Saudi Arabia's PIF hires former IFC official as chief economist

RIYADH, March 17 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has appointed a former International Finance Corporation official as its chief economist within a plan to boost hiring and expand overseas, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV said on Sunday.

“Within its plans to add 700 employees to its workforce, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) has appointed Ted Chu as chief economist after he held the same position at the IFC,” Al Arabiya tweeted without citing a source.

In February, PIF managing director Yasir al-Rumayyan said the fund plans to boost its staff to 700 by the end of the year from 450 now, and is looking to open offices in London and the United States - initially in New York and then in San Francisco.

PIF, which is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, manages over $250 billion in assets including stakes in Uber Technologies.

It plans to increase its assets to $600 billion by 2020, as part of a plan to reduce the Saudi economy’s dependence on oil. (Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Editing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian)