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Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has taken a 5.01 per cent stake in Nintendo, its third investment in a large Japanese gaming company to date.

According to data from Bloomberg, this now makes the Saudi-controlled fund the fifth largest investor in the gaming giant responsible for the Nintendo Switch as well as franchises such as Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda.

The $500 billion investment fund stated that the purchase was made for “investment purposes” according to a filing from Japan’s Finance Ministry.

This is not the first stake in a gaming company that the Public Investment Fund has purchased.

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In December 2020, the fund acquired over $3 billion worth of stock in Activision Blizzard, EA and Take-Two.

Earlier this year, the fund also invested stakes of more than 5 per cent in Capcom, known for the Street Fighter and Resident Evil franchises, as well as Nexon, a South Korean online games publisher.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has taken a 5.01 per cent stake in the companyGetty images

In April 2022, Saudi Arabia’s PIF also purchased a 96 per cent stake of SNK, a Japanese developer responsible for franchises such as Fatal Fury, Metal Slug and King of Fighters.

The Public Investment Fund was created in 1971 for the purpose of investing funds on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia. The string of recent investments is reportedly part of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s efforts to reduce the reliance on proceeds from the country’s oil.

The previous investments in gaming companies have been heavily criticised due to Saudi Arabia’s record of human rights abuses.

According to the report from Bloomberg, a Nintendo spokesman said the company learned about the investment from news reports. The company would not comment on individual shareholders.

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