Blackstone, Saudi fund to invest $40 bln in US infrastructure

USA-Saudi Investment dealsSaudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) presents U.S. President Donald Trump (C) with the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Blackstone, Saudi fund to invest $40 bln in US infrastructure

WASHINGTON: US asset management giant Blackstone and Saudi Arabia’s main sovereign wealth fund announced Saturday they are launching a US$40 billion investment vehicle to finance infrastructure renovation in the United States.

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The announcement comes as President Donald Trump, who has promised to invest US$1 trillion in a major infrastructure plan in the United States, visits Saudi Arabia during his first trip abroad.
The Saudi Public Investment Fund [PIF] will contribute $20 billion to the new vehicle, while the remaining US$20 billion will be raised from “other investors,” Blackstone said in a statement without providing details on the timeframe.

Ultimately, this new fund aims to invest US$100 billion in infrastructure projects, “principally” in the United States, according to the release.

“This potential investment reflects our positive views around the ambitious infrastructure initiatives being undertaken in the United States as announced by President Trump,” said PIF managing director Yasir Al Rumayyan.

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Deterioration in US roads, airports, railways and other infrastructure costs each American family an estimated US$3,400 a year. “There is broad agreement that the United States urgently needs to invest in its rapidly aging infrastructure,” Blackstone president Hamilton James said.

Trump’s promise of major infrastructure works has yet to get underway, with questions remaining over its financing, as the majority of Republicans in Congress oppose a massive injection of public funds._ AFP

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