Saudi Prince unveils sweeping 15-year plan to end ‘addiction’ to oil: Reuters


According to the Reuters report, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced a sweeping reform plan. As part of his Vision 2030 reform plan, Prince Mohammed said the state-controlled Public Investment Fund had been restructured to become a hub for Saudi investment abroad, partly by raising money through sales of shares in national oil giant Saudi Aramco, Reuters reported.

Prince Mohammed said Riyadh would raise the capital of its public investment fund to $2 trillion from $160 billion and would sell up to five percent of shares in state oil giant Aramco.

“We are speaking about more than $2 trillion. We expect the valuation to be more than $2 trillion. In addition to that there are other assets that will be added to the fund, and part of it is already added. It could turn into a global investment fund with a size of up to $3 trillion dollars, ” Reuters quoted him as saying.

His “Vision 2030” envisaged raising non-oil revenue to $160 billion by 2020 and $267 billion by 2030 from $43.6 billion last year. But the plan gave few details on how this would be implemented, something that has bedevilled previous reforms, Reuters report.

The part privatization of Aramco was also central to the plans, and Prince Mohammed said it would be transformed into an energy company that he valued at more than $2 trillion, and that up to 5 percent of it would be listed on the stock market.

The government ran a deficit of $98 billion or 15 per cent of gross domestic product in 2015 and this year’s budget plan aimed to cut that to $87 billion, Reuters quoted officials saying.

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