Saudi Arabia aims to raise around $55 billion over the next four years through its privatisation program, with the government looking to increase revenue and reduce its budget deficit, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Minister of Finance, told the Financial Times.
The kingdom has identified a pipeline of 160 projects across 16 sectors, including asset sales and public-private partnerships through the next four years. Al-Jadaan expects to secure $38 billion through asset sales and $16.5 billion through public-private partnerships, the report said.
“It’s not a choice any more, but a requirement by the central government that these services or these utilities will no longer be run by the government. It’s taking it [privatisation] to the next stage,” the Financial Times quoted Jadaan as saying.
He said, however, that the funds raised through any future sale of Saudi Aramco shares would go to the Public Investment Fund (PIF), to diversify the economy, not to the treasury. Last month Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the kingdom was in talks to sell a 1 per cent stake in Saudi Aramco, which listed 1.7 per cent of its shares in 2019, to a global energy company.
(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Daniel Luiz)
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