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

Aung San Suu Kyi wants foreign investment amid international pressure

Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi wants the world to see her country as a business and investment opportunity waiting to be seized. Suu Kyi made the pitch that Myanmar is “the last frontier of Southeast Asia” in a keynote speech at the Asean Business and Investment Summit, on the sidelines of the main Asean Summit, which will be held from Monday to Thursday in Singapore. Suu Kyi acknowledged that Myanmar very behind in this respect, saying “this may sound old hat to you, but it’s very very new to us. We want you to know we are catching up with the rest of the world.” There is certainly a long way for Myanmar to go. Just weeks ago, in late October, the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report, an index that evaluates “the regulations that enha

By Quinn Libson
November 14, 2018

Analysis, Economics

President Xi emphasizes role of Hong Kong, Macau

Both Hong Kong and Macao were told to integrate with nation’s overall development. President Xi Jinping underlined on Monday the unique and irreplaceable role of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions for China’s reform and opening-up in the new era. He also called on the two regions to better integrate themselves with the nation’s overall development. Xi’s remarks came as he met with a delegation of about 210 representatives from the two SARs who were in Beijing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up. The position and role of Hong Kong and Macao will only be strengthened rather than weakened, Xi said. The two regions should continue to play a leading role and enable more capital, technology and talent to take part in the country’s high-quality development and in the new round of high-level opening-up, he said. People of the two regions should continu

By China Daily
November 13, 2018

Analysis, Economics

Report of NK’s ‘undisclosed’ missile bases not new, S. Korea says

South Korea’s presidential office on Tuesday played down a new report on North Korea’s “undisclosed” missile sites. South Korea’s government said that it’s going too far to call the North’s continued activity a “great deception” given that it has no specific agreement to dismantle or disclose the facilities mentioned in the report issued by Beyond Parallel, a group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The group said it has located 13 out of an estimated 20 missile operating bases undeclared by the secretive communist regime. “The dispersed deployment of these bases and distinctive tactics employed by ballistic missile units are combined with decades of extensive camouflage, concealment and deception practices to maximize the survival of its missile units from pre-emptive strikes and during wartime operations,” the report

By The Korea Herald
November 13, 2018

Analysis, Economics

‘Forced repatriation’ to pose security risk

International crisis warns that forced repatriation of Rohingya refugees could pose serious security risks. The International Crisis Group has warned of serious security risks of “forced repatriation” of the Rohingya, just as Myanmar and Bangladesh prepare for the November 15 return of the refugees sheltered in Bangladesh. In a statement, the Brussels-based global advocacy body said Rohingyas strongly opposed the repatriation move and would do whatever they can to resist it. “This [forced repatriation] will increase tension in the camps and could lead to confrontations between refugees and Bangladesh security forces and greatly complicate humanitarian operations. “A botched repatriation attempt could potentially set back peace and development efforts by years,” said the statement released yesterday. It comes two weeks after Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin the repatriation

By Daily Star
November 13, 2018

Analysis, Economics

No further dismantlement at NK missile site

North Korea’s key missile site has not been dismantled further since August, a US website monitoring the regime said Thursday. North Korea has pledged to dismantle a missile engine testing site and a launch pad in Dongchang-ri as part of its stated commitment to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. 38 North said satellite imagery from Oct. 31 indicates there has been no additional dismantlement activity since August. “Components that were previously removed remain stacked on the ground at both locations,” 38 North said in an article posted on its website. Meanwhile, the imagery shows new equipment, possibly for ventilation,

By The Korea Herald
November 9, 2018

Analysis, Economics

Thailand’s KBank to launch e-wallet, invests $50 million US in Grab Taxi

Grab on Thursday announced a partnership with Thailand’s Kasikornbank to launch mobile payment application GrabPay by KBank. The mobile wallet, which is slated to be launched as soon as early 2019, will allow Grab customers to pay for transport and delivery services, transfer funds, purchase products and services online, and make QR-code payments in restaurants and shops across Thailand. Through Thailand’s national e-payments scheme called PromptPay, all three million QR-enabled merchants in the country will be able to accept GrabPay by KBank.

By The Straits Times
November 9, 2018