January 19, 2020 / 3:56 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Foreign direct investment to Saudi up at $3.50 bln in Jan-Sept 2019

(Adds number of foreign companies created)

RIYADH, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Foreign direct investment to Saudi Arabia rose to $3.50 billion in the first nine months of 2019 from $3.18 billion a year ago, Invest Saudi said on Sunday, citing figures from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority.

A total of 1,130 of foreign companies were created in 2019, a 54% increase from a year ago, said Invest Saudi, a state body in charge of promoting foreign investments, adding that this was the biggest rise in 10 years.

The government has made attracting greater foreign investment a cornerstone of its Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy of the world’s top oil exporter away from a reliance on crude revenues.

Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Edmund Blair

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