London/Dubai — Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, which aims to become a $2-trillion investment giant, is considering borrowing from banks for the first time as it seeks investments in the kingdom and abroad, according to people familiar with the matter. The Public Investment Fund had held talks with local and international banks and could raise about $5bn in 2018, some of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information was private. No final decisions on timing or size had been made and the fund could instead turn to government financing, the people said. A spokesman for the fund declined to comment. The fund was willing to borrow as it sought to diversify the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy and boost returns from investments, MD Yasir Al-Rumayyan said in October. Saudi Arabia is stepping up efforts to turn the Public Investment Fund into a global giant by giving it ownership of state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco, which is preparing for what could be the wo...

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