Saudi Arabia PIF’s $40bn boost aimed at post-pandemic profit

The Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s ambitious sovereign wealth fund, is seeking to use the extra $40 billion it was recently granted from government reserves to benefit the Kingdom. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 01 June 2020

Saudi Arabia PIF’s $40bn boost aimed at post-pandemic profit

  • Since the COVID-19 crisis began, the PIF has spent $7.7 billion amassing a portfolio
  • Some investors are calculating that there will be a rapid economic recovery when the lockdowns end

DUBAI: The Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s ambitious sovereign wealth fund, is seeking to use the extra $40 billion it was recently granted from government reserves to benefit the Kingdom and its citizens when the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is over.

A spokesperson for the PIF told Arab News that the injection from reserves held by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority — announced last week — “allow us to tap into a number of local and global investment opportunities at attractive prices. This includes investments in sectors that are well positioned to drive economic growth and value creation and derive benefits for the citizens of our country well beyond the current crisis.”

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, the PIF has spent $7.7 billion amassing a portfolio of share stakes in some of the best-known corporate brand names in the world, including Boeing, Disney, Facebook and Marriott International. It also took big holdings in independent oil companies Shell, Total and BP, as well as banking giants like Citigroup and Bank of America.

The shares of these and other investments in the PIF spending spree had been affected by the dramatic downturn in the US stock market after the first pandemic related lockdowns. They have since recovered almost to all-time highs as US authorities took emergency measures to support its financial institutions.

Some investors are calculating that there will be a rapid economic recovery when the lockdowns end, to send stock markets soaring again.

“The PIF’s role is to invest the nation’s wealth in a way that generates long-term attractive returns and a diversified source of wealth for the Saudi people. The uncertainty caused by COVID-19, and the subsequent drop in global oil prices, highlights why our economic diversification efforts are so important. Capital injections from the government are an established source of funding for the PIF, as outlined in our strategy as part of our Vision Realization Program,” the PIF spokesman said.

The fresh resources for the fund, which has $320 billion of assets under management, will provide extra firepower to take advantage of perceived bargains. Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the PIF, said last month: “You don’t want to waste a crisis. We’re looking into any opportunities.”


UAE embassy in Riyadh launches virtual exhibition to bring people closer together 

Updated 35 min 14 sec ago

UAE embassy in Riyadh launches virtual exhibition to bring people closer together 

  • The exhibition is titled “Closer Through Art” and began earlier this month
  • It brought together 25 artists in a virtual experience that imitates the experience of a gallery

JEDDAH: In an effort to continue supporting artists in the region and further enhance bilateral cultural ties, a virtual art exhibit is bringing artists and art enthusiasts closer.
The UAE Embassy in Riyadh launched a virtual exhibition, gathering together young and prominent artists from the two countries as an invitation to the community to get closer through art. 
The exhibition titled “Closer Through Art” began earlier this month, joining 25 artists from different backgrounds and ages in a virtual experience that imitates the experience of the gallery in an attempt to feel close when physically distant during the COVID-19 pandemic that prompted the Kingdom and UAE to close its borders for travel. 


The exhibit also allows art enthusiasts to enjoy such experiences and engage with artists from their homes as it helps visitors to connect with artists through their social media accounts. It also invites the public to explore the arts and realize their importance in the lives of nations. 
Abdulaziz Alabdulaziz, a Saudi artist and photographer, participated in the exhibition with his work titled “Cocoon,” which represents connection and coherence. 
“Participating in this exhibition at such a time is very important because arts played an essential role in bringing us together during the pandemic when we had to stay apart as a means of treatment,” Alabdulaziz told Arab News. 
Saudi artist, Tagreed Al-Bagshi, has always represented the values of peace, hope and determination in her work. And at times like this, Al-Bagshi believes artists play an important role in documenting the current historical, cultural and societal moment, a mission which she took on herself. 


She participated with a painting that aimed to freeze the current historical moment and express the current behavioral interactions in society and its impact in the long term while employing her higher values of hope and peace.
“I also wanted to send a message of hope and remind others that all that’s happening today will soon become part of our memories,” Al-Bagshi told Arab News.
Artist Asrar Al-Qarni participated with a painting titled “Can you see me?” to express feelings of loss. “In these circumstances in which the entire world lives in, we need art as a means of comfort and consolation, even if it is not tangible,” she told Arab News. 


“In my work, I wanted to remember the losses and say that even when people leave, their souls and memories remain with us,” she said.
Al-Bagshi thanked the UAE embassy for organizing the exhibition. “I am really thankful for them giving us the opportunity to create something beautiful, innovative and educational out of nothing,” she said. “This initiative is introducing new horizons to our art scene and our perceptions about arts and galleries.”
The virtual exhibition can be accessed on the link https://artconnects.mofaic.gov.ae

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