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SoftBank Eyes USD25 Billion Investment in Saudi Arabia

SoftBank Eyes USD25 Billion Investment in Saudi Arabia

Thursday, 16 November, 2017 - 13:15
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Masayoshi Son, SoftBank Group Corp. Chairman and CEO, attend the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh in October. Photo: Reuters/Faisal Al Nasser

SoftBank Group plans to invest as much as $25 billion in Saudi Arabia, USD15 billion out of which will be invested in NEOM – the new project that was unveiled few weeks ago. This is actually a new indicator that affirms the attractiveness and vitality of investment in Saudi Arabia.

SoftBank Vision Fund eyes an investment of $10 billion in state-controlled Saudi Electricity to diversify energy sources, covering renewable resources and solar energy, reported Bloomberg. Earlier, SoftBank launched SoftBank Vision Fund with an investment volume up to $100 billion – the fund majorly targets investment in technology.

In 1981, SoftBank was established as a company that aims to become a major source for information infrastructure. By end of June 2016, assets value reached $198 billion while the capital totaled $67.1 billion, according to Forbes. In regards to its capital, SoftBank comes in rank 69 among the world companies, and it is the fifth biggest firm in the field of telecommunication services globally.

SoftBank Vision Fund, which was established with an investment volume of $100 billion, is considered one of the biggest recent funds that invest in technology. On the other hand, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) affirmed earlier intention to pump around $45 billion and invest in the fund.

These developments coincide with PIF launching its program for 2018-2020, as one of the programs to accomplish Saudi Vision 2030, which is a road-map for the upcoming three years, and to attain four basic goals: increasing value of PIF assets, launching new sectors, nationalizing advanced techniques and acquaintances and building strategic economic partnerships.

During the past two years, the board of directors worked on implementing several activities that would consolidate the position of PIF, starting from its pursuit to become one of the prime sovereign wealth funds in the world and one of the most influential as well. These activities include: developing expertise, increasing staff to three folds more, in addition to achieving a comprehensive development of investment activities, governance frameworks, legal aspects, risks management, commitment and funding.

PIF program underpins integration with the Saudi private sector through new domestic investment portfolios. Up to 30 initiatives are included in the program for the three coming years. Details of each initiative are mentioned in the program document of PIF, which aims at increasing the fund assets value to $400 billion by 2020.

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