Saudi pension agency eyes property unit IPO

Firm referred to as Pioneering Investment Company has $800mn of investments in Saudi.
Saudi pension agency eyes property unit IPO
By Souhail Karam
Wed 07 May 2008 12:40 PM

Saudi Arabia's Public Pension Agency said on Wednesday it was considering selling shares to the public in a real estate management unit which could expand outside the kingdom to diversify risk.

The firm, referred to as Pioneering Investment Company, has 3 billion riyals ($800 million) of investments in Saudi real estate projects, including the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, its governor Mohamed Al-Kharashi said.

"We could increase this capital in the future," Al-Kharashi told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in the Saudi capital. "We are examining selling shares in the company to pensioners and non-pensioners."

The real estate investment firm was set up last year with 100 million riyals of capital, Al-Kharashi said.

"We might look at investing in real estate projects outside the kingdom," he told reporters.

In an earlier address to delegates of the conference, Al-Kharashi said the firm was looking to invest in foreign real estate projects to diversify its investments and reduce its risk exposure.

The economy of the world's largest oil exporter has been surging on a six-fold rise in oil prices in the last six years. (Reuters)

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