Russia keen on using Saudi Arabia sovereign fund: Report

May 22, 2016 8:00 am

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak (C) arrives for an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in the Qatari capital, Doha, on April 17, 2016. (AFP)

is said to be interested in having a stake in ’s planned $2-trillion sovereign wealth fund.
According to Russia’s Sputnik agency citing the country’s energy minister, Moscow seeks to invest in the Saudi fund.
“If they do launch such a fund and proceed with investing in projects, then we could definitely put a claim on Russian projects’ participation, on the use of these assets,” the report quoted Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak as saying recently without giving further details.
Saudi Arabia announced in April that it was set to establish the world’s largest sovereign fund. The fund is intended to help the Saudis break free from oil dependence and diversify investments.
The approval of the plan – dubbed “Saudi Vision 2030” – was publicized by Saudi King Salman in a televised announcement.
The bid, which appears to be the brainchild of the king’s son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is expected to set in motion what could be a period of significant economic change in the oil-rich kingdom.
It basically focuses on privatizations, further reductions in subsidies, and selling the shares of the state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco and the creation of the $2 trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund.
“We plan to sell less than five percent of Aramco. Aramco’s size is very big. It is estimated at between $2 trillion and $2.5 trillion,” said Prince Salman who is second in line to the throne and serves as the country’s defense minister.
The prince further emphasized that another way to drive up non-oil revenues is by investing more in mineral mining and boosting the kingdom’s own military production capacity.
To the same effect, he said a plan is on agenda to set up a holding company for military industries that would be fully owned by the government at first and listed later on the Saudi bourse.
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