June 22, 2020 / 12:50 PM / 20 days ago

Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala plans to grow Asia portfolio

DUBAI (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala Investment Co is under-invested in Asia and plans to expand its portfolio in the region, Group CEO Khaldoon Khalifa al-Mubarak said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: A general view of Business Bay area, after a curfew was imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Satish Kumar/File Photo

Mubadala, the second-biggest state investor in Abu Dhabi behind Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), has 9% of its portfolio invested in Asia.

“From a relative perspective we are under-invested in Asia. You’ll see us grow our portfolio in Asia,” Mubarak said at a Bloomberg event.

His comments came weeks after the sovereign fund agreed to invest $1.2 billion in digital business Jio Platforms, a unit of India’s Reliance Industries, in exchange for a 1.85% stake.

He said 38% of Mubadala’s portfolio is in the United States, which it seeks to maintain and grow.

“I don’t see us reducing exposure. If anything, it’s about maintaining and continuing to grow in that space,” Mubarak said, adding that current valuations are high, but quality investments are justified.

There has been a shift in the investment committee’s risk appetite since it’s retreat to safety in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mubarak said.

“Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of knowledge and appreciation of what sort of risks we can take from a corporate perspective,” Mubarak said.

By contrast, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has been more aggressive pouring $7.7 billion into U.S. and European blue-chip stocks in the first quarter.

Mubarak believes that the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis will take time.

“I believe we have to now transition to the mode of living with COVID,” he said, adding that Mubadala will become a much more sophisticated technology investor in the next four or five years.

The fund, which manages $232 billion in assets, is interested in sectors including medical technology, agricultural technology, artificial intelligence and life sciences.

Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh, Saeed Azhar and Yousef Saba; Editing by Louise Heavens and David Goodman

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