Kingdom ranks second in terms of SWF assets

Updated 27 August 2013
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Kingdom ranks second in terms of SWF assets

Saudi Arabia ranked second globally and first at the Arab level in terms of the assets of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), local media said quoting a report released by the SWF Institute.
According to the report, assets and foreign holdings of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), or the Kingdom’s central bank, stood at $675.9 billion in August of the current year compared to $532.8 billion in June.
Norway, represented by the Government Pension Fund, occupied the first rank globally on holding the biggest SWF assets valued at $737.2 billion, the report said.
The UAE, represented by Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), came in the third position at $627 billion, followed by China Investment Corporation at $575.2 billion, SAFE Investment Company (China) at $567.9 billion, and Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), in the sixth rank, at $386 billion.
Meanwhile, experts said the Kingdom’s enormous SWF assets send good and positive indications on the Saudi economy, which will remain attractive to foreign capitals and boost confidence of investors and denoting that the (Saudi) economy will remain safe even in case that oil revenues drop in a manner that will allow the government use such reserves, if necessary, Al-Riyadh daily quoted the experts as saying.
The Kingdom’s reserves (assets) are evidence that oil revenues are properly managed and appropriated in an effective and economic way where part of them is invested internally through supporting the general budget while surpluses are invested externally in semi-guaranteed government bonds, they said. The fund focuses on low-risk fixed income investments.
Based on the SWF Institute data, the volume of sovereign wealth funds is approaching $6 trillion in assets where increases in stock markets globally have helped lift the value of sovereign wealth assets.
SWF Institute President Michael Maduell said sovereign wealth funds are rising globally and springing up from Africa to certain states in the United States.
Asia and the Middle East are reportedly holding the bulk of sovereign wealth fund assets globally accounting for 40 percent and 35 percent respectively, whereas Europe has 17 percent of global totals, Africa and the two Americas have 3 percent for each while the remaining 2 percent went to other parts of the world.


Air Arabia disclosure draws investor attention to Abraaj fallout

Updated 1 min 20 sec ago
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Air Arabia disclosure draws investor attention to Abraaj fallout

  • Venture capital fund appetite could be hit
  • Air Arabia stock steadies after disclosure

LONDON: Air Arabia’s disclosure that it was an investor in Abraaj has focused investor attention on other market fallout after the buyout firm filed for voluntary liquidation last week.
Air Arabia shares held steady in Tuesday trading, a day after the stock tanked on the revelation the carrier was exposed to Dubai-based Abraaj.
The Sharjah-based carrier’s shares were slightly higher in afternoon trading, after slumping to an 11-month low on Monday.
It said it had appointed a “team of experts” to ensure the airline’s business interests are protected.
The size and nature of the Air Arabia investment was not disclosed.
“It will reduce the appetite for new venture capital or private equity funds,” said Jaap Meijer, head of equities research at Arqaam Capital.
Abraaj filed for a court-supervised provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands last week, in a bid to head off petitions by creditors to wind up the firm, following allegations of financial mismanagement.
Abu Dhabi Capital Management, a unit of alternative investment group Abu Dhabi Financial Group, has made a conditional offer to buy Abraaj’s investment management business for $50 million, according to a document reviewed by Reuters.