Thursday, 29 July 2021

Saudi Telecom stake could be for sale as sovereign fund seeks divestment

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Tuesday 22 June 21

According to sources, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has hired financial advisors to explore a partial sale of its stake in Saudi Telecom

Sources speaking to Reuters are reporting that Saudi Arabia’s PIF has hired the services of Goldman Sachs and the Saudi National Bank in order to consider a sale of part of their 70% stake in Saudi Telecom…

Sources speaking to Reuters are reporting that Saudi Arabia’s PIF has hired the services of Goldman Sachs and the Saudi National Bank in order to consider a sale of part of their 70% stake in Saudi Telecom.

The fund currently owns around $430 billion in assets and is seeking to increase this to around $1 trillion by 2025, according to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. This comes as a more broad strategic shift from the Saudi Arabian government, looking to reduce the country’s existing reliance on oil and capitalise on the growth in other markets, both at home and abroad.

According to media calculations, Saudi Telecom is currently worth around $50 billion. Shares in the company have soared in the past year, rising by about 25%, with the company performing exceptionally throughout the pandemic. 

The exact amount the PIF is looking to sell has not been disclosed, but sources described it as ‘significant’.  

In related news, earlier this month, the PIF announced that they would become an anchor investor in the $800m Gulf infrastructure plan set up by Aberdeen Standard Investments and Investcorp. The fund expects to invest in social infrastructure projects throughout the region, including healthcare, social housing, water, and digitisation. 

 

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