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Capital Markets

Middle East sovereign wealth: Slim pickings in Adia’s dated review

There are interesting titbits on Africa, private debt and renewable energy at the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund.

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In the final month of 2020, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) has just got around to producing its review for 2019.

It is characteristically light on data: not only, like many sovereign wealth fund annual reviews, is it chronically out of date in that it predates the Covid-19 pandemic. It also doesn’t tell us how much money Adia manages. (It never does, and probably never will.)

But that’s just how it is in the Gulf: Adia at least reveals more than its peers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, including, for example, the asset allocation ranges it invests within over the long term. And it provides only a few nuggets of wisdom about what this vast fund, certainly one of the largest in the world, does with its money.

African countries are among those offering the greatest potential for long-term investors
Adia report

The headline data is the return figure, which, like peers such as the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, is reported only on a long-term basis: 4.8% annually over 20 years, and 6.6% over 30 years.

Again, like GIC, it is curious how an event two decades ago can make returns look weak today, in this case the run-up to the tech stock crash slipping out of the 20-year figures.

The


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