PIF buys flagship stocks in Q1

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has disclosed the extent of its shopping spree in late March after reporting that it spent more than $3 billion to acquire stakes in flagship companies such as BP, Boeing, Citigroup and Facebook. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) had signalled its intention to buy stocks as the coronavirus started to devastate markets worldwide when its governor, Yassir Al-Rumayyan, told an online forum of investors last month that  it was “looking into any opportunities”, adding that “you don’t want to waste a crisis”. The wealth fund disclosed the newly acquired holdings in its Form 13F submission to the US watchdog, the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC). The purchases include a $827 million investment in BP, $713.7 million share in Boeing, two stakes worth $522 million each in Facebook and Citigroup and the best part of $1 billion on shares in Disney ($496 million) and Bank of America ($487.6 million). The PIF has reportedly reassigned some of its staff to hunt for possible bargain buys amid the volatility sparked by the pandemic. Some of its recent purchases have involved some of the biggest players in sectors that have been hit hardest by Covid-19 and the bans on both international travel and large gatherings. These include cruise operator Carnival ($500 million), hotel company Marriot International ($513 million) and live music promoter Live Nation ($416 million). © 2020 funds global mena

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