Saudi Arabia is now the fifth-largest Nintendo shareholder.
The Saudis continued their spending spree in the gaming industry with a significant purchase of Nintendo stock. This is the latest in a string of Saudi investments within the gaming industry. The company has stakes in American publishers Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Take-Two. It also has stakes in Japanese publishers Capcom and now owns most of SNK.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund took a 5.01% stake in Nintendo Co., its third investment in a Japanese games company as the industry consolidates.
The PIF, as the $500 billion fund is known, said the Nintendo purchase was made for investment purposes, according to a filing to Japan’s Finance Ministry. That is the same reason it has given with previous investments and the holding is set to make the Saudi fund Nintendo’s fifth-largest shareholder, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
If you’re wondering, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is a government-owned sovereign wealth fund. As the nation’s leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman controls the fund. He was personally linked to the grisly assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Saudi Arabia is clearly looking to diversify its petro-dollars as the world shifts away from fossil fuels. The problem with that? Saudi Arabia is an authoritarian country that has an atrocious record on basic human rights. So this investment is probably not welcome news in Kyoto, given Nintendo’s carefully-managed image. Beheadings do not exactly fit in Super Mario Bros.