Saudi Arabia plans $2 trillion megafund for post-oil era

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Baku, April 3, AZERTAC 

Saudi Arabia is planning to create a $2 trillion budget for a post-oil economy, Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, was quoted as saying on Friday by Bloomberg News, according to Saudi Gazette.

In an interview with Bloomberg, which reportedly lasted five hours, Prince Muhammad said the fund, which would be the biggest in the world — easily eclipsing the funds of both Norway and Qatar — is designed to help the country’s economy rely less on oil.

The deputy crown prince aid out his vision for the Public Investment Fund, which will eventually control more than $2 trillion and help wean the Kingdom off oil.

As part of that strategy, Prince Muhammad said Saudi will sell shares in Aramco’s parent company and transform the oil giant into an industrial conglomerate. The initial public offering could happen as soon as next year, with the country currently planning to sell less than 5 percent. “IPOing Aramco and transferring its shares to PIF will technically make investments the source of Saudi government revenue, not oil,” Prince Muhammad said in the interview in Riyadh.

“What is left now is to diversify investments. So within 20 years, we will be an economy or state that doesn’t depend mainly on oil.”

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