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SNB Capital invests $100m in South Korean EV battery maker

Battery factory, SK On Reuters/Abaca Press
SK On's EV battery plant in Commerce, Georgia
  • Asset manager hopes to capitalise on global EV demand
  • Investment made through SNB Capital EV Batteries fund
  • SK On building battery plants in US with Hyundai and Ford

Saudi asset manager SNB Capital has bought a $100 million stake in South Korean electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer SK On, it announced on Tuesday.

The investment was made through SNB Capital EV Batteries, a sharia-compliant fund which aims for attractive returns related to the growing global demand for EVs.

SK On is one of the largest EV battery manufacturers in the world. It supplies a number of major vehicle makers including Ford, Hyundai, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz through its factories in Asia, Europe and America. 

The International Energy Agency forecasts “exponential” growth in EV markets globally.

Its latest research shows that a total of 14 percent of all new cars sold in 2022 were electric, up from around 9 percent in 2021 and less than 5 percent in 2020. China, Europe and the US are the dominant markets. 

It predicts that 14 million EVs will be sold this year, up by 35 percent, following 2.3 million EV sales in the first quarter.

Khaled Al Braikan, head of asset management at SNB Capital, said: “We remain active in our pursuit of unlocking new investment avenues for growth.”

SNB Capital Company is licenced by the Capital Market Authority and has more than SAR 230 billion ($61.32 billion) of assets under management as of December 2022.

SK On is part of the SK Group, South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate, which was included in the annual Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential Companies list for its role in EV battery manufacturing in the US.

SK Group said it is committed to investing $85 billion in green businesses by 2030 and cutting annual carbon emissions by 200 million tonnes. 

SK companies combined have $139 billion in global annual revenue and employ more than 100,000 people worldwide.