Sunday, 28 March 2010

Head of largest sovereign wealth fund missing

Source: Sydney Morning Herald/AP, 28 March 2010
Photo: Forbes

Rescue workers are scouring an artificial Moroccan lake in search of the head of Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund - the world's largest - who went missing after his glider crashed.
Morocco's official MAP news agency said Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan's glider went down in the lake on Friday. The pilot of the aircraft was rescued in good condition, but authorities continued the search for Al Nahyan.
Al Nahyan is the managing director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. He is also the younger brother of Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the leader of the United Arab Emirates.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority could not be immediately reached for comment.
The glider went down near the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Dam, which forms the lake. It is located near the Atlantic coastal town of Skhirat, about 35km south of the capital city Rabat and site of one of Morocco's royal palaces.
The search could be particularly arduous because of recent heavy rains that have pushed up water levels.
The family of Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is known to have numerous properties around this North African kingdom.
The bulk of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority holdings are in the United States and Europe. Al Nahyan said earlier this year the Abu Dhabi fund sees "significant, long-term investment potential" in both regions despite the global downturn.
The fund broke with its customary privacy by issuing its first yearly statement last week - one of the biggest steps yet by the world's largest sovereign wealth fund to increase transparency. However, the report did not contain information on its balance sheet or the overall size of the fund's holdings.
Analysts believe ADIA is the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, with estimates of its size having ranged from less than $US400 billion ($A440.87 billion) to $US875 billion ($A964.4 billion) and beyond.
Its investments include a $US7.5 billion ($A8.27 billion) cash injection into Citigroup Inc in 2007. Stocks and other equities in the developed world make up the largest class of the fund's assets, ranging from 35 to 45 per cent of its holdings.
Between 35 and 50 per cent of ADIA's investments are typically in North America, and another 25 to 35 per cent are in Europe.
The fund, like other investors, is believed to have lost considerable value during the market downturn before bouncing back somewhat over the past year.

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