Saudi Wealth Fund Builds Stakes in Canadian Oil Sands Giants

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund built stakes in two major Canadian oil sands players during the energy market rout.

ThePublic Investment Fund amassed shares in Calgary-basedCanadian Natural Resources Ltd. andSuncor Energy Inc., with a 2.6% and 2% stake in the companies, respectively. PIF is now the eighth largest shareholder in Canadian Natural and 14th largest in Suncor, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The fund also bought stakes inEquinor ASA,Royal Dutch Shell Plc,Total SA andEni SpA, according to a Bloomberg report earlier in April. Saudi Arabia’s $320 billion sovereign wealth fund is run by Yasir Al-Rumayyan and controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Read more: Saudi Wealth Fund Builds Stakes in European Energy Giants

The Saudi purchase is disclosed at a time when Norway’s wealth fund is dumping oil-sands companies. The lattersaid this week it will exclude Canadian Natural,Cenovus Energy Inc., Suncor, andImperial Oil Ltd. over concerns about carbon emissions.

Canadian oil producers haveannounced that almost 700,000 barrels per day of oil production is offline amid low prices and weak demand because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares of Canadian Natural have lost 43% this year, while Suncor is down 46% versus a 15% drop for the S&P/TSX Composite Index.

Suncor elected to slash its quarterlydividend 55% earlier this month, while Canadian Natural maintained its currentpayout.

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