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Sovereign Wealth FundsThe New Intersection of Money and Politics$
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Christopher Balding

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199842902

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199842902.001.0001

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The Middle Eastern Funds

The Middle Eastern Funds

(p.121) Chapter 6 The Middle Eastern Funds
Sovereign Wealth Funds

Christopher Balding

Oxford University Press

Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds remain less transparent and more difficult to disentangle from the local economy than other funds. More dependent on the price of oil than almost any other economies in the world, the Gulf Funds are a microcosm of the criticisms of sovereign wealth funds. Despite strained economic relations and rhetoric over large oil surpluses, Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds reveal numerous different investment strategies. While the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority is heavily invested in cash and fixed income securities, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority holds a higher risk portfolio of debt, equity, and alternative investments. Additionally, Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds due to their small commodity dependent formation remain intertwined with the government and local economy. More than any other region, it is difficult to tell where a Middle Eastern government ends and the sovereign wealth fund begins. Controlled by the political structure with overlapping managers and in some cases the personal finances of the ruling elite, the Gulf funds provide a fascinating history to the development and pitfalls of sovereign wealth funds.

Keywords:   saudi arabia, kuwait, abu dhabi, sovereign wealth funds, oil economies, abu dhabi investment authority, saudi arabian monetary agency, kuwait investment authority

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