Saudi Arabia is experiencing an economic slump due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The collapse of oil prices and the loss of Hajj and Umrah revenue has strained the public purses.
The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has an estimated value of nearly $300 billion.
The fund took advantage of fluctuating prices in the global market and invested in blue-chip stocks related to finance, technology, and also entertainment. Earlier this year, PIF had taken a position in the cruise operator, Carnival.
However, since the pandemic the investment arm has been put on hold. As Yasir Al Rumayyan, the Sovereign Wealth Fund’s governor, outlines.
“We are definitely looking into any opportunities,” expressed Al Rumayyan, identifying a variety of sectors including the airline, gas and oil, and entertainment industries. “They’re all put on hold with the stoppage of the economy. So, we think once the economy has opened up we will see a lot of returns.”
PIF has ambitions to be, “one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world”.
However, some experts believe major modifications would need to take place in order to achieve their goal.
As a consequence of the pandemic Saudi have changed the focus of their strategy PIF has announced a significant change in rebalancing of its strategy with a focus to the local economy and startups.
A large-scale investment plan has been announced, the plan will be involving several business projects in the economy just for the idea and the objective to develop the economy to create jobs and opportunity for the Saudi people.