KUWAIT,(Reuters) – Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund KIA sees opportunities in real estate and stock markets overseas despite having launched a multi-billion dollar fund to buy into the Kuwaiti bourse, its managing director was quoted as saying.
The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), which manages the Gulf Arab state’s oil-generated assets, bought last year into U.S. banks such as Citigroup and Merrill Lynch before both shares fell and the latter was bought by Bank of America for a fraction of the price.
“Regarding our foreign investments there are many opportunities,” Bader al-Saad told Al Arabiya television when asked about its investment strategy in the light of a global crisis, according to a transcript of the interview.
“There are opportunities in real estate and there are opportunities in securities,” he said.
He gave no details on possible real estate and stock investments, saying only that KIA would focus on investments with good cash flows.
Last month, the government said in a report that KIA, which managed at least 72 billion dinars ($249 billion) in assets at the end of March, has reduced exposure to global stock markets since October, shifting assets instead into short-term cash funds to minimise risks.
In December, KIA launched on behalf of the government an investment fund worth 1.5 billion dinars to stop a slide on the local bourse, which fell 38 percent last year.
It also increased the ceiling of its investments in the local bourse through local funds to 75 percent from a previous 50 percent to boost liquidity.
Troubled local lender Gulf Bank said last week KIA would own 16 percent of it after an emergency rights issue.