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Tue 29 Sep 2009 11:38 PM

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KIA denies UNCTAD asset losses claim

Sovereign wealth fund asks UN agency to correct claim in report that fund’s assets slumped 41% last year.

The KIA (Kuwait Investment Authority) on Tuesday dismissed as untrue claims in a report from UNCTAD (UN Conference on Trade and Development) that it had incurred losses last year to the tune of $94 billion, due to the global economic downturn.KIA Managing Director Othman al-Issa said in a statement the authority had written to UNCTAD, asking it to ''correct the serious mistake'' it had made when it claimed the investment body saw its assets slump 41 percent in 2008, KUNA reported.

The authority requested UNCTAD revise its figures, without specifying in its statement what the revision should amount to.

Earlier this month the KIA, which is currently eyeing investments in Italy, said it had no intention - in the short term at least - of selling its investments in US banks Merrill Lynch and Citigroup, according to a statement obtained by the daily al-Rai newspaper.

The fund had come under fire from some parliamentarians for investing $5 billion in Citigroup and Merrill Lynch. Merrill has since been bought by Bank of America.

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