KIA making portfolio shift on signs of global economic weakness

The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) began increasing its exposure to bonds and cash two years ago to boost liquidity in its portfolio as the global economy showed signs of weakness, Kuwaiti newspaper Alqabas reported on Sunday, citing sources.

The report provided rare insight on the strategy of one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, though it did not give a breakdown of KIA’s investments in various asset classes.

KIA, which the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute estimates manage $592 billion of assets, does not publicly disclose its investments or detailed strategy.

The newspaper report said KIA made “calculated exits” from investments it felt were vulnerable to a downturn in global financial markets as the world economy began to show signs of faltering two years ago.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July cut its forecast for global growth this year and next, warning that further tariffs in the U.S.-China trade dispute or a disorderly British exit from the European Union could slow growth further, weaken investment and disrupt supply chains.

The IMF said that downside risks had intensified and it expected global economic growth of 3.2% in 2019 and 3.5% in 2020, both down by 0.1 percentage points from its April forecasts and its fourth downgrade since October. Despite recent volatility in equity markets, KIA has achieved a 10% return on its investments in U.S. stock markets since the beginning of this year, the report said.

KIA officials were not immediately available to comment.

Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reported in late 2017 that KIA had more than $300 billion of investments in the United States, diversified among stocks, bonds, real estate and technology.

The fund‘s investments are spread across more than 120 economies globally. (Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy Writing by Saeed Azhar Editing by David Goodman)

Reuters 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.