Saudi Arabia transferred 150 billion Saudi riyal ($39.9 billion) into its sovereign wealth fund to enhance its investment capacity.
The cash was transferred to the Public Investment Fund, Riyadh, from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority's foreign-exchange reserves "exceptionally" in March and April, said a translation of a notice published on the kingdom's official Saudi Press Agency.
PIF, which has $360 billion in assets according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, "continues to implement their investment plans, which included seizing a set of investment opportunities that had arisen under the current global financial markets circumstances," the notice said.
The transfer of assets was completed following a consultation and consideration of the adequacy of the central bank's foreign-exchange reserves.
"Maximizing the return on the kingdom's assets will be positively reflected on economic performance and on public finances, and to reduce the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic," the statement said.
The notice said that Mohammed Al-Jadaan, the kingdom's finance minister, added that PIF investment returns will be available to support Saudi Arabia's public finances when needed.
Mr. Jadaan also said that the Saudi Arabian government continues to implement its development plans in support of growth and economic diversification for the kingdom, as well as enhancing the role of the private sector, "whether through the state's general budget or through the role played by the development funds and the Public Investment Fund to improve economic performance and enhance the return on the kingdom's assets."
The government has increased spending on urgent needs to help combat the coronavirus crisis, strengthening financial allocations to health-related sectors.