Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the transfer of 4 percent of the Saudi oil giant Aramco’s, shares to the Public Investment Fund, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund. The transferred share are valued up to $80 billion. The move is another step by the Kingdom to diversify the economy and move it away from dependency on oil.
The Saudi state still remains the largest shareholder in the company as it still owns around 94 percent of its shares.
Aramco clarified that this was a private transfer between the state and the PIF, as the company or the sector is not a party to the transfer. It added that the transfer does not have an impact on “the Company’s operations, strategy, dividends distribution policy or governance framework.”
Saudi Press Agency quoted Bin Salman saying that he aims to have one trillion dollars in assets in the sovereign fund by the end of 2025. Before the latest transfer, the PIF had less than half of that target.
Moving more funds to the sovereign wealth fund will boost the credit score of the fund giving the fund flexibility to trade on international markets.