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Kuwait open to investment opportunities in Europe-FinMin

Kuwait, the world's No. 6 crude exporter is one of the richest countries globally with its sovereign wealth fund, Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), managing assets in excess of $290 billion. It owns stakes in Citigroup , Daimler AG and Agricultural Bank of China among other companies.

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October 10, 2011 3:11 by



Kuwait is open to any investment opportunities in Europe if they are compatible with risk controls, the OPEC member’s finance minister Mustapha al-Shamali was quoted as saying by the state news agency KUNA on Monday.
Kuwait, the world’s No. 6 crude exporter is one of the richest countries globally with its sovereign wealth fund, Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), managing assets in excess of $290 billion. It owns stakes in Citigroup , Daimler AG and Agricultural Bank of China among other companies.
Asked whether Kuwait would consider buying euro zone government bonds, including Italian bonds, Shamali told KUNA in Beijing: “We are open to any investment opportunities in all parts of Europe, as long as these investments are compatible with risk controls and they fall within our investment criteria.”
Italy will test investor nerves with bond issues later this week after its credit rating was downgraded last week by Moody’s and Fitch.
The markets have been speculating that cash-rich Gulf oil exporters such as Qatar might inject money into European banks exposed to cash-strapped governments such as Greece.
Saudi finance minister said last month the euro zone debt crisis was a cause for concern but it might also be an opportunity for investors.
In August, Qatar bought about 17 percent of the lender that will be created by a merger of Greece’s Alpha Bank and Eurobank , injecting 500 million euros into the new entity.
Shamali said on Monday that KIA’s long-term investment strategy meant it could withstand large market fluctuations caused by the euro zone debt crisis.
“As a long-term international investor, the authority seeks to invest in growing economies across the world, including advanced economies,” Shamali said. (Reporting by Angus McDowall and Martin Dokoupil; Additional reporting by Nour Merza; Editing by Susan Fenton)



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