Saudi Wealth Fund Takes $16 Billion Hit From SoftBank, Tech

(Bloomberg) — Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund reported a $15.6 billion comprehensive loss in 2022 after the value of its investments in SoftBank Vision Fund plunged and other tech ventures were hit by a market downturn.Most Read from BloombergMusk Says He May Need Surgery, Will Get MRI on Back and NeckTexas Power Prices to Surge 800% on Sunday Amid Searing HeatUkraine Black Sea Drone Attacks Signal Rapidly Expanding WarHSBC Executive Slams ‘Weak’ UK for Backing US Against ChinaNetanyahu Seeks to Change How Judges Are Named, Then Stop RevampIn addition to $11 billion of losses on investments — announced by the fund last month — the amount includes figures for operations, taxes and other expenses, according to an annual financial report published Sunday.The Public Investment Fund, or PIF, made income of $25.4 billion the year before.The PIF, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, significantly increased the proportion of its assets dedicated to Saudi stocks last year, from 24% to 32%.

It also reduced from 20% to 10% the portion put toward International Strategic Assets, a portfolio which includes English football club Newcastle United FC and money in a Blackstone Group LP fund investing in US infrastructure.The growth in local-equity investments was largely propelled by a transfer of 4% of energy giant Saudi Aramco to the PIF in February 2022.

That stake is worth around $80 billion.The PIF is a key part of the government’s push to diversify from oil.

The crown prince is using it to invest tens of billions of dollars in everything from tourism to electric-vehicle and sports projects in the kingdom.Asset GrowthThe PIF didn’t disclose a figure for shareholder returns for 2022, when the S&P 500 Index dropped almost 20%.

In 2021, it made a 25% return, roughly in line with that of investors in the S&P for the same period.SoftBank Group Corp.’s first Vision Fund, backed by Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, saw a record annual loss of $32 billion in 2022.Story continuesEven with the loss, the PIF’s assets under management grew to $595.5 billion from $527.8 billion in 2021, thanks in large part to the Aramco transfer.The fund would have benefited from global equities, including those in the US and Saudi Arabia itself, rising significantly since the end of 2022.

Also, the government transferred another 4% of Aramco to the PIF earlier this year.The PIF’s assets now stand at about $777 billion, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.–With assistance from Omar Tamo and Paul Abelsky.(Updates with details of losses in second paragraph.)Most Read from Bloomberg BusinessweekTeen Gamers Swiped $24 Million in Crypto, Then Turned on Each OtherHonoring the Enslaved Man Who Made Jack Daniel’s First WhiskeyA Digital Dollar Is for Banks and Governments, But Not YouThe Health-Care Staffing Crisis Is Bad and Getting WorsePrivate Credit Funds Move From Mergers to Timeshares and Car Loans©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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