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Press Dossier    By Date   14/01/2023 Saudi sovereign fund PIF raises its stake in Japanese video gaming firm Nintendo to 6%

Arab News, Saturday, Jan 14, 2023 | Jamadi Al Thani 21, 1444

Saudi sovereign fund PIF raises its stake in Japanese video gaming firm Nintendo to 6%

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund has increased its stake in Japan's Nintendo Co. Ltd to 6 percent, a filing showed on Thursday, reflecting the sovereign wealth fund's growing exposure to the Japanese video gaming industry. 

PIF's stake in the Kyoto-based company has risen from 5.01 percent to 6.07 percent, according to the ownership report filed with Japanese regulators. 

PIF revealed its 5 percent stake in Nintendo in a regulatory filing in May last year, stating that it was made for investment purposes. It has also taken stakes in video game companies Nexon, Capcom, and Koei Tecmo. 

Nintendo shares were down 1.8 percent in the morning. 

With an aim to diversify its portfolio, PIF has been building stakes in video game makers and e-sports firms over the past three years.  

The sovereign fund had acquired more than $3 billion worth of stock in three US video-game makers involving Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Take-Two Interactive Software during the fourth quarter of 2020. 

In June 2022, the PIF-owned Savvy Gaming Group acquired almost 100 million shares in its Swedish rival Embracer Group, making it the second-largest shareholder in the latter. 

The group which was launched earlier last year bought an 8.1 percent stake in Embracer for $1.05 billion. The move was aimed at helping the Swedish game development company set up a regional hub in Saudi Arabia. 

Last September, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud launched the National Gaming and Esports Strategy in a move to make the country a global hub for the gaming industry by 2030. 

As part of the strategy, Saudi Arabia’s ambition is to see 30 competitive games developed by firms in the Kingdom by 2030 while creating 39,000 new job opportunities. 

According to a study conducted last year by YouGov, Saudi Arabia's gaming industry is expected to grow more than threefold by 2030, resulting in the Kingdom’s gross domestic product surging about 50 times. 

In another report last year, Boston Consulting Group noted that the Kingdom’s gaming consumption is projected to hit $6.8 billion by 2030, registering a compounded annual growth rate of 22 percent.  

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