See More on Facebook

Analysis, Economics

5 sovereign wealth funds to keep an eye on in Asia

In recent years, sovereign wealth funds have made headlines for a variety of reasons.


Written by

Updated: February 1, 2018

In Malaysia, corruption allegations stemming from 1Malaysia Development Berhad thrust Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration into an uncomfortable spotlight while funds from the Middle East and China were accused by the United States of acting unfairly in the market.

In light of recent events, here are five important wealth funds from around the region.

1Malaysia Development Berhad

Perhaps the most infamous sovereign wealth fund in Asia, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was created by current Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 to further develop the country’s economy in a sustainable manner through foreign direct investment and strategic global partnerships. The company was involved in a number of large-scale projects, including the multi-billion-dollar Tun Razak Exchange and urban development project Bandar Malaysia. In 2015, 1MDB made headlines around the world for the alleged misappropriation of funds.

China Investment Corporation (CIC)

The second largest sovereign wealth fund in the world according to SWFI rankings, China Investment Corporation was created in Sept 2007 to diversify the country’s foreign exchange holdings. CIC currently has three subsidiaries: CIC international, which manages overseas assets, CIC Capital, which focuses on making direct investments to enhance the company’s portfolio, and Central Huijin, which makes equity investments in state-owned financial institutions in China, as stated on the company’s official website.

According to the New York Times, the company places a particular emphasis on infrastructure, and its portfolio includes major projects such as Heathrow Airport and the Port of Melbourne. The investor has not always received a warm welcome, however, with the United States preventing it from making similarly large investments within US borders last year amid fears of growing Chinese influence.

Temasek Holdings – Singapore

Established in 1974, Temasek holdings is a large investment company which focuses primarily on investments within Asia. Although it is headquartered in Singapore, it has an additional 11 international offices and owns a portfolio worth S$275 billion as of 31 March 2017. Its portfolio spans a wide range of industries.

Crown Property Bureau – Thailand

While not technically a Sovereign Wealth Fund, Thailand’s Crown Property Bureau is a wealth fund belonging to a sovereign. It manages the royal family’s real estate and investments and is thought to control billions of US dollars’ worth of assets, according to The New York Times. Established in 1936, the agency is under the control of a board appointed by the monarchy and the government. Its governing board comprises Thailand’s Minister of Finance and an additional six members appointed by the King. It holds shares in Siam Cement group, the largest building material company in Thailand, and Siam Commercial Bank, the country’s oldest bank and holds a minority stake in Kempinski Hotels Group.

Korea Investment Corporation

Korea Investment Corporation is a sovereign wealth fund created in 2005 to preserve and increase South Korea’s national wealth by investing public funds in various international financial assets, according to The International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds. Assets that the company invests in include public equities, bonds, commodities, private equity, real estate, and hedge funds. It is headed by the Steering Committee, which includes the chairman, CEO, six private sector professionals, the Minister of Strategy and Finance and Governor of the Bank of Korea.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Nadia Chevroulet
About the Author: Nadia is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Analysis, Economics

What does Vietnam’s new cyber law mean for online dissent?

Will Facebook kowtow to the Vietnamese government to keep its market share. Facebook is in violation of a Vietnamese new cybersecurity law by allowing its users to post content critical of the communist government on its platform, the Ministry of Information and Communication announced on Wednesday of last week. The news came just days after the law went into effect on Jan. 1. The new legislation requires internet companies to comply with government demands to remove user-posted material it doesn’t like. The law also stipulates that information technology companies—Facebook and Google for instance—may be required to set up local offices and store customer data domestically, a feature which human rights advocates worry might make it easier for the government to track and charge dissidents for their online activities. This new legislation follows a pattern of increasing digital scrutiny by th


By Quinn Libson
January 15, 2019

Analysis, Economics

Seat belt warning as storm clouds loom in 2019

A look at potential headlines in 2019 by the Straits Times’ Warren Fernandez. You have been here before. As you settle into your comfortable seat for the long flight ahead, a voice crackles from the cockpit. “Our flying time today will be 12 hours, 40 minutes, and we expect a smooth journey ahead, but there looks to be some pockets of turbulence along the way,” your captain says, sounding vaguely assuring. “We suggest you keep your seat-belt on.” So was said on my recent Singapore Airlines flight home from holidaying abroad. It prompted several hours of meandering musings from 30,000 feet in the air about what lies ahead in the New Year. Some of the storm clouds that appear to loom on the political horizon include: 1. US-China: rivalries among frenemies Three recent developments sum up the precarious state of relations between the world’s two main powers, now on a tentative


By The Straits Times
January 7, 2019

Analysis, Economics

Pakistan seals financial assistance from UAE

$3 billion financial assistance sealed as Abu Dhabi Crown Prince meets Imran Khan in Islamabad. Pakistani and United Arab Emirates leadership have met thrice now in three months. Prime Minister Imran Khan visited the UAE twice after assuming office in August to seek economic assistance. Both countries last week finalised the terms and conditions of a $6.2 billion support package for Islamabad to help address its balance-of-payments crisis. A joint statement issued after the UAE royal’s visit said Prime Minister Khan thanked the crown prince for the “generous” balance-of-payments support of $3 billion, which appears to have materialised first out of the total financial package. Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, who last visited


By Dawn
January 7, 2019

Analysis, Economics

Afghan war helped Pakistan keep nuclear option: US papers

US backing for anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan may have enabled the Pakistan bomb. Torn between preventing Pakistan from going nuclear and fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, the United States appears to have decided that pushing the Russians out of Kabul was more important, shows a set of documents released by the US State Department. Official US memos and letter — released under an arrangement to make public official documents after 30 years — show that Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (in office from 1978 to 1989) also played a key role in convincing Washington to continue to support Islamabad despite its nuclear programme. Timeline: History of US-Pakistan relations A confidential State Department report, dated Aug 20, 1984, shows that by 1984 Washington knew Islamabad had acquired the


By Dawn
December 24, 2018

Analysis, Economics

What caused the Sunda Strait tsunami?

A volcanic eruption may have been the cause of the cataclysmic event. Questions still abound about what caused the tsunami that hit beaches in Lampung and Banten on Saturday night, killing at least 168 and injuring 750. The lack of a powerful earthquake or strong volcanic eruption caused the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) to initially announce that the waves did not constitute a tsunami but were instead caused by high tide. “The BMKG has not recorded any earthquake occurring tonight. What happened in Anyer [Banten] and the surrounding area was not a tsunami, but a tidal wave. There is also a full moon tonight, which causes high tidal waves. Stay calm,” the BMKG stated on its Twitter account on Saturday night, in a tweet that has since been deleted. It was only discovered hours later that the tide was three meter high, and potentially caused by volcanic activity of Mou


By The Jakarta Post
December 24, 2018

Analysis, Economics

AIIB approves applications of six more countries

The total of countries with a membership in the China-led bank now stands at 93. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) announced on Wednesday that its Board of Governors has approved the membership applications of six more countries, bringing AIIB’s total approved members to 93. The new group of approved members is comprised of Algeria, Ghana, Libya, Morocco, Serbia and Togo. “Within three years, AIIB’s membership has increased from the 57 founders to 93 approved members from almost every continent. This shows our member’s commitment to multilateral cooperation and strengthens AIIB’s role in the international financial community,” said AIIB Vice President and Corporate Secretary Sir Danny Alexander. “The growing membership of the Bank in Europe and Africa also reflects the importance for growth and development of inter-regional connectivity, esp


By China Daily
December 21, 2018