RIYADH, 21 November — The Council of Ministers adopted on Monday a decision
allowing the General Investment Fund (GIF) to sell the state’s shares in a
number of joint venture companies to the private sector.
The cabinet meeting, presided over by Crown Prince Abdullah, deputy premier
and commander of the National Guard, authorized Minister of Finance and National
Economy Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf to make the necessary arrangements for the sale.
The proposal to sell the shares was presented to the Cabinet by Al-Assaf, who
is chairman of the fund.
"The cabinet authorized the minister to hold talks with other countries to
make changes in bilateral agreements on joint-venture companies and sign related
documents," Information Minister Dr. Fouad Al-Farsy said.
Al-Assaf said the Saudi government has a 50 percent stake in seven joint
venture companies established with the support of countries such as Egypt,
Syria, Morocco, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The seven companies are Saudi-Egyptian Construction Company, Saudi-Egyptian
Industrial Investment Company, Saudi-Syrian Industrial and Agricultural
Investment Company, Saudi-Tunisian Development Investment Company,
Saudi-Moroccan Development Investment Company, Saudi-Pakistani Industrial and
Agricultural Company, and Saudi-Bangladeshi Industrial and Agricultural
"All these companies have achieved positive financial results in the past.
Some of them have even distributed dividends among shareholders," the minister
He added that the GIF would bring out a booklet giving all information about
the companies in preparation to float them in the share market.
The Cabinet also delegated Communications Minister Dr. Nasir Al-Salloum to
sign an agreement on international roads linking the Kingdom with some Arab
The crown prince briefed the ministers on the contacts made during the past
week with world leaders, aimed at promoting peace and stability in the region
and in the world at large.
The Cabinet decided to continue supporting scientific research programs of
the King Abdul Aziz Foundation (Dara).
The meeting appointed Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al-Mihaizae as secretary-general
of the Supreme Information Council, Prince Khaled ibn Saud ibn Khaled as
minister plenipotentiary at the Foreign Ministry, and Jamal ibn Nasir Al-Milhem
as undersecretary for construction and building at Dammam Municipality.