Saudi Arabia just bought an 8% stake in Carnival after the cruise ship giant's stock plummeted this year

Saudi Arabia just bought an 8% stake in Carnival after the cruise ship giant's stock plummeted this year
carnival cruise ship



Carnival's stock has plunged, with the coronavirus halting operations for the near term.

  • Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund just picked up an 8.2% stack in Carnival Corporation, the cruise line with more than 100 ships.
  • Carnival's stock plunged 80% in the last year, and the company said last week it will lose money this year - though it's not yet sure how much.
  • Carnival raised billions through debt and equity offerings last week as it seeks to stay afloat while business has stopped amid the coronavirus.
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Carnival Corp.'s stock has plunged more than 80% in the last year, leading one major investor to spot an opportunity.

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund, bought an 8.2% stock in the cruise ship giant, per a Monday filing. Carnival's stock jumped on the news, with shares up 23% in midday Monday trading.

PIF manages more than $300 billion and has invested in companies ranging from Uber to Tesla.


Saudi Arabia's financial influence on public and private markets has come under scrutiny since the October 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The CIA blamed the journalist's murder on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who chairs PIF.

Carnival did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the news.

PIF wasn't the only recent Carnival buyer: Business Insider reported last week that an unnamed Carnival director bought $10 million of shares in the most recent offering.

On Friday, Carnival said in a filing that it would lose money this year, but it didn't know how much yet. The coronavirus has already hit the cruise giant's bottom line hard. It lost $781 million in the three months ending February 29, compared with making $336 million in the same period last year. Carnival stopped operations on March 13 and still has 6,000 passengers on ships globally that are set to disembark by the end of April.

Last week, analysts told Business Insider that while the industry is struggling, the public cruise ship companies could pay the bills for six to nine months.


"Cruise lines, as evidenced by the stocks, are in a world of hurt right now without a clear light at the end of the tunnel," Patrick Scholes, a SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst, said at the time.

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