May 20, 2017 / 6:15 AM / 6 months ago

Saudi's PIF says overseas investment to grow gradually

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, its top sovereign wealth fund, will ramp up its overseas investment only slowly, the fund’s managing director Yasir al-Rumayyan said on Saturday.

The fund, which is believed to have assets totaling about $183 billion, currently has more than 90 percent of its portfolio within Saudi Arabia, largely in the form of stakes in state-affiliated companies.

But under economic reforms launched last year, it plans to invest more abroad to obtain technology for Saudi industry and boost returns on Saudi Arabia’s financial reserves as the kingdom tries to diversify its economy beyond oil.

“It (asset allocation) needs to be more balanced and this should grow gradually,” Rumayyan told a conference of senior U.S. and Saudi business executives, coinciding with the visit of U.S. President Donald Trump to Riyadh.

Abroad, the PIF will put money into a range of international investment pools and fixed income, while domestically it will invest in projects that develop industries in line with the Saudi economic reforms, Rumayyan added.

Reporting by Celine Aswad and Katie Paul; Writing by Andrew Torchia

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