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Saudi companies form AI cloud services partnership

PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan says Saudi Arabia has the 'political will' to make AI projects happen SPA
PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan says Saudi Arabia has the 'political will' to make AI projects happen
  • Al Moammar steps up AI engagement
  • Investment bank assessing funding
  • Six-month initial study

The Saudi IT company Al Moammar Information Systems, an investor in the US artificial intelligence (AI) research company OpenAI, has formed a partnership with the investment banker Saudi Fransi Capital to look into launching cloud services for the kingdom’s AI market. 

Al Moammar will “recommend an optimal business model considering demand, regulations, and technology, assess capital requirements based on global benchmarks, define service scope using best practices, identify strategic partners, and provide a detailed implementation roadmap,” a statement said. 

Saudi Fransi Capital will assess funding options for the project, which if it goes ahead, will be a joint venture, a private equity fund or a combination of the two, the stock market statement said. 

The initial study will take six months. 

In January, Al Moammar announced an investment of $5 million in OpenAI, after it set up a portfolio to invest in international companies in the field of AI. 

Al Moammar, a listed company formed in 1996, said in January that it would allocate SAR40 million ($10.7 million) to a portfolio to invest in AI companies. 

Saudi Arabia is hoping to become a centre for AI outside the United States. 

In February, the Public Investment Fund’s governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, said Saudi Arabia had the “political will” and ample funds to make AI projects happen. 

Al-Rumayyan pointed to the fact that 70 percent of PIF’s funds were now being directed to projects and investments within Saudi Arabia and the remainder overseas. 

Total annual deployment will increase from $40 billion to $70 billion annually by 2030, he said.

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