Saudi Billionaire Resumes Global Deal-Making

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology 

His new investments come as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also bets heavily on tech companies to draw know-how and expertise to the kingdom. Those efforts are part of the de facto Saudi ruler's long-term plan--called Vision 2030--to reshape the kingdom's oil-reliant economy by boosting the private sector. The country's sovereign-wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, has amassed a nearly 5% stake in electric-car maker Tesla Inc., a senior Saudi adviser familiar with the matter said Tuesday. PIF already has taken a 45% stake in SoftBank Group Corp.'s $100 billion Vision Fund and made a $3.5 billion bet on Uber Technologies Inc. SoftBank is hiring the head of Deutsche Bank AG's unit in Saudi Arabia to lead a new office in Riyadh, with the goal of encouraging the Vision Fund's portfolio startups to set up in Saudi Arabia. "The Saudis likely see these technologies and firms are going to be part of the future…as Saudi Arabia looks to diversify away from hydrocarbon industries," said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.