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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Saudis Reshaped Landscape Of Pro Gold As It Seeks To Get Its Image Out Of Sand Trap

Saudi Arabia’s mountain of cash has upended the world of professional golf.


Photo Insert: The PIF’s creation of LIV Golf a year ago, reportedly at a cost of $2 billion, attracted many of the sport’s top players away from the US-based PGA Tour and Europe-based DP World Tour by offering big dollar prize money.



But that is only a small sliver of the money it is sinking into a number of prominent businesses elsewhere around the globe as the kingdom moves to diversify away from a dependence on oil income – and as the petro-kingdom tries to achieve its political goals, Chris Isidore reported for CNN.


The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) is a government-controlled fund that has $650 billion in assets under management. It is aiming to top $1 trillion within a few years.



It is ranked only the seventh-largest in the world, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI.) PIF operates the way a private sector investment firm might, trying to make money through a diversified portfolio of investments.


It has a total of $7.5 billion in investments in leading video game companies, with a 9% stake in Electronic Arts (EA), a 7% stake in Take-Two Interactive, and nearly a 5% stake in Activision Blizzard (ATVI), and also owns more than 5% of Live Nation, the concert promoter and owner of Ticketmaster.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

It has stakes in cruiser operator Carnival Corp., Uber, and Zoom. Its biggest US investment is in upstart electric vehicle maker Lucid. PIF owns 60% of Lucid stock, worth $7.6 billion as of Tuesday’s close.


Lucid recently announced the PIF would invest another $1.8 billion in the company to help fund its operations.

Business: Business men in suite and tie in a work meeting in the office located in the financial district.

But what makes Saudi Arabia’s fund different is that since the country faces widespread condemnation for its human rights record, its investments in sports and other entertainment companies can be seen as an attempt to polish that tarnished reputation.


The PIF’s creation of LIV Golf a year ago, reportedly at a cost of $2 billion, attracted many of the sport’s top players away from the US-based PGA Tour and Europe-based DP World Tour by offering big dollar prize money.


Entrepreneurship: Business woman smiling, working and reading from mobile phone In front of laptop in the financial district.

It led to a year-long legal battle that banned LIV golfers from the established tours and brought some unwanted attention to Saudi’s human rights record. Critics of LIV Golf accused the Saudis of backing the new tour as a form of “sportswashing” its reputation.


But the legal battles, acrimony, and competition for the best golfers between LIV and the PGA and DP World Tour suddenly ended Tuesday with the announcement that the three would form a combined for-profit company.


The PIF plans to make undisclosed additional investments into the entity, Coy Wire, Jack Bantock and Steve Almasy also reported for CNN.





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