Motoring Mubadala

Ashby Monk

According to an investor presentation released by Mubadala this week, the Abu Dhabi-based “business development and investment company” saw its assets under management increase dramatically between 2006 and 2009. The SWF checked in at $4.9 billion in 2006, $10.7 billion in 2007, $14.8 billion in 2008, and was most recently listed at $21.6 billion. Over the 3.5 year period, Mubadala reports a compound annual growth rate over 80%!

What is going on here? I was under the impression that all investment funds lost money over this period. Even the CIC, which sat out 2008, lost roughly 2%. One explanation is that the SWF revalued its holdings of oil and stocks, which drove the enormous increase in income (up 450%). So perhaps it isn’t quite as impressive as we think. However, it is apparent that the SWF has done quite well in diversifying Abu Dhabi’s economy (for more details see the 2008 annual report).

When I have a bit more time, I’m going to listen to the open conference call…which is something I didn’t expect to write about any Middle Eastern SWF even a year ago. It is remarkable how transparent and open Mubadala has become.

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About

This website is a project of Professor Gordon L. Clark and Dr. Ashby Monk of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Their research on sovereign wealth funds is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and The Rotman International Centre for Pension Management.

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