PIF aims to grow to $2 trillion from $400bn by 2030: governor

The Public Investment Fund’s foreign investments have financial and other objectives to support the economy. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 14 January 2021

PIF aims to grow to $2 trillion from $400bn by 2030: governor

  • PIF’s investment outlook is long-term, with foreign investments currently representing between 25 percent and 30 percent

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) owns 67 percent stake in Lucid Motors with an investment worth $1.3 billion, governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan said in a statement to CNBC Arabia.
Al-Rumayyan indicated that the fund’s foreign investments have financial and other objectives to support the economy.
PIF’s investment outlook is long-term, with foreign investments currently representing between 25 percent and 30 percent, compared to 2 percent in 2016, he added.
The governor said that the fund is one of the largest investors in technology, and seeks to invest in projects within the Kingdom, stressing that the government is a main supporter of its projects.
The size of PIF is currently about $400 billion, and the fund aims to reach $2 trillion in 2030, he pointed out.
Speaking about local investments, Al-Rumayyan said that the fund has excellent stakes in many companies in the Saudi market, as it owns approximately 34 percent of the volume on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul).
Moreover, increasing its share in ACWA Power came due to the importance of renewable energy in the agenda of the fund and the government in general.
PIF is the single and largest shareholder in NEOM, Al-Rumayyan said, clarifying that the project is not only a real estate development but rather a complete financial, technical and social system.
The project will depend on 14 different sectors, including energy, water, transport, food, manufacturing, media, entertainment and culture, in addition to technology, tourism, sports, design, construction, services in general, health services, welfare and education.
NEOM aspires to form partnerships in each of these sectors with entrepreneurs as well as local and international companies, Al-Rumayyan emphasized, noting that the project has two private funds - one for investment and the other for financing - in addition to the support it receives from PIF.
Meanwhile, the governor also added that THE LINE is the first project of NEOM, and will be funded through investment capital, financing and partnerships with local and international investors.
One of the main objectives of NEOM is to have financial sustainability over the years and good governance in line with the internal system of the project and the investment policies of PIF, Al-Rumayyan concluded.

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HSBC to axe 82 branches in UK, cut services in others

Updated 19 January 2021

HSBC to axe 82 branches in UK, cut services in others

  • The lender said it would be left with 511 branches in the UK following the closures

LONDON: HSBC said on Tuesday it planned to axe 82 branches in Britain this year after a drop in footfall across its retail network and a surge in digital banking.
The lender said it would be left with 511 branches in the UK following the closures, with many of the remaining branches set to be refurbished with some providing fewer services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dented bank finances, putting pressure on lenders to cut costs, while more customers have opted to bank online as people have been encouraged to stay at home to combat the spread of the virus.
HSBC said it had begun trialing different branch formats and decided to provide fewer full-service branches focused in large cities and towns, with others providing cash or self-service technology.
The bank said ‘pop-up’ mobile branches would also be rolled out later this year.
“The direction of travel is really quite clear and this is borne out by the reduction in branch usage and increase in digital interaction that we are seeing first-hand,” said Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s head of network.