Saudi Wealth Fund Increases Shares in U.S. Gaming Companies

    • The Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is doubling down.
    • The wealth fund increased its shares in American video game companies.

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The Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is doubling down on its investments in American companies. 

Headed by Crown Prince Mohammed, the PIF has focused on investments in technology, mobility, tourism, and entertainment to help alleviate the country’s reliance on oil.  

The wealth fund increased its U.S. stock holdings to $15.4 billion in Q1 2021 compared to nearly $12.8 billion at the end of 2020, according to a U.S. regulatory filing.     

During the fourth quarter of 2020, the PIF acquired $3.3 billion worth of stock in three of the biggest video game companies in the world. This past quarter, it bought even more and now has:

  • 33.4 million Activision Blizzard shares (up from 14.9 million) worth $3.1 billion
  • 14.2 million Electronic Arts shares (up from 7.4 million) worth $1.9 billion
  • 5.6 million Take-Two Interactive shares (up from 3.9 million) worth $996 million

Prince Mohammed has spoken publicly about his love of Activison’s “Call of Duty.”

Saudi Arabia’s financial stakeholders have been aggressive about investing in American companies as the U.S. rebounds from the pandemic. Their motivation? Lost opportunities to pick up American stock at a bargain during the 2008 financial crisis.  

As an early investor in Uber Technologies, the PIF saw the value of its biggest U.S. stock holding rise to nearly $4 billion in the first quarter, up from $3.7 billion as of Dec. 31. 

The PIF has also invested in Disney, Carnival, Live Nation, Facebook, and more. The $400 billion wealth fund wants to increase the total worth of its assets to $1 trillion by 2025.