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Saudi Arabia to discuss proposal for sovereign wealth fund

Published on Jun 8, 2014 4:40 PM

DUBAI (REUTERS) - Saudi Arabia's Shura Council, an influential advisory body to the government, will discuss a proposal for the country to establish a sovereign wealth fund that would invest some of its vast oil earnings, local media reported.

The National Reserve Fund would "guarantee the financial stability of the kingdom" by investing its reserves, Saad Mareq, head of the council's financial committee, was quoted as telling the pan-Arab Asharq al-Awsat daily on Saturday.

Details of its investment strategy were not given, but if the proposed Saudi fund is run like the sovereign wealth funds of other wealthy Gulf states such as Qatar and Abu Dhabi, it could mean a change in the way Saudi money flows through global markets.

The country's central bank, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, has traditionally managed the country's investment of oil surpluses abroad, focusing on low-risk assets; it is believed to have placed over half of its foreign reserves, now equivalent to about US$730 billion (S$914 billion), in conservative US dollar assets such as US Treasury bonds and bank accounts.

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