Saudi Arabia is seeking to invest in an industry long favored by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, video games.
The Saudi sovereign wealth fund invested more than $ 3 billion in three video game companies in the United States during the fourth quarter, according to To file Regulatory.
The investments include Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive, in an effort to reduce adoption Saudi Arabia On oil.
Prince Mohammed heads the sovereign wealth fund, also known as PIF, who told Bloomberg in 2016 that he was part of the first Saudi generation to grow up playing video games.
A subsidiary of the Crown Prince’s Charitable Organization – the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation – said in November that it had bought a third of its stake in Japanese developer SNK, the developer of the King of Fighters and Samurai Shodown games.
The charity, also known as the Misk Foundation, said it would increase its stake to 51 percent in the future.
The sovereign wealth fund acquired 14.9 million shares in Activision Blizzard, with a market value of nearly $ 1.4 billion, during the fourth quarter.
His other purchases included 7.4 million shares in Electronic Arts and 3.9 million shares in Take-Two Interactive worth $ 1.1 billion and $ 826 million, respectively, at the end of December.
Shares of all three game makers have risen since the end of the third quarter, with Activision Blizzard jumping nearly 27 percent, Electronic Arts up nearly 12 percent and Take-Two Interactive rising 18 percent.
The Public Investment Fund is a key part of the crown prince’s plan to diversify the Saudi economy instead of relying solely on oil.
The fund has made several notable investments in recent years, including a $ 4.4 billion stake in Uber and significant commitments to the Softbank Group Vision Fund.
The big bets on the games were the latest sign of how the crown prince and (Yasir Al Rumayyan), the governor of the sovereign wealth fund, have led a powerful shift in how Saudi Arabia invests its wealth.
In the past, the Saudi central bank has invested excess oil revenues, mostly in stable liquid assets, such as US Treasury bonds.
Al-Rumayyan said in December that Saudi Arabia missed an opportunity to buy cheap shares during the global financial crisis of 2008.
But it was ready to take advantage of the slump in the markets early last year, as the coronavirus pandemic caused stocks to plummet.
The Public Investment Fund received a transfer of $ 40 billion from the country’s reserves in March to finance a wave of activities that saw the fund buy stakes in companies including Citigroup and Facebook.
The total value of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund holdings was approximately $ 12.8 billion as of December 31, up from $ 7.1 billion on September 30.
This has also been boosted by a $ 1 billion increase in the value of the Public Investment Fund’s stake in Uber.