Saudi Arabia’s PIF could see big profit on Uber stake, Future Investment Initiative forum hears

Uber may put forth an initial public offering early next year that values the ride-hailing business at as much as $120 billion, according to a media report. (AP)
Updated 23 October 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s PIF could see big profit on Uber stake, Future Investment Initiative forum hears

  • Lubna Olayan, head of the Olayan Group conglomerate, highlighted a potential doubling in the value of PIF’s stake in Uber
  • Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund is potentially looking at a windfall profit on its investment in Uber Technologies

RIYADH: The Public Investment Fund (PIF), the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, is potentially looking at a windfall profit on its investment in Uber Technologies, the American ride-hailing company, it emerged at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh.
Lubna Olayan, head of the Olayan Group conglomerate, highlighted a potential doubling in the value of PIF’s stake in Uber if the San Francisco firm goes ahead with an initial public offering next year.
Speaking on a panel entitled “Can global investment inspire a collective vision of the future,” she remarked that PIF first invested $3.5 billion in Uber in 2016 when it was valued at approximately $60 billion.
“Now the forecast valuations for the IPO are around $120 billion. Congratulations,” she said to Yasir Al-Rumayyan, managing director of PIF.
Al-Rumayyan replied: “Uber is creating lots of jobs in Saudi Arabia and making life easier for drivers, customers and shareholders.”
PIF’s profit on any Uber IPO could be even bigger, because the Saudi organization is a major investor in the SoftBank Vision Fund, which is also holds a sizeable chunk of Uber shares from a later round of fundraising.
Al-Rumayyan told the forum that PIF’s holdings are on track to be valued at $400 billion by 2020, and $2 trillion by 2030. By then, he said, PIF’s portfolio would be split 50-50 between domestic and global investments. About 10 percent of PIF’s funds are currently invested outside Saudi Arabia.
Al-Rumayyan said it was not true that all of PIF’s investments went into high-tech assets, pointing to its 50 percent stake of a $40 billion infrastructure fund in partnership with US group Blackstone, and the hotel chain Accor.
In Saudi Arabia, PIF wants to broaden its investment in the economy, especially in the tourism and entertainment sectors. “We did not have these interests before and we want to enhance these sectors,” Al-Rumayyan said.


Samsung delays Galaxy Fold media events in China

Updated 22 April 2019
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Samsung delays Galaxy Fold media events in China

  • Instead of plaudits ahead of the phone’s launch on April 26 in the US, Samsung has instead received brickbats
  • The hashtag #foldgate trended on Twitter because of the smartphone issues

SEOUL: Smartphone maker Samsung postponed media events for its Galaxy Fold planned for this week in Hong Kong and Shanghai, a company official said, days after reviewers of the foldable handset reported defective samples.
The official did not elaborate on reasons or rescheduling.
Instead of plaudits ahead of the phone’s launch on April 26 in the United States, the South Korean conglomerate has been blighted by technology journalists reporting breaks, bulges and blinking screens after using their samples for as little as a day.
Samsung said it received “a few” reports of damage to the displays of samples of the $1,980 handset, raising the specter of the combustible Galaxy Note 7 three years ago which the firm ultimately pulled from shelves at massive cost.
The reviewers’ reports of broken screens went viral online and prompted the creation of hashtag #foldgate on Twitter.
Samsung has hailed the folding design as the future in a field that has seen few surprises since Apple’s iPhone in 2007. Chinese rival Huawei Technologies has also announced a folding handset, the Mate X.
The Samsung official on Monday said it had no change to its previously announced release date in the United States.
It plans to begin South Korean and European sales in May, and Chinese sales from an undisclosed date.