Saudi deputy economy minister says privatisation terms case-by-case

 20 May 2017 - 20:23

Saudi deputy economy minister says privatisation terms case-by-case


RIYADH: The Saudi government will determine terms of ownership for the coming wave of state privatisations “one by one”, the vice economy minister said on Saturday, speaking with reporters on the sidelines of a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump.

“We’ll have separate laws for each sector, then will deal with them based on private-sector appetite and market conditions at the point of time,” Mohammed al-Tuwaijri said.

“We’re talking about multiple sectors, multiple opportunities, multiple sizes, and we’ll be very open-minded for each transaction.”

The Saudi government is preparing to privatise 16 government entities and launch more than 100 public-private partnerships in sectors including sports, electricity and healthcare, a process expected to raise more than $200 billion.

It is keen to draw private equity for the sales, but the government has not yet clarified its position on the size or terms for stakes it will sell in state-owned companies.

Foreign private equity firms often prefer majority ownership of their acquistions so they have control to implement sensitive management measures, such as staff cuts, if necessary.

(Reporting by Katie Paul; Editing by Dale Hudson)