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Saudi Arabia buys 5% of Nintendo

Mario maker learned of purchase from news reports.

Five percent of Nintendo is now owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, a scheme set up by the country's highly-controversial Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The investment means the PIF is now Nintendo's fifth-largest shareholder, Bloomberg reported this morning.

In response, Nintendo said it learned of the stake from news reports and declined to comment further.

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Over the past two years, the PIF has been busy buying up similar stakes in other high-profile video game companies, including Capcom, Nexon, EA, Activision Blizzard and Take-Two, and now owns a majority of SNK.

The PIF exists as an investment fund - a portfolio of long-term financial interests as the world pivots away from Saudi oil to more sustainable energy - and an apparently respectable face of Saudi business despite Prince Mohammed bin Salman's own reputation.

The crown prince has been blamed by the CIA for the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, while his rule of Saudi Arabia has kept up the country's notoriously poor human rights record, with homosexuality still criminalised with punishments ranging from floggings to the death penalty.

Eurogamer has contacted Nintendo for comment.

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