Saudi Arabia to create separate sovereign wealth fund: Saudi Press Agency

The Saudi Press Agency, the kingdom’s official news agency, reported today that a draft law calling for the creation of a separate sovereign wealth fund will be debated by the consultative Majlis Al-Shoura on 9-10 June.

The move represents a radical departure in the way Saudi Arabia has managed state savings, estimated to be worth about $700bn. At present, these are controlled by a unit of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), the kingdom’s central bank.

The draft law calls for the creation of a National Reserve Fund.

“The fund will be tasked with investing state reserves to “assure the kingdom’s financial stability,” the London Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported Majlis Al-Shoura financial affairs committee chairman Saad Mareq as saying. It said the fund will start with capital representing 30 per cent of the kingdom’s budget surpluses.

SAMA’s sovereign wealth assets are estimated to the be the third largest in the world after those held by the Norwegian government’s pension fund, now worth almost $900bn, and $ by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), valued at $773bn.

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