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Fri 3 May 2019 12:45 AM

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Saudi wealth fund looks to China amid global ambitions

Public Investment Fund managing director says keen to accelerate Asia growth, sees 'a lot of potential'

Saudi wealth fund looks to China amid global ambitions
Public Investment Fund's managing director Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is looking to China as it seeks to expand international investments, its managing director has told CNBC.

However, the Public Investment Fund's Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan said in an interview CNBC’s Hadley Gamble during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles that its number one target remains the United States.

“We’re opening up in New York and London, San Francisco. Now I’m thinking seriously even to accelerate the Asia office because we see a lot of potential over there,” he said in the interview.

“This is the first time for me to go out and meet asset managers, companies, Chinese entrepreneurs, and they are really very impressive,” Al-Rumayyan added.

His comments follow an announcement that the wealth fund is on track to manage $400 billion of assets by the end of next year, with a target to increase that to $2 trillion by 2030.

Al-Rumayyan stressed that the fund’s primary aim remains the US where it has deployed directly and indirectly more than $50 billion in the past two years.

It has already made a series of investments in companies such as Tesla Inc and Uber Technologies Inc as well as a $45 billion commitment to SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund.

“We are considering the rest of Asia, we’re considering Europe to some extent, Africa is a good target for us,” he was also quoted as saying.

He added that by 2030, the fund was looking to split its investments equally between international and domestic.

The wealth fund currently has assets under management of $290 billion, according to Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, making it the 11th largest globally.

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