Saudi Arabia's PIF boosts stake in US game maker Activision

The sovereign wealth fund increased its share in Activision Blizzard by 13.3 per cent pushing the total value of its investments in American equities to $15.94bn

Wall St and Broad St signs are seen by the New York Stock Exchange building in the financial district of New York City. The value of the Public Investment Fund's investments in US stocks increased to $15.9bn in the second quarter. Getty Images
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Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund increased its stake in American video game maker Activision Blizzard, boosting the value of its US stock holdings by 3.2 per cent to $15.94 billion in the second quarter, according to a US regulatory filing on Monday.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) increased its investment in Activision by about 13.3 per cent to 37.87 million shares in the second quarter, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The value of its stake in the company is $3.6bn. The fund had more than doubled its investment in the video game company in the first quarter.

The value of the fund's stake in game developer Electronic Arts increased nearly 6.3 per cent to $2bn. The value of the fund's shares in a third game developer, Take-Two Interactive Software, edged up about 0.2 per cent to $998 million.

The sovereign wealth fund lies at the centre of the kingdom's Vision 2030 plan that seeks to diversify the Arab world's largest economy and reduce its reliance on oil. Under a five-year strategy that was announced in January, the fund aims to more than double the value of its assets under management to $1.07 trillion and to commit $40bn annually to develop the domestic economy until 2025.

The fund created 10 new sectors, launched over 30 new companies, created 331,000 jobs in Saudi Arabia, and tripled assets under management to nearly $400bn over the past four years. Under its five-year strategy, the fund will focus on 13 sectors as part of its core domestic strategy.

The value of the fund's investment in MultiPlan Corporation, a health care management software company, increased 71 per cent to about $488m. The value of the investment in Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s largest live entertainment company, increased about 3.5 per cent in the quarter to $1.1bn.

The fund retained its 72.8 million shares in ride-hailing company Uber and 2.8 million shares in the South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang, which is backed by Japan's SoftBank. The PIF is an anchor investor of the SoftBank Vision Fund.

The latest regulatory filing also shows the fund maintained its 50.8 million shares in US cruise line operator Carnival Corporation, which was affected by the coronavirus crisis, but has since rebounded with the roll out of vaccines. Its value slipped 0.68 per cent from the last quarter to $1.34bn. The PIF's US equity portfolio includes 13 companies.

Updated: August 17, 2021, 5:44 AM