By Ahmed Hagagy
KUWAIT CITY (Reuters) – Kuwait plans to establish a new sovereign fund to develop its local economy, spearhead mega projects, and attract funds from foreign investors and the private sector, according to a government plan seen by Reuters.
The government has tasked the Ministry of Finance and the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) with studying plans for the proposed fund, dubbed Ciyada, Arabic for sovereign, the document says.
There was no indication of the value of the funds Ciyada would control or of any specific projects it would help finance. Ciyada Development Fund will be used to spearhead domestic investments, intended to fuel economic development and diversify Kuwait’s economy, the document says.
The KIA, which already has more than $800 billion in assets under management according to sovereign wealth fund tracker Global SWF, controls the Kuwait Investment Office, which manages the General Reserve Fund (GRF) and the Future Generations Fund (FGF).
The GRF serves as the main treasurer for the Government while the FGF invests state revenue abroad.
Ciyada would accelerate Kuwait’s economic growth, promote transformation and progress in various fields of development, through strategic planning and implementation of major development projects, the document says. Others in the region also manage billions through sovereign wealth funds. Abu Dhabi for instance in 2002 created Mubadala Development Co to diversify the emirate’s economy and accelerate development.
In 2016 Mubadala was merged with International Petroleum Investment Co to form Mubadala Investment Co. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is the cornerstone of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 that seeks to help wean the economy off its dependence on revenues from oil.