Saudi Arabia's PIF discloses 8.2% stake in cruise operator Carnival

April 6 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), on Monday disclosed an 8.2% stake in coronavirus-hit Carnival Corp, sending the cruise operator’s shares nearly 30% higher.

The stake of about 43.5 million shares is worth $369.3 million as of Friday’s close, making the investment fund the second-largest investor in the world’s biggest cruise line, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. (bit.ly/3aJnpyS)

Carnival’s shares have lost more than three-quarters of their value so far this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced cruise ship companies to halt operations and suspend voyages.

PIF, which manages over $300 billion in assets, has stakes in Uber and electric car company Lucid Motors. It has also allocated $45 billion to Softbank’s $100 billion Vision Fund.

The news of its stake in Carnival on Monday sent the Miami, Florida-based company’s shares up as much as nearly 30%, amid a jump in the broader market.

The stock has fallen about 30% since the close of March 25, a day before the PIF took the stake.

Last week, Carnival said it was raising $6.25 billion in combination debt and equity and suspending its dividend payouts in an effort to ride out the health crisis.

The company’s largest shareholder is Chairman Micky Arison, with a 17.07% stake, as of Jan. 16, according to Refinitiv data. SunTrust Bank holds a 7.33% stake in the company, as of Dec. 31.

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