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KSA: Public Investment Fund (PIF) Emerges as Leading Global Investor in 20236 min read

Author: Omar Sami
Managing Partner Attorney at German Law Legal- & Tax Consultant

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has emerged as the top investor among its peers in 2023, according to the recently released Global SWF 2024 Annual Report. Despite a global decline in sovereign wealth fund (SWF) investments, the PIF invested USD 31.6 billion across 49 deals, marking a substantial 33% increase over its 2022 figures.

Strategic Moves Amidst Declining Trends

While SWF investments decreased to USD 124.7 billion in 2023 from USD 155.5 billion in 2022, the PIF made high-profile deals such as the USD 4.9 billion acquisition of U.S. gaming company Scopely and a strategic 10% stake in the owner of Heathrow Airport, reflecting the fund’s diversified investment approach.

Five of the top ten sovereign investors in 2023 were from Gulf countries, with the PIF leading the pack. The UAE’s Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) secured third and fourth places, investing USD 17.5 billion and USD 13.2 billion in 2023, respectively. This reflects a strategic shift in the composition of leading sovereign investors, with Gulf-based SWFs now dominating the rankings.

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) Thinking Ahead Institute research reveals a shift in global asset ownership dynamics. Sovereign wealth funds now account for 38.9% of assets among the world’s 100 largest asset owners, up from 32% in 2021. Amid a 9% decline in the value of assets managed by these owners in 2022, SWFs managed a collective USD 9.1 trillion.

Saudi Arabia´s PIF: A Driving Force in Global Investments

The PIF’s USD 1.2 billion investment in the Heathrow Airport owner FGP TopCo Ltd solidifies its position as a long-term partner, aligning with its strategic vision to support world-class businesses. The fund’s prominence in 2023 indicates that it is emerging as a leading force in shaping the trajectory of global investments.

How TME Services Can Support Your Business

As sovereign wealth funds continue to navigate challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities, Saudi Arabia´s PIF stands out as a beacon of resilience and strategic vision in the ever-changing landscape of global investments.

TME Services is a team of 45 professionals in legal-, tax-, accounting and compliance with over 18 years of experience. We advised a significant number of SMEs in the context of the implementation of the tax framework in the UAE and KSA over the last decade to make sure that our clients are well-oriented in the new and fast-evolving tax landscape and to reduce the legal liability of managers which may arise in connection with non-compliance.

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