Saudi wealth fund in an investment spree as oil revenue shrinks
17 May 2020
Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, has bought minority stakes in major American companies, including Boeing, Facebook and Citigroup, worth nearly $10 billion, regulatory filings with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) showed.
PIF bought stake in Boeing (worth $713.7 million), Citygroup (about $522 million), Facebook (about $522 million), Disney (about $495.8 million) and Bank of America (about $487.6 million) as per filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The $300 billion Saudi fund disclosed an 8.2 per cent stake in coronavirus-hit Carnival Corp in April, boosting the cruise operator’s shares nearly 30 per cent.
PIF also bought stakes in Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Eni and Equinor earlier this year, according to a Reuters report.
The SEC filing on Friday also showed it had a $483.6 million stake in Shell, a $222.3 million holding in Total and a $481 million stake in Suncor Energy.
An earlier filing in Norway had shown the PIF had a 0.3 per cent stake in oil and gas firm Equinor.
PIF already has a $2 billion stake in Uber Technologies and electric car company Lucid Motors. It used to own a small stake in electric carmaker Tesla, but the latest filing did not show any exposure.
Yasir al-Rumayyan, PIF’s head, last month said the fund was looking into investment opportunities in areas such as aviation, oil and gas, and entertainment, adding that there would be a lot of potential for investment opportunities once the coronavirus crisis passes.
The $300 billion Public Investment Fund (PIF) is seeking to become a leading global impactful investor in line with its Vision 2030 and to drive the economic transformation of Saudi Arabia, through active long- term investments.
PIF has been buying minority stakes in companies across the world, taking advantage of market weakness in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The fund has a nearly $514 million stake in Marriott and a small holding in Berkshire Hathaway, according to the filing. The PIF also disclosed an $827.7 million stake in oil company BP, which has American Depository Receipts (ADRs) listed in the United States.
The PIF has also funded almost half of Japanese investor SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund, which has been hit by losses on technology bets.
PIF is developing a portfolio of high quality domestic and international investments, diversified across sectors, geographies and asset classes. PIF, the Kingdom’s main investment arm, focuses on achieving attractive financial returns and long-term value for its investments.
At home, PIF is driving strategic and sustainable diversification in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030, and is supporting key sectors by creating and investing in commercially viable opportunities, enabling growth in different industries for the private sector, helping Saudi Arabia reduce its reliance on oil.
“PIF is a patient investor with a long-term horizon. As such, we actively seek strategic opportunities both in Saudi Arabia and globally that have strong potential to generate significant long-term returns while further benefiting the people of Saudi Arabia and driving the country’s economic growth,” the sovereign wealth fund said in a statement.
“These opportunities include sectors and companies that are well positioned to drive economies and lead sectors moving forward.”