News

PIF buys flagship stocks in Q1

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has disclosed the extent of its shopping spree in late March after reporting that it spent more than $3 billion to acquire stakes in flagship companies such as BP, Boeing, Citigroup and Facebook. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) had signalled its intention to buy stocks as the coronavirus started to devastate markets worldwide when its governor, Yassir Al-Rumayyan, told an online forum of investors last month that  it was “looking into any opportunities”, adding that “you don’t want to waste a crisis”. The wealth fund disclosed the newly acquired holdings in its Form 13F submission to the US watchdog, the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC). The purchases include a $827 million investment in BP, $713.7 million share in Boeing, two stakes worth $522 million each in Facebook and Citigroup and the best part of $1 billion on shares in Disney ($496 million) and Bank of America ($487.6 million). The PIF has reportedly reassigned some of its staff to hunt for possible bargain buys amid the volatility sparked by the pandemic. Some of its recent purchases have involved some of the biggest players in sectors that have been hit hardest by Covid-19 and the bans on both international travel and large gatherings. These include cruise operator Carnival ($500 million), hotel company Marriot International ($513 million) and live music promoter Live Nation ($416 million). © 2020 funds global mena

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: ‘Financing is the blood of Iran’s economy’

Amid a fresh wave of American sanctions, Romil Patel spoke to Meysam Hamedi, director of financial markets and instruments at Iran’s Securities & Exchange Organization (SEO).

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Rasmala’s trade finance fund recently passed $100 million in assets. Doug Bitcon, head of credit strategies, explains why he has to be hands-on.

EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW: A natural interest in the topic

Since 2016, Guillermo Ortiz has been a chairman of Latin America’s BTG Pactual. The former central banker of Mexico talks to Nick Fitzpatrick.

Roundtables

Middle East Investor Roundtable 2020: Dimensions of diversification

Investors in the Middle East consider the tools that will be needed to navigate the Covid-19 crisis, the continued appetite for dividend and why it’s all about tech. Chaired by Romil Patel.

South Africa asset management roundtable: Global rebound on ice

Experts discuss the investment implications of the coronavirus pandemic, a delayed rebound in global growth and dealing with South Africa’s energy issues head on. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

South African roundtable: Taking the bull by the horns

Our panel discusses Chinese investment in Africa, financial institutions’ contribution to economic sustainability and regulatory concerns. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

ROUNDTABLE: Hooked to the global caravan

With the MENA region at a tipping point, our panellists talk about economic diversification, the impact of regulation and the delayed Saudi Aramco listing. Chaired by Romil Patel in Dubai.