Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund said in April that it was looking into “any opportunity” arising from the economic wreckage of the coronavirus crisis. A regulatory filing Friday shows how the fund spent billions of dollars this year on stocks.
The $320 billion Public Investment Fund, which until five years ago was a holding company for government stakes in domestic businesses, disclosed an $827.8 million stake in BP Plc, a $713.7 million investment in Boeing Co. and $522 million positions in both Citigroup Inc. and Facebook Inc. at the end of the first quarter. Other bets include $495.8 million on Walt Disney Co. and $487.6 million on Bank of America Corp.
The PIF is looking into “any opportunity” arising from the economic wreckage of the crisis, the fund’s governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, said at a virtual event in April. The fund expects to see “lots of opportunities,” he predicted at the time, citing airlines, energy and entertainment companies as examples.
Behind the scenes, as coronavirus outbreaks disrupted commerce and drove stock prices to their lowest levels in years, the fund reassigned staff to find bargains to broaden its global portfolio, people familiar with the plan have said. The investments disclosed in a quarterly filing Friday amount to a bet that marquee names of the corporate world will rebound as many facets of life return to normal.
“PIF is a patient investor with a long-term horizon,” according to a statement from the fund. “We actively seek strategic opportunities both in Saudi Arabia and globally that have strong potential to generate significant long-term returns while further benefitting the people of Saudi Arabia and driving the country’s economic growth.”