Gulf Business - - NEWS AND VIEWS -

Saudi Ara­bia’s Pub­lic In­vest­ment Fund ( PIF) plans to in­crease its as­sets un­der man­age­ment to SAR1.5 tril­lion ($ 400bn) by 2020. The goal was laid out by the PIF on the sec­ond day of an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence in Riyadh in Oc­to­ber. The sov­er­eign wealth fund also pub­lished its first com­pre­hen­sive busi­ness pro­gramme, out­lin­ing tar­gets for in­vest­ments and re­turns for 2018- 2020. The PIF is ex­pected to re­ceive pro­ceeds from the planned sale of a 5 per cent stake in state oil com­pany Saudi Aramco next year. It cur­rently has around $ 230bn of as­sets un­der man­age­ment. The fund's other ob­jec­tives in­clude creat­ing 20,000 di­rect do­mes­tic jobs and 256,000 con­struc­tion jobs by 2020. This would help in­crease its con­tri­bu­tion to Saudi Ara­bia’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct from 4.4 per cent to 6.3 per cent. The fund's in­vest­ments will be in tra­di­tional sec­tors like real es­tate and in­fra­struc­ture but also new ar­eas through the es­tab­lish­ment of com­pa­nies such as the Saudi Ara­bian Mil­i­tary In­dus­tries Com­pany and the Saudi Real Es­tate Re­fi­nanc­ing Com­pany.

One of its big­gest tasks will be the de­liv­ery of a $ 500bn project to build a busi­ness and in­dus­trial zone ex­tend­ing into Jor­dan and Egypt, an­nounced at the start of the con­fer­ence.

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