Shrugging Off Uncertainty, Investors Pour Money into Saudi Arabia with ‘Strong Underlying Fundamentals’

Saudi Arabia is “the hottest emerging market” right now as investors appear to be shrugging off concerns surrounding last year’s crackdown on corruption and with optimism surrounding Vision 2030’s economic and social reforms now coming into effect, CNN Money reports.

“Equity funds investing in Saudi Arabia saw net inflows of $110 million between the start of the year and March 7,” CNN reported, citing EPFR Global, a financial market data provider. “That’s equivalent to 7% of their net assets, representing much stronger growth than other emerging market funds…[C]onfidence has rebounded: Oil prices have risen, growth is returning to the economy, and the kingdom’s diversification plan — Vision 2030 — is starting to take effect.”

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will meet with President Trump this week.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will meet with President Trump this week.

The story cites Sammy Kayello, CEO of Morgan Stanley Middle East and North Africa as saying the Saudi economy has “[s]trong underlying fundamentals, supported by the government’s efforts to diversify the economy” that “will translate into increased investment activity in the kingdom.”

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs is “doubling down on its plans for Saudi Arabia,” Bloomberg reports, betting that Vision 2030 will win out in drawing investors to the kingdom. The report noted that Goldman “plans to deploy its own money in the kingdom for the first time,” citing comments from an interview with Wassim Younan, Goldman’s chief executive for the Middle East and North Africa.

Both stories are good news for Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 economic and social reform plan, which seeks to attract investment inflows so the Kingdom can further diversify its economy away from oil revenues.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives for a trip to the United States this week and will meet with U.S. government and private sector leaders.