MbS seeks massive foreign investments despite Khashoggi murder fallout

MbS seeks massive foreign investments despite Khashoggi murder fallout
2 min read
16 June, 2019
Saudi Arabia's drive to attract investment in sectors from education to sports has at times been mired by the fallout from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Bin Salman said Saudi Arabia will float Aramco shares within the next two years [Getty]
Saudi Arabia's de-facto ruler said on Sunday that the government was on course to close privatisation deals worth more than $500 million before the end of the year.

The privatisation drive is a key aspect of Vision 2030, a so-called reform package driven by de-facto leader and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

The program is intended to direct the Saudi economy away from oil dependence and to create new jobs for an overwhelmingly young population.

Bin Salman told Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that his government would finalise privatisation deals worth two billion riyals ($533 million) in sectors including rain silos, medical and shipping services.

He added that Saudi Arabia would next year offer privatisation deals in the education sector, with investments worth around 1 billion riyals ($267 million).

Saudi Arabia's drive to attract investment in sectors from education to sports has at times been mired by the fallout from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October last year.

The murder is widely believed to have been directed by the crown prince.

Riyadh had previously aimed to generate between 35 and 40 billion riyals ($9.3 billion to $10 billion) in non-oil state revenues from the privatisation drive by 2020.

A proposal to float shares in Saudi oil giant Aramco was shelved, but the crown prince said on Saturday that the government remains committed to Aramco IPO.

Bin Salman said the sale, expected to be the world's largest stock sale, would instead take place between 2020 and early 2021.

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