Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has taken a 5.01% stake in Nintendo Co, as the sovereign wealth fund increases its exposure to the Japanese video gaming industry.
The investment in the Kyoto-based group company was made for investment purposes, according to a filing to Japan’s Finance Ministry, making the PIF Nintendo’s fifth-largest shareholder.
Earlier this year, the PIF, which is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, launched its own video game and e-sports company, Savvy Gaming Group (SGG), in an attempt to lead this sector domestically and internationally.
The $500bn funds have been building stakes in video game makers and e-sports over the past two years.
It disclosed stakes of more than five percent in two Japan-listed gaming firms: Capcom Co., the maker of the Street Fighter and Resident Evil franchises, and online games provider Nexon Co, Bloomberg reported.
To achieve its ambitious plans, Savvy acquired ESL, a leading global organizer of entertainment and e-sports events, and FACEIT, a top digital e-sports platform, and merged them to form the “ESL FACEIT Group.”
The new group aims to be a pioneer in the development of the gaming and e-sports industry locally and internationally. It will contribute to providing opportunities for development and for promoting diverse sources of economic income.
Launching SGG comes in line with PIF’s 2021-2025 strategy to drive innovation in strategic sectors, including the entertainment, leisure, and sports sectors.
It further contributes to providing development opportunities, as well as enhancing and diversifying the sources of income for the Saudi economy, in line with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
Moody's assigned PIF an A1 long-term issuer rating and a stable outlook on all ratings. Fitch Ratings assigned PIF an 'A' credit rating and a stable outlook.
“Under the leadership of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, achieving a credit rating is an important step for PIF as we continue to grow our investment portfolio and achieve our objectives, having paved the way through PIF’s Strategy 2018-2020 and 2021-2025,” PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan commented on Twitter.
“The rating reflects PIF’s high-quality domestic and international portfolio, strong governance and financial profile, and its leading role in transforming Saudi Arabia’s economy in line with Saudi Vision 2030,” he added.