Privatisation, PPP help Saudi Arabia diversify economy - Report

Privatisation, PPP help Saudi Arabia diversify economy - Report
Privatisation across Saudi Arabia is set to benefit “an increasingly deregulated capital market."

Riyadh – Mubasher: Oxford Business Group (OBG) has released a new report on the Saudi economy, where it tackled the government’s progress in its plan to partially sell several of the country’s state-owned entities, including a portion of the world’s largest oil company Saudi Aramco.

Privatisation across Saudi Arabia is set to benefit “an increasingly deregulated capital market,” alongside the launch of the Qualified Foreign Investor (QFI) framework in January 2018 and the expected stock market’s upgrade to emerging market status later in the year, OBG said in its “The Report: Saudi Arabia 2018”.

“As of late 2017, there were almost 120 QFIs, with 30% of these signing up in the third quarter of 2017 alone,” Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) chairman Mohammed El Kuwaiz told OBG in an exclusive interview as part of the report.

On another note, the Saudi Ministry of Transport is looking to to achieve a private sector contribution of 5% in roads, 50% in railways, and as much as 70% in ports projects by 2020.

“The primary strategy in the National Transformation Programme and Vision 2030 is to increase engagement with specialised private companies in most of the transport mega projects through privatisation or public-private partnerships,” the country’s transport minister Nabeel Al Amudi told OBG.

“The Report: Saudi Arabia 2018” also highlighted the ongoing progress of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, and its major role in bolstering the government’s assets under management to $400 billion by 2020 from its current $230 billion.

PIF is looking to boost that figure to as much as $2 trillion by 2030, according to the report.

Aiming to install a total capacity of 3.45 gigawatts (GW) by 2020 and 9.5 GW by 2023, Saudi Arabia’s newly-established Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) “is currently holding the first bid round for photovoltaic (PV) and wind power plants,” OBG said.

This comes as part of the kingdom’s efforts to diversify its domestic energy mix, which also includes “plans to develop its natural gas industry and expand into renewables,” according to the report.

Source: Mubasher

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