Shoura Council addresses Saudi multi-billion dollar investments abroad
Some council members believe Saudis are generally using the funds to buy overseas properties for personal use and not financial investment
Saudis have invested $0.7 trillion abroad, prompting the Shoura Council on Wednesday to look into reasons behind the massive cash flow and how to keep that money in the kingdom.
But some council members believe Saudis are generally using the funds to buy overseas properties for personal use and not financial investment. Meanwhile, they say the origins of the bulk of the transfer are actually by expats sending cash home, or companies with investments abroad.
Despite some council member contesting the claims of the levels of funds being taken out of the country, the council still endorsed the importance of looking into the issue.
Council member Dr Abdullah al Harbi said: “It is within the liabilities of the General Investment Authority to examine what motive the Saudi businessmen have to invest abroad. And work to overcome all impediments in order to create an appealing and confident environment to encourage local investments.”
He added that the study focused primarily on Saudi businessmen and companies with Saudi capital, excluding top sovereign wealth funds such as Aramco and Sabic.
And he highlighted the potential risks facing Saudi investments abroad, including: taxation, high fees and the risk of nationalization.