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Wed 8 Apr 2020 04:23 PM

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Saudi fund's bargain buy of Carnival may turn out to be pricey

Saudi Arabia's $320 billion sovereign wealth fund has made a series of bold investments in recent years

Saudi fund's bargain buy of Carnival may turn out to be pricey

Carnival also announced a stock offering on April 1 that priced new shares at $8 each. Image: Carnival

Even after a 20 percent jump in Carnival Corp. shares, Saudi Arabia’s bet on the world’s biggest cruise operator is still in the red.

The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund had built an 8.2 percent stake in Carnival by March 26, when the stock closed at $17.82, valuing the holding at about $775 million. The shares ended the day Monday, when the Saudi purchase was disclosed, at $10.21.

Carnival also announced a stock offering on April 1 that priced new shares at $8 each.

Saudi Arabia’s $320 billion sovereign wealth fund, run by Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan and controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has made a series of bold investments in recent years.

It paid almost $49 a share for a stake in Uber Technologies Inc. in 2017, a level the company hadn’t reached since. Shares are now trading at about $26. The fund also built a roughly $2 billion stake in Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. in 2018 and sold almost all of the shares toward the end of 2019, missing out on a huge rally earlier this year.

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