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Fri 14 Oct 2016 02:17 AM

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Saudi state fund says could invest billions in new technology fund

Public Investment Fund signs agreement with SoftBank Group Corp to form fund to invest at least $25bn over next five years

Saudi state fund says could invest billions in new technology fund
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

SoftBank Group Corp has announced that it will form a fund in partnership with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia which aims to deploy at least $25 billion in the technology sector over the next five years.

The SoftBank Vision Fund will be managed in the United Kingdom by a subsidiary of SBG and will deploy capital from SBG and investment partners.

SBG said in a statement that it has concluded a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia's PIF, under which PIF will consider investing in the fund and become the lead investment partner, with the potential investment size of up to $45 billion over the next five years.

In addition, a number of large global investors are in active dialogue to join SBG and PIF to participate in the fund, the statement said, adding that investment could reach $100 billion.  

Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, chairman of PIF, said: “The Public Investment Fund is focused on achieving attractive long-term financial returns from its investments at home and abroad, as well as supporting the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 strategy to develop a diversified economy.

"We are delighted to sign this MOU with SBG given the long history, established industry relationships and strong investment performance of SBG and Masayoshi Son.” 

Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp, added: “With the establishment of the SoftBank Vision Fund, we will be able to step up investments in technology companies globally. Over the next decade, the SoftBank Vision Fund will be the biggest investor in the technology sector. We will further accelerate the Information Revolution by contributing to its development.”

The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund was established in 1971 to provide financing support for projects of strategic significance to the national economy.

PIF has also set up and managed a number of companies to support innovation, diversification and non-oil sector development within the kingdom.

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