October 7, 2018 / 10:14 AM / a month ago

Saudi fund PIF purchases $578.6 mln land plot in northern Riyadh

RIYADH, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has purchased a huge plot of land in northern Riyadh for 2.17 billion riyals ($578.64 million) in what the auction operator and Saudi media described as the largest real estate transaction in the kingdom.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) purchased the Al Ghadir plot at an auction of the property of late businessman Saleh Abdulaziz al-Rajhi, the Etqan real estate company, which handled the process, said.

The undeveloped plot is located at a prime spot in northern Riyadh, opposite the capital’s glitzy financial centre the King Abdullah Financial District (KFAD).

Etqan said the land, with an area of 434,400 square metres, was sold for 5,000 riyals ($1,333.26) per square metre. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg in an interview published on Friday that the PIF will surpass its target of increasing its assets to $600 billion by 2020, part of a plan to reduce the economy’s dependence on oil.

PIF is also among the investors backing the $500 billion business and industrial zone NEOM, which will extend into Jordan and Egypt.

$1 = 3.7502 riyals Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Editing by Jan Harvey

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