A general view shows the Bahraini capital, Manama, on February 10, 2016. - Five years after the popular uprising was harshly repressed, the Kingdom of Bahrain is locked in a political stalemate coupled with an economic crisis that underline the urgency of a compromise between the rulers and the opposition, according to experts. (Photo by MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP) / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY TAIEB MAHJOUB
Bahrain is one of the Mena economies in which Saudi Arabia's PIF plans to invest. AFP

Saudi Arabia's PIF plans $24bn Mena investments through six regional companies



Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund, plans to invest 90 billion Saudi riyals ($24bn) in the broader Middle East and North Africa region to expand its portfolio of assets and boost regional economies.

PIF is setting up five investment companies after the launch of the Saudi Egyptian Investment Company in August.

The PIF’s new investment vehicles will seek opportunities in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Oman and Sudan, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Wednesday.

Together, the six companies will invest in several key sectors including infrastructure, real estate development, mining, health care, financial services, food and agriculture, manufacturing, telecoms, technology and other strategic industries.

The announcement comes on the second day of the Future Investment Initiative (FII), the kingdom’s annual forum in Riyadh, which is attended by government leaders, policymakers, investors and finance and technology leaders from around the world.

The launch of the five new companies will “contribute to an increase in regional investment opportunities for PIF’s portfolio companies and Saudi Arabia’s private sector”, PIF said in a statement.

The move will bolster “attractive financial returns over the long term and create more avenues for strategic economic collaboration with the private sector in the target countries as well as enabling the Saudi private sector”, it said.

The potential investments by PIF align with the fund’s strategy, which includes seeking new investment opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa to build lasting strategic economic partnerships and achieve sustainable returns, grow PIF’s assets under management, and diversify Saudi Arabia’s sources of revenue, while underscoring the objectives of Vision 2030, the fund said.

PIF, which invests on behalf of the government in domestic and international markets, is at the heart of the kingdom's efforts to diversify its economy away from oil. It is mandated to pump $40bn to $50bn into the local economy to generate jobs and boost the non-oil economic base of the kingdom.

The fund, chaired by Prince Mohammed, has stakes in global companies including ride-hailing company Uber and is a cornerstone investor in SoftBank’s vision fund that invests in global technology companies. It currently has assets of $620bn and plans to boost it to $2 trillion by 2030.

PIF’s Saudi Egyptian Investment Company has already started investing capital in the Egyptian market.

In August, it acquired minority stakes worth about $1.3bn in four companies listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange, Egypt’s planning ministry announced at the time.

The four companies are Abu Qir Fertilisers and Chemical Industries, Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling, E-Finance for Financial and Digital Investments. and Misr Fertilisers Production Company.

Earlier this month, the investment vehicle also acquired a 34 per cent stake in Egypt’s BTech, the 25-year-old consumer electronics retailer, for an undisclosed sum from Development Partners International, an Africa-focused investment company based in the UK.

The specs: 2019 Haval H6

Price, base: Dh69,900

Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder

Transmission: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 197hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 315Nm @ 2,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 7.0L / 100km

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

A German university was a good fit for the family budget

Annual fees for the Technical University of Munich - £600

Shared rental accommodation per month depending on the location ranges between  £200-600

The family had budgeted for food, books, travel, living expenses - £20,000 annually

Overall costs in Germany are lower than the family estimated 

As proof that the student has the ability to take care of expenses, international students must open a blocked account with about £8,640

Students are permitted to withdraw £720 per month

Liz Truss

Ministerial experience: Current Foreign Secretary.
What did she do before politics? Worked as an economist for Shell and Cable and Wireless and was then a deputy director for right-of-centre think tank Reform.
What does she say on tax? She has pledged to "start cutting taxes from day one", reversing April's rise in National Insurance and promising to keep "corporation tax competitive".

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

The specs: 2019 Infiniti QX50

Price, base: Dh138,000 (estimate)
Engine: 2.0L, turbocharged, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 268hp @ 5,600rpm
Torque: 380Nm @ 4,400rpm
Fuel economy: 6.7L / 100km (estimate)

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver review

Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam, Ed Skrein, Sir Anthony Hopkins
Rating: 2/5

Hot Seat

Director: James Cullen Bressack

Stars: Mel Gibson, Kevin Dillon, Shannen Doherty, Sam Asghari

Rating: 1/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Stree

Producer: Maddock Films, Jio Movies
Director: Amar Kaushik
Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Shraddha Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Aparshakti Khurana, Abhishek Banerjee
Rating: 3.5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Plan to boost public schools

A major shake-up of government-run schools was rolled out across the country in 2017. Known as the Emirati School Model, it placed more emphasis on maths and science while also adding practical skills to the curriculum.

It was accompanied by the promise of a Dh5 billion investment, over six years, to pay for state-of-the-art infrastructure improvements.

Aspects of the school model will be extended to international private schools, the education minister has previously suggested.

Recent developments have also included the introduction of moral education - which public and private schools both must teach - along with reform of the exams system and tougher teacher licensing requirements.

The specs: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Price, base / as tested Dh220,000 / Dh320,000

Engine 3.5L V6

Transmission 10-speed automatic

Power 421hp @ 6,000rpm

Torque 678Nm @ 3,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 14.1L / 100km

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

 

Various Artists 
Habibi Funk: An Eclectic Selection Of Music From The Arab World (Habibi Funk)
​​​​​​​

LOVE AGAIN

Director: Jim Strouse

Stars: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sam Heughan, Celine Dion

Rating: 2/5

'How To Build A Boat'
Jonathan Gornall, Simon & Schuster

The specs

Engine: 6.4-litre V8
Transmission: 8-speed auto
Power: 470bhp
Torque: 637Nm
Price: Dh375,900 (estimate)
On sale: now

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets

Janet Yellen's Firsts

  • In 2014, she became the first woman to lead the US Federal Reserve 
  • In 1999, she became the first female chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers 
Company profile

Company name: Leap
Started: March 2021
Founders: Ziad Toqan and Jamil Khammu
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Funds raised: Undisclosed
Current number of staff: Seven

Company profile

Name: Tharb

Started: December 2016

Founder: Eisa Alsubousi

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: Luxury leather goods

Initial investment: Dh150,000 from personal savings

 

French Touch

Carla Bruni

(Verve)

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

SPECS

Engine: Supercharged 3.5-litre V6
Power: 400hp
Torque: 430Nm
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh450,000

Updated: October 26, 2022, 1:49 PM

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