Abu Dhabi Wealth Fund Loss May Be $125 Billion, Saudi Overtakes, Says CFR

Journalist Joseph Kraft, a former member of both the CFR and the Trilateral Commission, said the Council “comes close to being an organ of what C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite – a group of men, similar in interest and outlook, shaping events from invulnerable positions behind the scenes.” Source: Wikipedia

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Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) — Abu Dhabi Investment Authority may have lost $125 billion last year, pushing the sovereign wealth fund to second place behind Saudi Arabia, as the global credit crisis eroded the value of its assets, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) said.

Abu Dhabi’s fund was “hard hit by the recent fall in global equities,” economists Brad Setser and Rachel Ziemba wrote in a report released on the New York-based organization’s Web site (PDF) “A high allocation to equities, emerging market, and private equity,” contributed to the drop.

The emirate’s fund was managing $328 billion at the end of 2008 compared with $453 billion a year earlier, according to the report, which examined the Gulf region’s four largest sovereign funds. “The size of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has been overstated, sometimes by as much as 100 percent.”

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency had $501 billion under management at the end of last year, up from $385 billion in 2007, the report said. The Kuwait Investment Authority and the Qatar Investment Authority at the end of last year managed $228 billion and $58 billion, respectively.

Gulf sovereign wealth funds have invested billions of dollars in financial institutions. The Kuwait Investment Authority last January paid $3 billion for a stake in Citigroup Inc. and invested $2 billion in Merrill Lynch & Co. Abu Dhabi’s Investment Authority bought a 4.9 percent stake in Citigroup for $7.5 billion in November 2007.

To contact the reporter on this story: Haris Anwar in Dubai on Hanwar2@bloomberg.net

Last Updated: January 15, 2009 04:40 EST
By Haris Anwar

Source: Bloomberg

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