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His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah attends Kuwait Investment Office (KIO) 70th anniversary in London on Tuesday, August 29.

LONDON, Aug 30, (KUNA): Under the patronage and in the presence of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait Investment Office (KIO) celebrated its 70th anniversary in London on Tuesday, August 29. Upon his arrival at the celebration, His Highness the Crown Prince was warmly welcomed by Dr. Saad Al-Barak the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Oil, Minister of State for Economic Affairs and Investments, Acting Minister of Finance, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA); Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber AI-Sabah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait; Mr. Ghanem Al-Ghunaiman, the Managing Director of KIA; and KIA board members as well as senior officials from the leading global financial institutions in the world. In an opening speech, Dr. Saad Al-Barrak said, “With the wisdom of Kuwait’s forefathers, an agreement was signed between His Highness Sheikh Abdullah AI-Salem AI-Sabah and His Majesty’s Political Agent in 1953, which established the Kuwait Investment Board in London on February 23, 1953, the predecessor of the Kuwait Investment Office.” “The objective of the Kuwait Investment Board was to provide a long-term investment return and an alternative income to oil reserves so as to enable Kuwait’s future generations to face uncertainties ahead with greater confidence,” he noted.

“This foresight has enabled the KIA, the oldest sovereign wealth fund in the world, to become one of the largest globally,” Dr. Al-Barrak added. Al-Ghunaiman, the Managing Director of KIA, addressed the high-level attendees, stated, “The UK offers numerous attractive investment opportunities in healthcare, energy, real estate and infrastructure, to name few key sectors. “With its wholly-owned entities based in London – St. Martins Property and Wren House Infrastructure, KIA participates in strategic opportunities in UK’s real estate and infrastructure.

“This includes direct holdings in London City Airport and Associated British Ports and indirectly in numerous other projects. In fact, the KIA is one of the largest international real estate owner in the UK,” he pointed out. “KIO’s Platinum Jubilee celebration is a landmark occasion. Despite today’s challenging world and current geopolitical turmoil, the close cooperation between the UK and Kuwait will continue to prosper and grow for years to come,” Al-Ghunaiman added.

On his part, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt confirmed the strong relationship between the two countries and reaffirmed the continued cooperation to further increase Kuwait’s investments in the UK. Meanwhile, Minister of State Minister for Investment in the Department for Business and Trade Lord Johnson reiterated the sentiment of a continued working relationship between the two countries for decades to come. Prior to the event, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Kuwait Investment Authority and the United Kingdom.

This is to confirm KIA’s intention to enhance the bilateral relations through industrial partnership and increased investments into the UK. The Kuwait Investment Office in London is the world’s oldest sovereign wealth fund. The Kuwait Investment Board (KIB) was established in February 3rd 1953 to invest surplus oil revenue and reduce Kuwait’s reliance on a single finite resource. A few years later, in 1965, Kuwait adopted a policy of diversification of assets and portfolios which lead to the KIB being replaced by the Kuwait Investment Office. Kuwait Investment Office (KIO) marks 70 years of “unique” partnership with UK, reflecting Kuwait leadership’s success in creating KIO to generate “huge returns to help the economy,” a senior British government official said. “It is a huge celebration of our partnership with Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) over the past 70 years, which has been consistent, and unique,” Minister of State in the Department for Business and Trade Lord Dominic Johnson told KUNA in an interview to mark KIO’s 70th anniversary in London. “The leadership of Kuwait had so successfully created this fund, which generated huge returns to help the economy,” he added.

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