RIYADH: The surge in foreign investment in Saudi Arabia is a welcome sight, according to Nicolas Dufourcq, CEO of the French public investment bank Bpifrance.
Talking to Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative forum in Riyadh, DuFourq said: “I was very happy to see here for the first time, fresh entrepreneurs coming to Saudi Arabia to invest in Saudi Arabia, and not only to get funds for their ventures in Europe."
He added that Bpifrance was seeing their own entrepreneurs coming to the Kingdom, saying: “Entrepreneurs that we have groomed and financed and grown up with our funds, now they come to Saudi Arabia, in digital, media, healthcare, in finance, and so forth, because it's a booming market, and we are ready to accompany them here.
“We have 50 percent of the shares of an investment company in Saudi Arabia. So we are capable of following our customers from France to here."
Five Capital was established in 2017 by Bpifrance, the French Sovereign Wealth Fund, in partnership with listed Saudi financial institution Kingdom Holding.
Dufourcq confirmed that Bpifrance would not be seeking a banking license.
“Absolutely no, because our mandate is not to grant loans to Saudi companies. So we don't need a license. We are happy to have our fund. And we're happy on our equity in France to run close to French companies doing business in Saudi Arabia," he said.
Explaining Bpifrance's role in the Kingdom, Dufourcq said: “Equity wise, we have a fund, that's all. It's our instrument. And for the rest, we finance French entrepreneurs when they settle here and we do that with loans. So all the flows of business from France to Saudi Arabia, we finance and guarantee."