Saudi Arabia hopes to raise about $55bn over the next four years as it plans to step up its nascent privatisation programme with the government seeking to boost revenue and narrow its yawning budget deficit.

Mohammed al-Jadaan, the finance minister, told the Financial Times that Riyadh had identified a pipeline of 160 projects across 16 sectors, including asset sales and public-private partnerships, through to 2025.

Riyadh’s aim is to outsource the management and financing of health infrastructure and services to the private sector, as well as city transportation networks, school buildings, airport services and water desalination and sewage treatment plants.