Saudi Arabia considers $40B investment in US infrastructure
- Saudi Arabia could be getting ready to make up to a $40 billion investment into U.S. infrastructure, according to Bloomberg.
- The money would come from the Kingdom's Public Investment Fund (PIF), which has made billions in technology investments abroad already. President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia this week, and an official announcement could happen during that trip.
- In March, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure plan was attractive and that the Kingdom considered it a low-risk investment with an expectation of healthy returns, according to CNBC.
Saudi Arabia isn't the only country to consider infrastructure investment in the U.S. At the end of last year, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) announced that it would put $10 billion toward U.S. infrastructure initiatives. The QIA had previously said it would invest $35 billion in this country between 2016 and 2021, so the $10 billion could be a part of that spend. Like the potential $40 billion Saudi Arabia investment, some onlookers said the QIA commitment was a way to strengthen ties with Trump and the U.S.
This year's overall infrastructure investment through mutual and exchange-traded funds, according to The Wall Street Journal, was at $460 million earlier this month, and the first quarter of 2017 marked a 12% increase in total infrastructure investment to $16.1 billion. Fund managers also said that despite the lack of traction on the $1 trillion infrastructure plan, investors are willing to wait to see results.
Despite Trump's promises to boost infrastructure investment, he has yet to provide details of the plan and has left infrastructure spending out of his proposed 2018 budget and the most recent tax reform proposal. Congress actually increased infrastructure spending in its short-term spending bill, while Trump proposed cutting funding for transportation programs in his preliminary budget.
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