Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced Sunday the transfer of a 4% stake of the oil giant Saudi Aramco to Sanabil Investments, a subsidiary of the kingdom's Public Investment Fund (PIF).
Experts interviewed by Asharq Al-Awsat said the move supports PIF’s flexibility in capturing local and global investment and strategic economic opportunities, as well as ensures the continuation of plans to drive national economic growth.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman indicated that the transfer of part of the State’s shares in Saudi Aramco is a continuation of Saudi Arabia’s long-term initiatives to boost and diversify the national economy and expand investment opportunities in line with Saudi Vision 2030.
The transfer will also solidify PIF’s strong financial position and credit rating. The Crown Prince also pointed out that the State will remain Saudi Aramco's largest shareholder following the transfer, with total ownership of (90.18%) of the company’s shares.
He concluded that PIF continues with its mandate to launch new sectors, build new strategic partnerships, localize technologies and knowledge, and create more direct and indirect job opportunities in the local market.
Mohammed bin Dleim Al-Qahtani, a professor of economics at King Faisal University, said that PIF operates with high intelligence and flexibility in all economic and investment directions, while maintaining its financial position and global levels.
PIF aligns itself with the aspirations, ambitions, and plans of the Saudi Crown Prince to quickly seize investment and strategic opportunities, according to the new Saudi leadership theory that prioritizes economic logic and momentary leadership, explained Al-Qahtani.
He added that this step will strengthen the Saudi economy and its growth, making it a flourishing emerging economy and a role model for surrounding economies.
It will also contribute to circulating funds within the Saudi economy, resulting in the creation of new jobs, improved services, enhanced private sector position and competitiveness, and an opportunity to restructure and seize investment opportunities.
For his part, financial analyst Hamad Al-Alyan stated that the decision comes amidst Saudi Arabia's economic and developmental progress, as well as its increased investment activity, driven by Vision 2030 and its efforts to expand the government’s sources of revenue and pursue investment and developmental opportunities in the region.
This step will be a good opportunity to reduce reliance on oil as a primary source of income and attempt to diversify the Saudi economy’s revenues through many existing and upcoming mega-projects, Al-Alyan told Asharq Al-Awsat.
He predicted Saudi Arabia’s GDP doubling within the next two years.
Saudi Arabia may achieve the Vision 2030 targets before the deadline due to the continuous growth rates of the Saudi economy and the recently recorded positive upward trends, explained Al-Alyan.
Al-Alyan confirmed that the share transfer process will play a vital role in increasing PIF’s assets and maximizing its investment returns.
The transfer will also enhance the fund’s financial position and direct it towards investing in new and sustainable sectors, building strategic economic partnerships, and contributing to the GDP and generating direct and indirect job opportunities in the Saudi labor market.
It should be noted that Sanabil Investments is actively seeking promising opportunities to support its growth and success journey, with a focus on early-stage businesses, specifically investing in high-risk capital categories, growth strategies, and small acquisition deals.