Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund's Russia investments 'negligible', document shows

2 minute read
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

KUWAIT, March 31 (Reuters) - Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund's exposure to Russia and Ukraine was no more than 0.29% of the total investments of its main long-term investment fund, which has been underweight on the region since before the war, a document reviewed by Reuters showed.

The Kuwait Investment Authority held cash worth 13% of its total assets at the end of 2021, higher than the average for global asset managers, it said in the document dated March 22.

The document was sent to the finance ministry in response to a parliamentary query about the impact on investments from Western sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

KIA, which manages roughly $700 billion in assets according to third-party estimates, said Russian assets in Europe and the U.S. are currently unattractive due to expected regulatory and political complications but that the crisis, like any other, would also present investment opportunities.

"It is certain that there are (or will be) opportunities available ... [like] mentioned in your question about the famous Chelsea FC being offered for sale," KIA said.

"We do not believe, for the time being at least, that this applies to Russian assets that are prone to entering into many regulatory and political complications between the owners and the countries that hold those assets."

KIA manages two funds, the General Reserve Fund, which serves budgetary needs, and the much larger Future Generations Fund, a savings pot designed to help the country prepare for a world after oil and which KIA said had no more than 0.29% of its total investments in Russia, in stocks and bonds.

Abu Dhabi's second-largest sovereign fund Mubadala Investment Company is pausing investments in Russia because of the Ukraine crisis, its CEO said this week. read more

Other Gulf state funds, such as Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and Abu Dhabi's largest, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), have not commented on Russia investments.

ADIA's investments in Russia include a stake in state-owned VTB, one of Russia's biggest banks now under Western sanctions.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy; Writing by Yousef Saba Editing by Gareth Jones and Elaine Hardcastle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.