Gulf’s sovereign wealth funds snap up US stocks

The sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia (PIF) and Qatar (QIA) are planning to capitalise on the turmoil that the  COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted on the world’s stock markets by increasing their stakes in several blue-chip US companies. Since the beginning of the year, according to a US Securities and Exchange filing published last week, the PIF has already tapped into its $300bn war chest to purchase minority stakes in a string of US companies including Boeing, Facebook. Citigroup, Disney, Bank of America and Berkshire Hathaway. The PIF has also disclosed an $827.7 million stake in BP and has bought additional stakes in the coronavirus-hit British-Panamanian cruise operator, Carnival Corp. Earlier in the year it made further investments in Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Eni and Equinor.
Qatar Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al EmadiQatar’s sovereign wealth fund has held fire so far but intends to become “very active” through the coronavirus pandemic as the gas-rich peninsula searches for deals in the health and technology industries, the country’s finance minister Sharif al-Emadi said last week. The $320bn QIA’s “main focus” would be on its international investments as it used the market volatility and plunging asset prices to identify buying opportunities. “The QIA is looking to invest in various sectors, specifically in the health and tech industries,” he told the Financial Times. “We are looking at businesses that we believe will prove resilient over the long term, despite some negative effects resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.”