RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has shelled out $1 billion for a 38 percent stake in Posco E&C, the construction arm of the giant South Korean steelmaker Posco.
The deal is driven by the Korean company’s drive to expand in the Middle East and comes as Posco E&C, in which Posco holds an 89.53 percent stake, plans to go public to bolster its balance sheet.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative forum in Riyadh on Tuesday, Posco head Ohjoon Kwon confirmed earlier media reports that the South Koreans would make a meaningful contribution to the Kingdom’s “Saudi Vision 2030” economic program by engaging in various construction projects.
The company has already invested $14 million for a 40 percent share in a joint venture with PIF called “Posco E&C Saudi Arabia,” revealed Kwon. The PIF holds the remaining 60 percent.
“Posco aspires to create business opportunities and contribute to the Saudi National Transformation Program through knowledge transfer and best practice sharing,” Kwon said.
He said he looked forward to sharing the means by which South Korea undertook economic diversification after being as reliant on agriculture as Saudi Arabia is on oil today.
He believed KSA had a taken a first step towards the development of its steel industry, “which is the very foundation of any industrialization effort.”
Posco, he added, was currently working with a Saudi Arabian developer on an urban development project within the Riyadh metropolitan region.

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