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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Riyadh - Asharq Al-Awsat

PIF's Airline to Launch First Flight in 2024

Public Investment Fund (PIF) Governor Yasir al-Rumayyan (Reuters)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has given orders to exploit global economic opportunities following the COVID-19, Public Investment Fund (PIF) Governor Yasir al-Rumayyan revealed.

Rumayyan said PIF made a 40 percent profit of about SAR35 billion from investments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He announced that the new airline that the Fund recently announced will launch its first flight in 2024 from Riyadh to domestic and international destinations.

The Governor stated during an interview with the Thmanyah podcast that Saudi markets achieved a 34 percent growth compared to 18 percent for the US market this year.

The Fund invested more than $2 billion in Lucid Air, indicating that the company has grown in value close to $60.

The Governor said the Fund owns six investment portfolios, including local companies, developing and promising sectors, real estate and infrastructure projects, mega Saudi projects, and two portfolios for global investments.

He disclosed the plans to provide 1.8 million jobs during the next five years through the Fund's subsidiaries, indicating that the expansion of investment activity has increased with the job structure.

The number of employees exceeded 2,000 after having less than 40 staff members in 2015.

PIF's assets in 2015 reached $150 billion and jumped to $600 billion exceeding eight percent in revenues, equivalent to 50 billion dollars annually.

He stressed that the Fund expanded its global investments after 2015 to create two parallel investment portfolios in several sectors, such as stocks, infrastructure, and private funds.

As its first strategic investment, PIF also invested in Uber, specializing in participatory transport.

Locally, Rumayyan asserted that the PIF does not compete with the private sector but instead works to develop various industries and rescue troubled companies.

The Fund aims to invest in new and promising sectors in the Saudi market to achieve rewarding economic revenues, stating that $53.3 million will be spent annually in the local economy.

National Security Services Company (SAEF), owned by PIF, benefited from Aramco's security guards' experience training employees, becoming the most sought after by government and private clients.

The Governor noted that investing in cinema was aimed at opening the way for investors to pump money into this emerging sector, with six competing companies in the local market.

The Fund has considered entertainment and sports among its strategic sectors, Al-Rumayyan said, adding that investment in the electronic games sector will be one of the best choices in terms of returns.

He noted that the Fund invested in Newcastle Club, in particular, as it is the only one in England that represents an entire city of one million people, all of whom are fans of the club.

The Governor announced that the Fund hopes to raise the club's value from $300 million to $3.5 billion.

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