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Saudi wealth fund boosts U.S. holdings with stakes in Citi, Boeing, Facebook

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© Reuters. The Citigroup Inc logo is seen at the SIBOS and financial conference in Toronto

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By Saeed Azhar and Kanishka Singh

DUBAI/BENGALURU (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s sovereign fund has bought minority stakes in major American companies including Boeing (NYSE:BA), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Citigroup (NYSE:C), a regulatory filing showed, giving it a portfolio of nearly $10 billion in U.S.-listed stocks.

The $300 billion Public Fund (PIF) has been buying minority stakes in companies across the world, taking advantage of market weakness in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

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The PIF disclosed stakes worth $713.7 million in Boeing, ABOUT $522 million in Citigroup, $522 million in Facebook, $495.8 million in Disney and $487.6 million in of America (NYSE:BAC), the U.S. and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing https:// on Friday showed.

The PIF has a nearly $514 million stake in Marriott and a small holding in Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKa), according to the filing. The PIF also disclosed an $827.7 million stake in oil company BP (NYSE:BP), which has American Depository Receipts (ADRs) listed in the United States.

“The Saudi sovereign fund went shopping in Q1,” tweeted Ali Al-Salim, co-founder of Dubai-based consulting firm Arkan Partners, adding that it now held about $10 billion in U.S.-listed equities, up from $2 billion at the start of the year.

PIF’s strategy is two-pronged; building an international portfolio of investments and investing locally in projects that will help reduce Saudi Arabia’s reliance on oil.

“PIF is a patient investor with a long-term horizon. As such, we actively seek strategic opportunities both in Saudi Arabia and globally that have strong potential to generate significant long-term returns while further benefiting the people of Saudi Arabia and driving the country’s ,” the sovereign wealth fund said in a statement.

“These opportunities include sectors and companies that are well positioned to drive economies and lead sectors moving forward.”

GIANTS

The PIF has separately funded almost half of Japanese investor SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund, which has been hit by losses on technology bets.

Last month the PFI’s head, Yasir al-Rumayyan, said it was looking into investment opportunities in areas such as aviation, oil and gas, and entertainment, adding that there would be a lot of potential for investment opportunities once the coronavirus crisis passes.

The PIF disclosed an 8.2% stake in coronavirus-hit Carnival (NYSE:CUK) Corp in April, sending the cruise operator’s shares nearly 30% higher.

The Saudi fund bought stakes in Royal Dutch (LON:RDSa), Total, Eni and Equinor earlier this year , a source familiar with the transactions told Reuters on April 9.

The SEC filing on Friday showed it had a $483.6 million stake in Shell, a $222.3 million holding in Total and a $481 million stake in Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU).

An earlier filing in had shown the PIF had a 0.3% stake in oil and gas firm Equinor.

PIF already has a $2 billion stake in Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) and company Lucid Motors. It used to own a small stake in electric carmaker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), but the latest filing did not show any exposure.

(This story was refiled to fix typo in paragraph 11)

Source: Investing.com

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