Mumtalakat Holding Company, the Bahrain government-owned sovereign wealth fund, is eyeing investments in Saudi Arabia as opportunities arises in the wake of proposed privatisation of state-entities under the kingdoms Vision 2030.
I think yes. It is a very important market to us, Mahmood Hashim Alkooheji, the funds CEO, said of the possible investments at Euromoney Saudi Arabia conference in Riyadh on 3 May.
Mumtalakat, which owns stakes in companies such as carmaker McLaren, did not say which of the sectors the fund would target in Saudi Arabia, Opecs top oil producer and the biggest economy in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia on 25 April announced Vision 2030, a programme, which outlines sweeping economic reforms and sets the kingdoms social agenda for the next 15 years. The government plans to diversify its hydrocarbon-based economy after crude, the main source of income for the country, fell from its mid-2014 peak of more than $110 a barrel.
Saudi Arabia is expected to reveal its National Transformation Plan (NTP) in June, which could include about 146 state assets Riyadh has identified for possible privatisation or sold to the public, as it looks to monetise assets to meet budget shortfalls. The list includes subsidiaries of core government ministries and government-related entities (GREs), sources familiar with the matter told MEED on 27 March.
The region offers a lot of opportunities. We have made investments in the UAE, the US and we invested in Spain and hopefully, we will be able to invest with our bothers in the Saudi Arabia as well, Alkooheji said.
Mumtalakat, he said, has been partnering with Saudi companies in Bahrain and in Saudi Arabia for investments. Although we are owned by the government, we look at commercial businesses whether in Bahrain, or Saudi Arabia or elsewhere in the region, he added.
Mumtalakat says it holds stakes in more than 40 commercial enterprises spanning a variety of sectors, including industrial manufacturing and services, financial services, tourism, telecommunications, real estate, logistics, consumer, and healthcare. Portfolio companies include Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), Gulf Air, and Arcapita Group.