Fund denies reports of bigger losses
KUWAIT CITY, May 23, (RTRS): Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, said it had incurred a loss of 312 million dinars ($1.03 billion) in the financial year ended in March 2016, according to the country’s state news agency. The loss was 0.2 percent of total assets, KUNA quoted a KIA statement as saying late on Monday, denying local media reports of bigger losses.
KIA rarely comments on its financial performance. Its statement implies the fund had assets of about $515 billion; the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, which tracks the industry, has estimated KIA’s assets at $592 billion. Among KIA’s high-profile investments, it owns 6.8 percent of German automaker Daimler AG and a 4.8 percent stake in French nuclear power firm Areva SA, according to Thomson Reuters data. In its statement, KIA said: “It is unprofessional to judge a performance of one year, during which the market was down.” It said its performance for a 20-year period had been positive and outmatched other sovereign funds. It did not reveal its returns for the latest fiscal year ended in March 2017. KIA was founded on Feb 23 1953 to manage the funds of the Kuwaiti Government in light of financial surpluses after the discovery of oil.
KIA is the world’s first and oldest sovereign wealth fund. KIA manages the Kuwait General Reserve Fund, the Kuwait Future Generations Fund, as well as any other assets committed by the Ministry of Finance.
To put KIA’s size into perspective, the Kuwait Future Generations Fund has 15% of annual oil revenues added to it. KIA’s board of directors is headed by the minister of finance with other seats allocated to the Energy Minister, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, and 5 other nationals who are experts in the field, 3 of which should not hold any other public office. KIA is estimated to have more than $592 billion in assets, and is one of the largest Sovereign Wealth Funds in the world.