Three sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) from the UAE invested a combined $36.5 billion in 2023, Global SWF, which tracks the world’s sovereign investment funds, said in its 2024 annual report.

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala was ranked third in the top 10 list of SWFs with investments of $17.5 billion, followed by Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) with investments of $13.2 billion. 

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) was ranked seventh with deployments worth $5.9 billion. Abu Dhabi’s ADQ took the eighth spot with investments amounting to $5.8 billion.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) was the lead investor with $31.5 billion deployed in 48 deals, 33% more than in 2022.  

Co-investments are becoming a popular formula and have grown over $30 billion for the first time. 

Mubadala focused on bolstering the UAE’s economic strength with co-investments with ADQ and Brookfield in Dubai-based payments provider Network International Holdings and US-based Resilience in the biopharma sector.

According to the report, one of the most active sellers in the past few years has been Mubadala, which divested $ 122.7 billion between 2018 and 2022, almost the same figure it had invested. 

Several of these exits came from IPIC’s portfolio, including 37% of CEPSA, 64% of Borealis, and 25% of OMV, and from ADIC’s portfolio, including the Chrysler building in New York, and, more recently, 8% of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. 

Other monetisations have come through the private placement or IPO of home-grown powerhouses, such as Masdar, partly sold to ADNOC and TAQA; Aldar, partially divested to Alpha Dhabi; and YahSat, which was taken public. 

In January 2023, the UAE SWF completed the sale of 55% of Mubadala Health to G42 for $2.4 billion. 

“The Gulf will surely continue to amaze us with new developments and grand plans. The formation of Dubai’s new SWF will send shock waves and we will see plenty of movement of personnel from other SWFs, just like we saw a few years ago with ADQ’s formation,” the report said.

Global SWF expects assets of state-owned Investors, including sovereign wealth funds, public pension funds, and central banks, to reach $54.9 trillion by 2025 and $71.0 trillion by 2030. 

By then, Norway’s NBIM, Saudi’s PIF and Japan’s GPIF will lead the table, with more than $2 trillion in assets under management each. 

(Editing by Seban Scaria