Saudi FII forum discusses global investment for ‘collective vision of future’

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Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative forum kicked off on Tuesday with a panel discussion on global investments and embracing technology.

WATCH LIVE: Saudi Future Investment Initiative 2018

Moderating the panel was Saudi Arabia’s Lubna Olayan, CEO of Olayan Group, who hosted Saudi Public Investment Fund head Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Group CEO of Mubadala Investment Company and Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund in the discussion.

Al-Rumayyan said the PIF has invested in "Magic Leap, among other companies, in addition to our direct investments - to radically change the Saudi job market."

Magic Leap is a US startup company that is working on a head-mounted virtual retinal display.

"The Public Investment Fund is not only transparent, but applies to the entire country," Al-Rumayyan said.

"The Saudi market is considered the best in the world in terms of transparency and disclosure of plans, and this has contributed to attracting many partners," he added.

Mubadala Investment Company is waiting for the right time to revive the listing of Spanish oil company Cepsa, said the Abu Dhabi state investor's chief executive during the panel.

Al-Mubarak said in Riyadh that Mubadala felt that it could get a better valuation if it postponed the IPO.

Mubadala, which had planned to raise about 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) by selling 25 percent of Cepsa, said on Oct. 15 it had postponed the listing.

The discussion focused on “technology as a driving the rapid decentralization of power.”

"We believe this conference will generate many opportunities for Saudi Arabia, we are excited for the future about the change that has happened in the kingdom in past two years," Dmitriev said.

Dmitriev, who runs the $10 billion Russian fund, told the investment conference in Riyadh that Saudi Arabia is an important partner and that partnership among sovereign wealth funds is a "great opportunity".

A statement from FII 2018 on the panel read: “What impact will these large-scale transformations have on a global economy that is, actually, growing steadily on every continent? Ten years after the global financial crisis, how can businesses, sovereign capital, and global institutions come together to create long-term progress? How can fragmented organizations mobilize against existential threats? And how can the world find balance among the seemingly competitive forces of globality and community, technology and humanity, and equality and prosperity?”


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