Fitch Ratings revised the outlook on Public Investment Fund's (PIF) long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings (IDR), on Saturday, to “Positive” from “Stable”. The Positive outlooks reflect that on the sovereign.
The rating agency also affirmed the IDRs at 'A' Earlier this month, Fitch referred to improvements in the sovereign balance sheet due to higher oil revenues and commitment to fiscal consolidation.
“As PIF is in its early growth phase, its outstanding debt is low and is net cash positive, resulting in a very strong financial profile. This makes the prospect of financial distress remote, which we also believe the state has a strong incentive to avoid, given the impact it would have on international financial markets and the borrowing capacity of the state or other Saudi GREs.”
Fitch classifies PIF as a government-related entity under its Government-Related Entities Rating Criteria (GRE).
PIF is a sovereign wealth fund and the leading strategic investment arm of Saudi Arabia, promoting the diversification and development of Saudi Arabia's non -oil sector under the government's "Vision 2030" strategic agenda. PIF's strategic objectives are closely aligned with national economic objectives. The fund's total assets at end-2020 were 47.1% of national GDP.
Moreover, 4 percent of Saudi Aramco’s shares were transferred to the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund last February.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the transferred shares will help strengthen the sovereign wealth fund’s solid financial position and strong credit rating in the medium term.