Saudi’s Public Investment Fund invests $1.5 billion in Indian digital services company Jio Platforms

Public Investment Fund, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund has become the latest investor to buy a stake in Indian digital services company Jio Platforms. The fund announced today that it is investing approximately $1.5 billion in the Indian company to acquire a 2.32 percent stake in it.

The investment by the Saudi fund follows a series of investments from some of the biggest investors in the world including UAE’s Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. The two Emirati funds collectively have invested almost $2 billion in Jio Platforms.

After the investment by PIF, Jio has raised over $15 billion (the largest part of which came from Facebook) by selling close to 25 percent stake in a little over two months.

Jio Platforms that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries (one of the largest Indian conglomerates) owns India’s largest mobile network operator Jio and other digital businesses of Reliance. Jio Platforms currently has over 388 million subscribers.

The company has the vision to offer different types of services to 1.3 billion people and businesses across the country, including small merchants, mico-businesses, and farmers.

“In line with PIF’s mandate of safeguarding and growing the national wealth of the Kingdom by investing in markets and sectors that drive transformative economic growth, this investment reflects a core objective of PIF’s international investment strategy,” said PIF in a statement announcing the investment in Jio.

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, said, “We are delighted to be investing in an innovative business which is at the forefront of the transformation of the technology sector in India. We believe that the potential of the Indian digital economy is very exciting and that Jio Platforms provides us with an excellent opportunity to gain access to that growth.”

“This investment will also enable us to generate significant long-term commercial returns for the benefit of Saudi Arabia’s economy and our country’s citizens, in line with our mandate to safeguard and grow the national wealth of the Kingdom,” he added.

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries said, “We at Reliance have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for many decades. From Oil Economy, this relationship is now moving to strengthen India’s New Oil (Data-driven) Economy, as is evident from PIF’s investment into Jio Platforms.”

“I have greatly admired the defining role PIF has played in driving the economic transformation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I welcome PIF as a valued partner in Jio Platforms and look forward to their sustained support and guidance as we take ambitious steps to accelerate India’s digital transformation for enriching and empowering the lives of 1.3 billion Indians,” he added.

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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