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Tue 29 Sep 2009 08:27 AM

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Gulf sovereign wealth funds lose $350bn last year

Global financial crisis takes its toll on funds of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Abu Dhabi.

Gulf sovereign wealth funds lost $350bn last year due to the global economic crisis, the latest UN report has revealed.

The funds of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Abu Dhabi needed oil revenues injected into them to help them maintain their total asset value at the end of 2008, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said in a report.

Most affected was Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), which lost $183bn from the $453bn it held in 2007, the World Investment Report 2009, released last week said.

The report, covered in Qatar’s Gulf Times, said that assets held by the four Gulf funds dropped to $1.115tn last year, from $1.165tn in 2007.

But, government cash injections of $300bn had helped narrow losses.

ADIA invested $57 into their sovereign fund, which helped it end last year at $329bn, the report said.

Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), which owns stakes in Daimler and Citigroup, lost $94bn from the $262bn it held at the end of 2007. However, $59bn invested by the government helped prop it up so that it ended the year at $228bn, the report said.

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) lost $27bn, ending last year at $66bn, while Saudi assets, run by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), valued at $501bn at the end of 2008, shed around $46bn, the report said.

Gulf sovereign wealth funds have never disclosed the size of their assets nor losses.

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