Davos, Asharq Al-Awsat- Directors of the sovereign funds attending the international economic forum in Davos accused wealthy nations of considering them a possible threat without evidence and that they are undermining world stability, trying to gain political influence, or threatening national security.
Muhammad al-Jasir, the deputy governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency said “it appears the sovereign funds are guilty until they prove their innocence.” Al-Jasir revealed that Saudi Arabia is examining the idea of establishing a $6 billion sovereign fund to invest the oil wealth surplus but added it can do without it if discussions continued endlessly concerning the doubts about the funds’ performance.
US President George Bush issued a directive on Wednesday to clarify the measures for legislating an American law which strengthens the national security’s review of foreign deals while at the same time stressing the United States welcomes foreign investments.
On his part, the chairman of the Kuwaiti General Investment Authority, which pumped $5 billion into Citi Group and Merrill Lynch this month, stressed that all the investments are motivated by commercial reasons and that the wealth funds do not differ from those of big investors.
A US administration official denied that Washington is fearful of the funds and said “What we know about the sovereign funds at this stage is that they are achieving large investment returns without causing political argument.” He told a discussion session that “the growth of these funds in terms of size and numbers calls for vigilance.”
The assets of the sovereign funds are expected to reach $12trillion by the year 2015, that is, almost 10 percent of the overall global financial assets.