Saudi Arabia has purchased a 5.01% stake in Nintendo, according to a filing to Japan’s Finance Ministry.
Bloomberg reports that the country’s Public Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund chaired by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, made the purchase for investment purposes.
The acquisition makes it the fifth-largest Nintendo shareholder, according to Bloomberg’s data.
This is the latest in a series of gaming investments made by the crown prince and his investment funds.
Last month, through his Electronic Gaming Development Company, the prince acquired 96% of acclaimed Japanese developer SNK, taking over ownership of the Fatal Fury, Metal Slug and King of Fighters studio.
Earlier this year, the nation’s Public Investment Fund had been used to invest stakes of more than 5% in both Capcom and South Korean online games publisher Nexon. These investments totalled over $1 billion.
In December 2020, the fund acquired over $3 billion worth of stock in Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts and Take-Two.
It’s set to receive a profit on part of that investment if Microsoft‘s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is successfully completed.
The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is reportedly central to crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s goal of making the Saudi economy less reliant on proceeds from oil.
PIF’s continued investments in video game companies may raise concerns for some, given Saudi Arabia’s longstanding history of human rights abuses.
The crown prince in particular has been accused of ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
According to its website, PIF’s vision is to be “a global investment powerhouse and the world’s most impactful investor, enabling the creation of new sectors and opportunities that will shape the future global economy, while driving the economic transformation of Saudi Arabia”.
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