BlackRock’s Fink Set to Corral Investors at Saudi Summit

BlackRock Inc. is set to host a gathering of top corporate executives and government officials in Riyadh, marking the US firm’s first event on this scale in the Saudi capital and bolstering the kingdom’s efforts to lure foreign investment.

The US firm is hosting the event alongside the Saudi Ministry of Finance, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The goal is to showcase investment opportunities and provide an overview of progress on the kingdom’s trillion-dollar Vision 2030 program, the people said.

The event comes as the kingdom ratchets up efforts to raise billions of dollars for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious economic transformation efforts. BlackRock’s involvement shows how deeply the US firm has embedded itself in Saudi Arabia, the biggest market in the region.

BlackRock Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink, who has been quietly increasing the firm’s presence in Saudi Arabia, has had at least two private dinners with the de facto ruler known as MBS.

Fink appeared on a panel on Monday at the World Economic Forum in Riyadh and spoke about investment opportunities in artificial intelligence, data centers and power.

“BlackRock regularly convenes meetings with its clients to introduce them to heads of state and to discuss investment opportunities around the world,” a spokesperson for the US firm said. “These are private discussions covering a wide range of investment opportunities across asset classes and sectors.”