Saudis reportedly plan to invest $40 billion in US infrastructure

Key Points
  • Saudi Arabia will reportedly invest $40 billion in U.S. infrastructure development.
  • An announcement could coincide with President Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia next week.
President Donald Trump and Mohammed bin Salman meet at the White House in Washington, March 14, 2017.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

Saudi Arabia plans to make a $40 billion investment in one of President Donald Trump's pet projects, U.S. infrastructure development, according a media report.

The announcement may coincide with Trump's visit to the kingdom next week, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. However, they cautioned that no final decision had been made and the announcement could be delayed.

Saudi Arabia has been telegraphing its eagerness to invest in the United States for months.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told CNBC in March the kingdom believes U.S. infrastructure in particular is an attractive investment.

"The infrastructure program of President Trump and his administration is something that we're interested in because it broadens our portfolio and it opens a new channel for secure, low-risk yet healthy return investments that we seek," he said.

Saudi-US ties stronger than ever: Saudi oil min
Saudi-US ties stronger than ever: Saudi oil min

Falih made those comments in the broader context of resetting relations with the United States. The relationship deteriorated under President Barack Obama, who brokered a historic nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia's chief regional rival, Iran.

Following Trump's meeting with the influential Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also in March, the White House issued a statement saying the president supports developing a "United States-Saudi program undertaken by joint U.S.-Saudi working groups" that would invest in energy, industry, infrastructure and technology. The program would potentially be worth $200 billion in direct and indirect investment in the next four years, the White House said.

Trump promised to launch a $1 billion infrastructure spending plan, which he says would largely be funded by private investment.

The kingdom intends to make the infrastructure investment through its sovereign wealth fund, Bloomberg reported.

Deputy Crown Prince bin Salman has undertaken an ambitious project to diversify the oil-dependent Saudi economy by expanding its sovereign wealth fund. The kingdom is preparing to sell off a portion of state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco to underwrite that expansion.

Read the full Bloomberg story here.