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$170 Billion Non-oil Deals Made in Saudi Arabia Since 2016

$170 Billion Non-oil Deals Made in Saudi Arabia Since 2016

Saturday, 26 October, 2019 - 10:15
View shows the King Abdullah Financial District, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

As "Davos in the Desert" forum is set to be held next week, Saudi Arabia has succeeded in activating its non-oil investment tools since Saudi Vision 2030 was announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2016.

Total investments reached around SAR646 billion (USD170 billion) in the form of agreements, shareholding and investment projects.

This comes amid expectations that heads of state, government officials and more than 25 banks, investment banks, international institutions, as well as US giant firms will take part in "Davos in the Desert" scheduled next week in Riyadh.

According to Bloomberg, major US companies intend to participate in the new session of Future Investment Initiative (FII), which begins on October 29 and continues until the end of the month.

FII showcases the economic opportunities in the Kingdom.

The participation of senior bank officials and key US financial investment companies is anticipated.

Ayham Kamel, Middle East practice head at Eurasia Group, said this year's forum would be “very different” from last year.

“Wall Street officials seem more willing to participate given Saudi Arabia's importance to their companies. But there is also a broader set of important considerations, as the Kingdom has yet to confirm continued progress in its modernization plans and attract more foreign capital.”

Senior officials from more than 25 banks involved in Aramco's IPO, which could award up to 450 million pounds, are expected to participate in the forum, while US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will head the US delegation.

A Treasury Department spokesman said Friday that Mnuchin will represent the US at the forum, while the New York Times reported that Jared Kushner, adviser and son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, will be among the high-level delegation attending the event.

A recent Reuters report revealed that the volume of non-oil deals concluded by Saudi Arabia amounted to approximately USD170 billion, pointing out that the Kingdom is trying to attract foreign capital to the non-oil sector and is seeking investments abroad as part of Saudi Vision 2030.

One of the most prominent non-oil deals made by Saudi Arabia is the Public Investment Fund (PIF) agreement with Egypt to establish a USD16 billion investment fund.

The fund acquired a 5 percent stake in Uber for USD3.5 billion, followed by an investment of USD500 million in Middle East e-commerce venture

Further, PIF pledged USD45 billion to the USD100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund to focus on technology investment. The fund also teamed up with US private equity firm Blackstone to commit up to USD20-40 billion in an infrastructure-focused fund.

The US has also concluded a USD15 billion deal covering several industrial sectors including oil and gas, mining and healthcare.

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