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Sovereign funds must be ‘enablers of progress’ says Mubadala chief

Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, group chief executive officer of Mubadala Reuters/Jason Lee
Mubadala, which controls $276bn of assets, will also invest in healthcare, digital infrastructure and financing this year, said CEO Khaldoon Ak Mubarak

Sovereign wealth funds have a responsibility to transform from asset investors to enablers of global progress, the CEO of Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, has announced.

Al Mubarak told an investor conference in Abu Dhabi: “We are in the business of driving progress and investing in solutions to global challenges.”

The government-controlled fund was increasing funding to participate in the long-term, dynamic markets in Asia, Al Mubarak said, as Mubadala focused on mega-trends and global demographics.

“We have increased our long-term allocations for Asia, including Japan, China, Korea and, of course, India,” he said.

Mubadala Investment Company will put “significant” capital into artificial intelligence (AI) and space technology this year, Al Mubarak said on Wednesday, committing the sovereign wealth fund to investing more in the United States.”We plan to invest more in the US market and deepen strategic and forward-looking investment products in the UK, Europe, France,” he said.

Mubadala, which controls $276 billion of assets, would also invest in healthcare, digital infrastructure and financing this year, Al Mubarak said, and had increased long-term allocations for Asia.

Al Mubarak did not specify how much capital Mubadala would deploy this year in the United States, China or elsewhere.

The increased long-term allocation to Asia suggests Mubadala is betting that China’s economic slowdown will not last and that it sees significant investment opportunities there over a longer period.

The UAE and China have close political and economic ties, but Al Mubarak said in his address that investments were based on the attractiveness of the opportunities and not geopolitics.

Washington has become increasingly concerned about Gulf-Chinese partnerships, fearing sensitive US technology could be exposed. The US is the security partner of the Gulf.

Mubadala and Goldman Sachs announced this week that they had agreed to a $1 billion private credit partnership to invest in Asia Pacific. The US and its allies have sought to counter China’s mostly economic influence in the region.