Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Saudi King Salman launches investment drive with Asia tour

The Gulf Times - February 24 2017

* King seeks to bolster economy, defence ties
* Asia is top buyer of Saudi oil
* Riyadh courts Asian investors in Aramco IPO
* King seeks to boost counter-terrorism cooperation
Saudi Arabia's King Salman starts a month-long Asian tour on Sunday to build ties with the world's fastest growing importers of Saudi oil and promote investment opportunities, including the sale of a stake in its giant state firm Saudi Aramco.
The octogenarian, who has overseen the launch of an ambitious economic reform plan since his accession two years ago, is expected to visit Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China.
In a sign of the importance which the kingdom places on strengthening economic ties with Asia, Indonesian officials say Salman will be accompanied by a 1,500-strong entourage including 10 ministers.
Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and Aramco executives will travel with him, sources told Reuters, on the king's first trip outside the Middle East and North Africa since he visited the United States in 2015.
Saudi officials are keen to court Asian investors for the sale of a 5 percent stake in Aramco in 2018, which is expected to be the world's biggest IPO, and have solicited financial advice from banks with links to China.