Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund Buys Significant Stakes in U.S. Companies
Saudi Arabia’s $320 billion sovereign-wealth fund known as the Public Investment Fund (PIF) is the driving force behind Saudi Arabia’s vision for economic diversification and mission as a powerhouse investor on the global stage. Despite the global economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PIF has taken advantage of investment opportunities to grow and diversify Saudi Arabia’s assets and develop long-term strategic partnerships with international players.
In the first quarter of this year, PIF targeted stakes in major U.S. companies in sectors ranging from energy and entertainment to aerospace. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, the largest investments made this year by PIF include a $2 billion stake in Uber; $714 million in Boeing; $522 million in Citigroup; $522 million in Facebook; $514 million in Marriott International, $496 million in Disney; $491 million in Cisco Systems; and $488 million in Bank of America.
In addition, the SEC filings disclosed an 8.2% acquired stake valued at $457 million in cruise operator Carnival Corporation and $416 million stake in events operator Live Nation Entertainment. The fund also acquired minority stakes valued between $77-$79 million in companies such as Berkshire Hathaway, Bookings Holdings, IBM, and Starbucks (see chart below).
The SEC filings showed that PIF invested in major Energy companies through U.S-listed American Depositary Receipts. These holdings include $828 million stake in BP, $484 million in Royal Dutch Shell, and $222 million in Total. The fund also acquired stakes in Suncor Energy and Canadian Natural Resources with investments worth $481 million and $408 million respectively.
Although not included in the SEC filings but worth noting, PIF purchased stakes in electric vehicle company, Lucid Motors, worth $1 billion and food-delivery company, CloudKitchens, valued at $400 million within the last year.
The total value of the investments disclosed in the SEC forms is $9.8 billion, resulting in an increase in its U.S. stock portfolio from $2.2 billion in December 2019. This investment trajectory aligns with the PIF’s objective to become one of the largest sovereign wealth funds by building a diversified portfolio through long-term investments locally and internationally.
Chart 1. Value of PIF Investments in U.S. Stock
Source: Securities and Exchange Commission