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Sun 6 Sep 2009 09:05 AM

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Kuwait: no plan to sell off Merrill Lynch, Citigroup stakes

Sovereign wealth fund says no intention to sell investments in the short term.

Kuwait has no intention to sell its investments in US banks Merrill Lynch and Citigroup, in the short term, its sovereign wealth fund said in a report published on Sunday.

"The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) has no intention to sell its investments in Merrill Lynch or Citigroup in the short term, as the authority relies in its investment policies on a long-term look," KIA said in a statement obtained by daily al-Rai and published on Sunday.

Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund, which manages state assets in the world's fourth-biggest oil exporter, has come under fire from some parliamentarians for investing $5 billion in Citigroup and Merrill Lynch. Merrill has since been bought by Bank of America.

KIA's remarks, the paper said, came in response to questions submitted by parliamentarian Waleed al-Tabtabae inquiring about the state's investments in Merrill Lynch and Citigroup.

KIA has the ability to exit these investments if it wanted to, the report said.

It added that the value of KIA's investment in Citigroup is about $2.39 billion to Nov 30, 2008, and about $984 million in Merrill Lynch to Dec 1, 2008. (Reuters)

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