Saturday 19 August 2017
 
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Prince Mohammed

Non-oil offers huge opportunities: Saudi prince

RIYADH, May 3, 2017

There are huge non-oil investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia which have not yet been utilised, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said in an interview.

Prince Mohammed, in a wide-ranging interview with prominent Saudi journalist Dawood Al-Shirian on national television, said the proposed Saudi Aramco IPO will provide cash for the Public Investment Fund (PIF) to fund non-oil investment.

PIF will spend more than SR500 billion ($133.3 billion) over three years after Aramco's IPO, Prince Mohammed said, according to a Reuters report.

The planned sale of a stake in Aramco will occur through an IPO in 2018, and the stake sold "will be not be very far off 5 per cent", Prince Mohammed said.
 
The listing of Aramco, expected to be the world's biggest IPO and raise tens of billions of dollars, is a centrepiece of the government's ambitious plan - known as Vision 2030 - to diversify the economy beyond oil.
 
Prince Mohammed said that even after the listing, the Saudi government would retain sole control over Aramco's oil and gas reserves and would decide on production levels. Aramco will have a concession to monetise those reserves.

The deputy crown prince said many achievements had taken place since Saudi Vision 2030 was launched a year ago. “Any plan for reform comes with some side effects,” he said.

Saudi Arabia’s non-oil income has doubled in the past couple of years, he was quoted as saying by an Arab news report.

He said that more than a million housing units will be offered to citizens at affordable prices. “We expect those housing units to be ready and open in the third quarter of 2017.”

Prince Mohammed ruled out imposition of taxes on the commercial sector or taxes on income. He also said the state’s role is to guarantee free medical coverage for all citizens.

“Privatisation of the health care sector is the norm all over the world,” he said. “It will be clear by the end of the year how to proceed with privatizing the health sector.”

The prince outlined Vision 2030 as a three-tiered plan with the first phase running through 2020, the second until 2025 and the final phase through 2030.

He described them as executive programs carrying clear-cut means and goals to achieve the vision. But he also said the government is feeling pressure to launch the initiatives. “We don’t want to be delayed,” he said.

He said private investments is a key to recovery and will help provide jobs for Saudis. He said the 10 new programs.




Tags: IPO | Saudi | aramco | Prince Mohammed |

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