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Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chief executive officer of Mubadala Investment Co. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Davos: Mubadala Investment Co. plans to focus on investments in Asia this year as China recovers from the pandemic faster-than-expected and India’s economy continues to grow.

The $284 billion Abu Dhabi wealth fund expects a “strong recovery” in China this year and also sees “very exciting opportunities” in Indonesia, South East Asia, Japan and Korea, CEO Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak said in a Bloomberg Television interview at Davos on Wednesday.

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“Our portfolio is relatively underinvested in Asia as a whole and particularly in economies like India and like Korea,” he said. “You will see us certainly look more into these areas as we see more opportunities in the sectors we like.”

Mubadala has a strong team of investment professionals based in China and understands the Chinese market well, he said.

Speaking in Davos just hours after Beijing released better-than-expected economic data for the fourth quarter, China’s top economic official said that his country’s economy will likely rebound to its pre-pandemic growth trend this year. India, meanwhile, recently overtook the UK to become the world’s fifth largest economy.

Elsewhere, Mubadala plans to continue to invest in semiconductors, technology, energy transition, digital infrastructure, software and credit in the short-to-medium term, Al Mubarak said. The fund is also looking at potential investments in technology and venture capital globally, he said.

Mubadala is among sovereign wealth funds from the oil-rich Gulf region that continue to be active acquirers even as global deal volumes fall and banks cut bank lending for acquisitions.

Buoyed with cash from last year’s commodity boom and spurred on by equally ambitious neighbors such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates “- home to about 6 per cent of the world’s proven oil reserves “- is investing billions of dollars to diversify its economy away from crude.

“Our mood is more of cautious optimism,” Al Mubarak said. “There is no doubt that there are some headwinds and there are challenges ahead, but it’s not as bad as people thought. Whether it’s a recession or a lighter recession, my view is that 2023 will be okay.”