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Middle East (MENA) SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUNDS

Saudi Arabia’s plan to create a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund has set an ambitious new standard for state-run investment vehicles. These funds are an increasingly common sight around the world, but particularly in the Middle East, where oil-rich governments like to squirrel away money when oil prices are high in preparation for leaner times. The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute lists 79 funds in its rankings, with 20 of them in the Middle East and North Africa.

Now that the price of a barrel of oil has slumped, these stores of wealth are coming into play, helping governments to deal with their budget deficits so they can still provide all the services their citizens have come to expect. But which ones have the most money?

Here is the top 10 in reverse order, based on figures from the funds (where available) and estimates by the SWF Institute and Moody’s

Bahrain - Mumtalakat Holding Company

Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (“Mumtalakat”) was established in June 2006 as an independent holding company to actively manage and grow a diverse portfolio of commercial assets.

Mumtalakat manages its portfolio with the objective of enhancing the performance and returns of its assets. Furthermore, it actively seeks to invest in commercially sound and sustainable opportunities locally, regionally and internationally.

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Algeria - Revenue Regulation Fund

Revenue Regulation Fund is a sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Algeria. The firm manages country's surplus oil revenues. Revenue Regulation Fund (Algeria) was founded in 2000 and is based in Algeria.

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National Development Fund of Iran

The National Development Fund of Iran (NDFI) is Iran's sovereign wealth fund. It was founded in 2011 to supplement the Oil Stabilization Fund. NDFI is independent of the government's budget. Based on Article 84 of the Fifth Five-year Socio-Economic Development Plan (2010–2015), the National Development Fund was established to transform oil and gas revenues to productive investment for future generation. It is a member of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds and therefore is signed up to the Santiago Principles on best practice in managing sovereign wealth funds.

Accordingly, 20% of oil income is to be transferred to the National Development Fund and this percentage increase 3% annually until the end of Fifth Five-year Socio-Economic Development Plan. The new fund is to extend 50% of its financial facilities to private, cooperative and non-governmental sectors and 20% to promote foreign investment (inward and outward). The remaining 30% is invested (in capital markets) abroad.

NDFI's reserves stood at $24.4 billion in 2011 and $35 billion in 2012. It is foreseen that the Development Fund will reach $55 billion by March 2013 and $61 billion by March 2014

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Iraq DFI

In May 2003, following the invasion of Iraq in March of that year, the Central Bank of Iraq-Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) account was created at the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of New York at the request of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Administrator. A part of the fund has been transferred to Baghdad and Iraq, and the DFI-Baghdad account was opened at the Central Bank of Iraq "for cash payment requirements". The fund also eventually received money (US$1.724 billion) from seized and "vested" Iraqi bank accounts and funds seized by coalition forces ($926.7 million). ($650 million) of this amount belongs to Uday Saddam Hussein, the older son of the former Iraqi president.[2] (This money was also used during the transition period before the DFI was set up.) The DFI have been disbursed mainly for “the wheat purchase program, the currency exchange program, the electricity and oil infrastructure programs, equipment for Iraqis security forces, and for Iraqi civil service salaries and ministry budget operations”.

The DFI was put under the control of the Coalition Provisional Authority and the administrative arm of the US-UK occupation forces. International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) was created in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483 (2003). IAMB is an independent oversight body for DFI and its principal role is to ensure transparency and financial accountability of the DFI. The IAMB was operated from the establishment of the DFI on May 22, 2003 until the dissolution of the CPA on June 28, 2004.

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Kuwait Investment Authority

The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) is Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund, managing body, specializing in local and foreign investment. It is the 5th largest sovereign wealth fund in the world with assets exceeding $592 billion. It is a member of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds and has signed up to the Santiago Principles on best practice in managing sovereign wealth funds.

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Libyan Investment Authority

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is a government-managed sovereign wealth fund and holding company headquartered in Tripoli, Libya. It was established on August 28, 2006, by Decree 208 of the General People's Committee of Libya (GPC), after the lifting of economic sanctions that had previously precluded foreign investment in Libya.[ The LIA oversees and manages investments in various areas including agriculture, real estate, infrastructure, oil and gas and in shares and bonds. It is Africa’s largest sovereign wealth fund. The fund is a member of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds and is therefore signed up to the Santiago Principles on best practice in managing sovereign wealth fund

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Oman Investment Fund

Established under Royal Decree No. 14/2006 of 6th March 2006 and amended under Royal Decree 38/2010 of 14th April 2010 and 34/2012 of 26th May 2012, Oman Investment Fund (OIF) is a wholly owned investment arm of the Government of Oman. The Fund is an investment vehicle, with the objective of building a diversified portfolio in the production and services sectors, projects and other related fields that does not contradict with the objectives of other government funds of Oman. Oman Investment Fund is fully funded by the Ministry of Finance, Oman.

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Oman - State General Reserve Fund

State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) was established in 1980 by a Royal Decree 1/80. It endeavors to achieve long term sustainable returns on the revenues generated from the oil and gas, and that are surplus to the state's budgetary requirements On behalf of the Government of Oman, SGRF manages the reserves placed in its care to achieve best possible long term returns with acceptable risks, through investing in a diversified portfolio of asset classes in more than 25 countries worldwide. SGRF is regulated and supervised by the Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council (FAERC).

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Oman - Tanmia

Oman National Investments Development Company SAOC, (National Investment Funds Company previously) was founded in 1998 by Royal Decree No. 81/98, amended by Royal Decree No. 55/2013, as a closed joint stock company established in order to manage investment funds as well as investments in other multiple sectors, such as industry, tourism, services, real estate development and others. The company was formed by 10 shareholders as follows: The State General Reserved Fund (SGRF), Public Authority for Social Insurance, Civil Service Employees Pension Fund, Diwan of Royal Court Pension Fund, Ministry of Defense Pension Fund, The Royal Office Pension Fund, Royal Oman Police Pension Fund, The Royal Guard of Oman Pension Fund, Internal Security Services Pension Fund and The Sultan Special Force Pension Fund. The company manages the founders’ assets in addition to company’s clients’ assets under its portfolio management licensed activity or through investment funds available to the public and licensed by the Capital Market Authority (CMA). The company manages assets valued at more than RO 147 million (as at end of December 2014). The company’s business is conducted through two business units; Public Markets Investment Department and Private Markets Investment Department. Public Markets Investment Department looks after public markets’ investments in the Sultanate of Oman and in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries while the Private Markets Investment Department looks after assets through which the company aims to enter into strategic investments in various sectors. Both business units make recommendations on investments to investment committees of the Board of Directors for analysis and approval, or submit them to the Board of Directors in accordance with the Terms of Reference of the committees.

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Qatar Investment Authority

Qatar Investment Authority is the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar. Under the vision and leadership of our Chairman, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, we are proud to be both an important building block of the Qatar National Vision 2030, and a respected professional global investor. Since 2005, we have built a major global portfolio that now spans a broad range of asset classes and regions. We have done so by investing and managing the funds we are responsible for in a professional, strategic and prudent manner; and by simultaneously developing QIA into a dynamic, multinational, world-class organisation.

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Palestine Investment Fund

Palestine Investment Fund is the national sovereign fund of the State of Palestine and strives to develop the country’s national assets and resources for the purpose of achieving national economic empowerment guided by a vision and a work philosophy, premised on the best values and business practice. Palestine Investment Fund was established in 2003 as an independent public limited company.

The mission of the Palestine Investment Fund is to contribute to the building of a strong, independent and vibrant national economy as one of the pillars of the future Palestinian state, and to promote its ability to attract investments. It also aims to empower the Palestinian private sector and to enhance its leading role. The Palestine Investment Fund aims to achieve its tasks by making strategic investments in feasible and socially- responsible developmental projects which are capable of creating jobs and consolidating sustainable growth in strategic and vital national sectors.

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Saudi Arabia - Public Investment Fund

The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) was originally established in 1971 to provide financing support for projects of strategic significance to the national economy, and it is role evolved to encompass a number of different areas. These include holding and managing the government’s stakes in some of Saudi Arabia’s largest and most important blue chip companies. The institution has also set up and managed a number of companies to support innovation, diversification and non-oil sector development within the Kingdom. Furthermore, the institution has been responsible for holding and managing the government’s stake in bilateral and multilateral companies abroad as well as investing selectively in a range of other asset classes internationally. Today PIF has a diverse portfolio made up of approximately 200 investments, of which around 20 are listed on Tadawul, the Saudi Stock Exchange.

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Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) Foreign Holdings

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), established in 1952, is the central bank of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Previously, it was known as Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency. SAMA is the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia, the functions of the SAMA include issuing the national currency, the Saudi Riyal, supervising commercial banks, managing foreign exchange reserves, promoting price and exchange rate stability, and ensuring the growth and soundness of the financial system, operating a number of cross-bank electronic financial systems such as MADA (previously SPAN), SARIE, and SADAD.

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UAE - Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA)

Since 1976, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has been prudently investing funds on behalf of the Government of Abu Dhabi with a focus on long-term value creation. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is a sovereign wealth fund owned by Emirate of Abu Dhabi (in United Arab Emirates) founded for the purpose of investing funds on behalf of the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It manages the Emirate’s excess oil reserves, estimated to be as much as $500 billion. Its portfolio grows at an annual rate of about 10% compounded. The fund is a member of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds and is therefore signed up to the Santiago Principles on best practice in managing sovereign wealth funds. ADIA has never published how much it has in assets but estimates have been between $800 billion to approximately $875 billion USD. The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute puts the figure at US$773 billio ADIA manages a global investment portfolio that is diversified across more than two dozen asset classes and sub-categories.

 

UAE - Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC)

The Abu Dhabi Investment Council (The Council) is an investment arm of the Government of Abu Dhabi. It started operations in April 2007 and is responsible for investing part of the government’s surplus financial resources through a globally diversified investment strategy, targeting positive capital returns through an expansive portfolio of highly diversified asset classes and active investment management strategies

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UAE - Emirates Investment Authority (EIA)

Emirates Investment Authority (EIA) is the only Sovereign Wealth Fund of the Federal Government of the United Arab Emirates. Established in 2007, the EIA has actively sought unique investment opportunities locally, regionally and internationally, focusing on investing in asset classes that will help strengthen and diversify the UAE economy.

As a custodian of the Federal assets of the United Arab Emirates, the EIA is mandated to strategically invest funds allocated by the Federal Government to create long-term value for the UAE and contribute to the future prosperity of the country. In a short span of time, the EIA has uniquely positioned itself to become an invaluable partner for significant world-class investment opportunities locally, regionally and internationally.

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UAE - International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC)

IPIC is the International Petroleum Investment Company, formed by the Abu Dhabi government in 1984 to invest in the energy and related sectors across the globe, working for the betterment of Abu Dhabi’s people.

The International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) was established by the Government of Abu Dhabi pursuant to an Emiri Decree in 1984 with a mandate to invest globally in energy and energy related industries. The Government owns 100 per cent of IPIC and appoints all the members of its board of directors. Over its history, IPIC has been supported by equity contributions from the Government of Abu Dhabi. The Chairman of IPIC's board of directors is Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, a member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi, the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the UAE Minister of Presidential Affairs. The Managing Director of IPIC is Suhail al Mazrouei.

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UAE - Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD)

The Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) is a state-owned holding company that can be characterized as a National Wealth Fund owned by the government of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Established in May 2006 with the transfer of the government's portfolio of investments from The Department of Finance's Investment Division, its role is to supervise the government's investment portfolio while adding value.

Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the principal investment arm of the Government of Dubai, was established in May 2006 by decree (11) of 2006 under a mandate to consolidate and manage the Government of Dubai’s portfolio of commercial companies and investments. It also provides strategic oversight by developing and implementing investment strategy and corporate governance policies with an objective to maximize stakeholder value, for the long-term benefit of the Emirate. ICD has a rich portfolio of assets, both locally and internationally, across a broad spectrum of the sectors that form the blueprint of Dubai’s dynamic economy. It has built a strong foundation of key indigenous companies from multiple sectors that Dubai has worked strategically over four decades to achieve dominance in. ICD is now furthering Dubai’s presence and expertise by expanding globally, pursuing an ambitious investment strategy that is disciplined, sustainable, and provides synergy with its existing portfolio. In doing so, ICD is working to safeguard and enhance Dubai’s economic prosperity for future generations.

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UAE - Mubadala Development Company

Mubadala Development Company PJSC (Mubadala) is a state-owned holding company that can be characterized as a National Wealth Fund. It was established in October 2002 as a Public Joint Stock Company and is a wholly owned investment vehicle of the government of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.
Mubadala’s mandate is to facilitate the diversification of Abu Dhabi’s economy. Its focus is on managing long-term, capital-intensive investments intended to deliver strong financial returns and tangible social benefits for the emirate

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UAE - Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAK)

Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) was constituted by Emiri Decree No. (2)/2005 issued by the late Sheikh Saqr Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi in view of reinforcing the investment climate of this member of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and promoting various economic sectors. Its establishment was linked to a World Bank study and investment promotion event in May 2005 ("Invest and Live in Ras Al Khaimah") initiated and pursued by the Swiss-Lebanese engineer Khater Massaad who was a long-time adviser to Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al-Qasimi, the creator of RAK Ceramics and the longtime CEO of RAKIA.

Khater Massaad, then CEO of RAKIA, at the October 2011 Horasis Global Arab Business Meeting Sectors under development include industrial parks, education and technology, real estate, transportation, manufacturing and energy, as well as offshore operations and other investments. Contrary to popular opinion, RAKIA is not a proper sovereign wealth fund (SWF) that would rely for example on steady income from oil or gas. Instead, RAKIA is an industrial licensing and promotion agency to attract investments into Ras Al-Khaimah. The Government of Ras Al Khaimah as the owner or RAKIA raises funds from financial markets and passes this borrowed money on to RAKIA.

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