchange to be larger than many global peers as he expects NEOM to sell shares to the public in 2024, adding nearly SR1 trillion ($266 billion) to the market.
Speaking to reporters after unveiling the designs of The Line, the city in NEOM, the Crown Prince further noted that the NEOM will add more than SR5 trillion to the stock exchange in later stages as more parts of the project will be completed.
The Crown Prince also added that all companies owned by the Public Investment Fund will be listed on the stock market in the future, which will help it become one of the top three largest stock markets on the planet.
Talking about the funding plans for NEOM, the Crown Prince said that in 2027 the SR500 billion capital for the project will be collected — with SR200-300 billion of that coming from the services that will be created in the first phase. Another SR200-300 billion will be gathered from the market.
He also mentioned that NEOM's capital will come from sovereign wealth funds, initial public offering, and international private investors. He said that this will be the main challenge that they will overcome in the next two years.
He also made it clear that the project will have an additional SR200 to SR300 billion in governmental support, in addition to the investments the PIF will put in the project.
The Crown Prince revealed that investments for NEOM's first phase could reach SR1.2 trillion by 2030.
Work on the internal rate of return is still going on, the Crown Prince said, adding it will be 9 to 16 percent.
The NEOM investment fund is huge and will invest in the companies working in the city, he added.
The first phase of the fund will be SR300 billion and could reach SR400 billion.
He stated that until 2030 NEOM will depend on government support, but after that it will be sustainable, and in the fourth quarter of this year it will start engaging major investors.
The first phase of the NEOM project will be completed by 2030, and at that time, the city will have over 1.5 million residents, he noted. He added that NEOM will have at least 9 million residents by 2045.
He further stated that the Kingdom wishes to have a population of at least 50-60 million people by 2030.
NEOM is one of Saudi Arabia’s flagship projects that aims to transform the region as it diversifies itself from an oil-dependent economy to a tourist destination.
As outlined in Vision 2030, NEOM will be a smart city, adopting advanced technologies.