October 17, 2019 / 1:50 PM / 2 months ago

Abu Dhabi's Mubadala eyes debt market, weighs SoftBank's Vision Fund 2: CEO

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala Investment Co is weighing debt issuance amid attractive market conditions and could invest in oil giant Saudi Aramco’s planned share offering, its group chief executive said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at the SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

Khaldoon Khalifa al Mubarak added the state investor exited its investment in U.S.chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.O) in September after 12 years, having made $4.25 billion on its initial investment of $770 million.

The Gulf has seen a flurry of international debt issuance as governments and companies take advantage of low global rates to attract yield-seeking investors and raise debt cheaply.

“I do see opportunities given the pricing, debt is very attractive ... We will certainly be looking at the debt market in the next few months, or weeks,” Mubarak, group chief executive and managing director told Reuters in an interview.

Mubadala would take an investment decision on Aramco’s planned initial public offering “when it comes our way,” he added.

Aramco, the world’s largest oil firm, could announce plans next week to float a 1%-2% stake on the kingdom’s Tadawul market before a possible international listing, launching an initiative that is central to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s economic diversification drive.

Mubarak also said that Mubadala, which has assets under management of $229 billion, is considering participating in Japanese group SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, but has not made a decision.

He said the Softbank’s Vision Fund 1, in which Mubadala contributed $15 billion, has performed well from an investor perspective with “very strong returns.”

“We have managed our risk very carefully (in Vision Fund 1) with preferred securities with 7% yield with a portfolio of 80 companies. We will decide on (Vision Fund 2) when it is the right time for us.”

His comments came after Reuters reported earlier this month SoftBank Group founder and CEO Masayoshi Son is struggling to raise money for a second massive technology investment fund in the wake of the failed public offering of office-rental company WeWork and sliding valuations of other major investments.

Mubadala is still looking to list Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) but cautioned that this is not the best time for an exit from EGA given a correction in aluminium prices.

He also said Mubadala has an interest to encourage IPOs in the United Arab Emirates’ market and it has companies that could be listed locally.

Reporting by Stanley Carvalho and Hadeel Al Sayegh,; Writing by Davide Barbuscia and Saeed Azhar,; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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