Saudi Arabia's outspoken member of the royal family, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, has called on authorities to create a sovereign wealth fund to help reduce the state's reliance on oil.
"What I'm asking for now in this open forum is to have an active sovereign wealth fund, and to put in it all the excess foreign exchange that you have, all the money you have…" Prince Alwaleed told reporters in the Saudi port city of Jeddah while visiting the construction site of Kingdom Tower.
The OPEC kingpin does not have a sovereign wealth fund in the form of many of its oil-rich counterparts in the Gulf. Surplus earnings are invested by SAMA Foreign Holdings, an entity controlled by the country's central bank, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency.
Assets were valued at $757 billion as of October 2014, according to the SWF Institute, and investments are understood to be in mostly conservative asset classes such as bank deposits and US Treasury bonds.
"The Norway fund is our role model because they have around over $850 billion sovereign fund and they make out of this around $40 billion to $50 billion. And that amount covers almost all the requirements of the budget in Norway," he was quoted as saying by local media.