Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reacts upon his arrival at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France in this June 24, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
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Saudi Arabia is getting ready for the twilight of the oil age by creating the world's largest sovereign wealth fund for the kingdom's most prized assets.Over a five-hour conversation, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman laid out his vision for the Public Investment Fund, which will eventually control more than $2 trillion and help wean the kingdom off oil. As part of that strategy, the prince said Saudi Arabia would sell shares in Aramco's parent company and transform the oil giant into an industrial conglomerate. Almost eight decades since the first Saudi oil was discovered, King Salman's 30-year-old son is aiming to transform the world's biggest crude exporter into an economy fit for the next era.PIF ultimately plans to increase the proportion of foreign investments to 50 percent of the fund by 2020 from 5 percent now, said Yasir Alrumayyan, secretary-general of the fund's board.The fund is looking at "two opportunities outside Saudi Arabia" in the financial industry, the prince said, declining to name the possible acquisition targets.In July, PIF acquired a 38 percent stake in South Korea's Posco Engineering & Construction Co. for $1.1 billion and the same month agreed to a $10 billion partnership to invest in Russia with the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
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