Saudi wealth fund’s $3bn Jordan unit aims to ramp up deals
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Saudi wealth fund’s $3bn Jordan unit aims to ramp up deals

Saudi wealth fund’s $3bn Jordan unit aims to ramp up deals

The investment is expected to create more than 5,000 jobs and will be the first of several deals announced by the fund over the next year

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The Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund, controlled by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is backing the development of a $400m hospital in Amman as it looks to ramp up spending over the next few years.

The fund, which has committed capital of $3bn, will be the only equity investor in a new 300-bed hospital in Jordan in a partnership with California’s UCLA Health and University College London’s medical school.

The investment is expected to create more than 5,000 jobs and will be the first of several deals announced by the fund over the next year, chief executive officer Omar Alwir said in an interview.

“After this we’re going to be seeing a few investments in quick succession,” said Alwir. “In a year’s time we’re looking at having committed significantly more than the $400m in this hospital.”

The fund will also look at leveraging the $3bn capital it has. That will mean it can ultimately invest “a multiple at least three times that amount,” Alwir said. It’s looking to invest in infrastructure projects, healthcare, tourism and provide growth capital to Jordanian firms in industries including food and agriculture, energy and pharmaceuticals, he said.

The Saudi Jordanian Fund was established in 2017 by the $620bn Public Investment Fund and a group of Jordanian banks, but has been slow to start investing. In its first deal it backed a $24m fundraising by OpenSooq.com, a Jordan-based online classifieds business last year, and it’s also considering investing in a new national rail network.

Faster pace
The fund has spent the past few years since it inception developing several investment opportunities, which should mean the pace of investments picks up in future, said Alwir.

“The PIF is very much willing to invest up to the whole amount immediately, or over the next five, seven or 10 years,” he said.

Saudi Arabia transferred $50m to help fund the Jordanian government budget in April, as part of a $2.5bn aid package that also includes money from the UAE and Kuwait.

PIF said on Sunday it will take a direct $185m stake in Capital Bank of Jordan to fund the lender’s expansion in its home market and countries including Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

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