Saudi Arabia's wealth fund takes 5% Nintendo stake

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A figure of "Mario", a character in Nintendo's "Mario Bros." video games, at a Nintendo centre in Tokyo July 29, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

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TOKYO/DUBAI, May 18 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has taken a 5.01% stake in Nintendo Co Ltd (7974.T) as the sovereign wealth fund increases its exposure to the Japanese video gaming industry.

The investment in the Kyoto-based group company was made for investment purposes, a filing said, and comes as PIF has also taken stakes in video game companies Nexon (3659.T), Capcom (9697.T) and Koei Tecmo (3635.T).

PIF, which is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is an anchor investor in SoftBank Group Corp's (9984.T) $100 billion Vision Fund but also invests independently as part of the prince's plans to transform the country's economy.

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The sovereign wealth fund, which manages more than $600 billion, took a stake in Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O), the "Call of Duty" publisher which Microsoft said in January it would buy.

PIF has launched its own video game and e-sports company, Savvy Gaming. read more

Nintendo, which this month announced a 10-1 stock split in an appeal to retail investors, is forecasting a second year of sales decline for its Switch console amid component shortages. read more

Nintendo's shares have gained 10.5% this year.

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Reporting by Sam Nussey in Tokyo and Saeed Azhar in Dubai. Editing by Jane Merriman

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