Abu Dhabi: Mubadala Investment Company is looking for more active investment opportunities in China as the world’s second largest economy continues to position itself as an attractive market for investors, said the group’s chief executive officer Waleed Al Muhairi in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday at the SALT Leadership Conference.
Taking place from Emirates Palace, close to 1,000 business professionals, policymakers and media personalities are taking part in the two-day conference, discussing some of the latest issues ranging from business and geopolitics.
“We have a wonderful partnership in China, we’ve established a $10 billion [Dh36.72 billion] fund there with the China Development Bank (CDB) [and] we’ve deployed almost $2 billion in 15 or 16 different sectors,” said Al Muhairi.
“At the end of the day our objective is to participate in the growth of a large growing dynamic economy like China,” he added.
“It’s only a matter of time before China becomes the largest economy on earth and it would be impossible for me to imagine a world where Mubadala is not participating in some shape, way or form in the growth and success of that economy,” Al Muhairi said, highlighting how China would form an important part of Mubadala’s future investment portfolio.
At present, Al Muhairi said that the US was Mubadala’s biggest market with $100 billion invested.
“Mubadala today manages around $240 billion in asset management, about $100 billion of that is currently invested in the US, so that’s about 60 per cent of our portfolio and what that tells you is that from our perspective the risk reward equation works in the US.
“And then what you see is the remaining amounts split almost equally in three; you have a portion that is here at home in the UAE, a portion off course in Europe, and the remainder in Asia with a heavy concentration in China,” he added.
Ahmad Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State and chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), also speaking at the event discussed Mubadala’s $1 billion catalyst fund at ADGM, and said that four companies would be announced next year as the first recipients of the fund.
“This fund is now ready, it’s been out for less than a year but they’ve had more than 200 applications; all very interesting ideas. I think they’re ready in the next quarter to make announcements of at least four entities that will come and establish offices in ADGM.
“These are entities that are well established in their own right, but will receive some funding from the catalyst fund,” he added.
“The catalyst fund is managed by Mubadala and in my opinion it’s designed to encourage firms to move to ADGM, but it has a commercial mandate… and this commercial mandate means we’re attracting teams that feel their strategies are appropriate for being in our jurisdiction,” he said.
Al Sayegh also spoke on next year’s Mubran crude price listing, which will be launched by ICE Futures Abu Dhabi at ADGM, calling the move historic and one of the most important decisions made by Adnoc.
“This contract could have been listed anywhere… but we didn’t want it to happen anywhere else, we wanted it to happen here in Abu Dhabi because obviously something like pricing your crude is a very important matter.
“This is one of the most important decisions we’ve made in the history of our national oil company, it’s not easy to make such decisions and we’re the first to do this in the region,” he added.
“The government changed its pricing policy which is huge [and] historical, but also because the government feels comfortable with the jurisdiction that will house this new exchange where our most important commodity will be priced in the future, and that I think is a lesson in terms of how Abu Dhabi is transforming,” Al Sayegh said.