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Kuwait's state fund eyes US, EU financials

Kuwait, February 19, 2008

Kuwait's $225 billion sovereign wealth fund said it was interested in investing in financial services and real estate companies in the United States and Europe to benefit from lower asset prices.

The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), which last month agreed to invest $5 billion in Merrill Lynch & Company and Citigroup, at one point looked at France's Societe Generale, Managing Director Bader Al Saad told Reuters on the sidelines of a seminar in Kuwait on Tuesday.

He was not more specific. 'We are interested in financial and real estate,' Saad said.

'In Europe, there are a lot of opportunities with the prices falling down in the US, prices are falling and the market has penalised some of the sectors which were involved heavily in the subprime.' Saad said he was not looking any specific company at the moment.

The KIA said last month it would invest $3 billion in Citigroup and $2 billion in Merrill Lynch.

'At one point, we were looking into Societe Generale but the rights issue is for existing shareholders,' Saad said. On the KIA stake in German automaker Daimler, Saad said: 'We are happy with Daimler at the moment, there is no intention to increase or decrease.'

The Qatar Investment Authority bought between 1 per cent and 2 percent of Credit Suisse at a cost of no more than $500 million, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, without citing anyone.-Reuters




Tags: US | Kuwait | Stake | funds | financials |

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