CAIRO  - Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Tuesday that the NEOM business zone will likely be publicly listed in 2024, al-Ekhbariya TV reported.

Construction has begun on NEOM, a business zone in Tabuk province aimed at diversifying the economy of the world's top oil exporter.

"NEOM will add a trillion riyals ($266 billion) to the Saudi stock market value. At least 1.2 trillion in the beginning and the overall will increase after project completion to exceed 5 trillion", said the crown prince, who is the kingdom's de-facto ruler.

The kingdom's sovereign wealth fund is the cornerstone investor in NEOM, a 26,500-square-km (10,230-square-mile) high-tech development on the Red Sea with several zones, including an industrial and logistics areas, planned for completion in 2025.

He added in remarks to reporters that all ventures in which the sovereign wealth fund is an investor will be listed on the stock market.

Prince Mohammed said the government will raise 500 billion riyals of capital in 2027 and tap the market for an additional 200 billion-300 billion riyals for NEOM.

"We aim to make Saudi one of the largest three stock markets on the planet," the crown prince said.

($1 = 3.7574 riyals)

(Reporting by Lilian Wagdy and Enas AlAshray; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)