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Norway’s sovereign fund raises investments in GCC markets

Norway’s sovereign fund raises investments in GCC markets
The UAE accounted for 26.6% of the fund’s investments by the end of 2019

Mubasher: Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world, increased its investments in the GCC region by 15.2% or $440 million by the end of last year.

Official data showed that the fund’s investments in the region reached $3.33 billion in 2019, compared with about $2.89 billion by the end of 2018.

The UAE dominated 26.6% or $887.54 million of the fund’s investments by the end of 2019, through investments in 18 companies and banks, led by Emirates NBD with $237.83 million, DP World with $114.36 million, Dubai Islamic Bank with $76.58 million, and Emaar with $71.86 million.

Kuwait came in second place, as the Norwegian fund investing $492.37 million by the end of last year, compared with $152.9 million in 2018.

Human Soft and Zain came on top of the fund’s investments in Kuwait, with $66.2 million and $48.04 million, respectively.

In third place, Saudi Arabia accounted for 12.5% of the fund’s investments in the region with $415.45 million.

Data shows that the fund invested in 37 Saudi banks and companies, led by Saudi Cooperative Insurance Company and United International Transportation Company with $28.95 million and $27.86 million, respectively.

In the same way, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund invested $38.94 million in Aluminium Bahrain, and $43.38 million in Oman, of which $27.38 went to Bank Muscat, $15.17 million to Ooredoo Oman, and $8.19 million to Renaissance Services.

Meanwhile, the fund raised its investments in Qatar to $83.70 million in 2019, compared with $36.58 million by the end of the year before.

It is worth noting that the biggest sovereign wealth fund in the world recorded its second best annual performance in 2019, on the back of stock investments that accounted for more than 70% of its revenues that grew by 19.9% or ($180 billion) in 2019.