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Sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East and Asia buy stakes in Europe and the USA
The sovereign-wealth fund Government of Singapore Investment Corporation is one of the biggest investors. During the past months it acquired shares worth about 7 billion Euros in the Swiss bank UBS and invested a further 4.7 billion Euros in the American bank Citigroup. Kuwait Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign-wealth funds, also commits a large sum to transactions. It holds a stake worth 4.4 billion Euros at the U.S. investment bank Merrill Lynch and it invested 566 million Euros in the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the financial service provider Visa.
The sovereign-wealth funds are also engaged in the European and U.S. stock exchanges. The Qatar Investment Authority, for instance, acquired a 20 per cent stake at the London Stock Exchange(LSE) and a 10 per cent stake at the Scandinavian stock exchange OMX. Dubai International Financial Centre recently took over a 28 per cent stake at the LSE from the Nasdaq Stock Market.
However, the sovereign-wealth funds or state-controlled enterprises from the Middle and Far East not only invest in the financial sector. They are also interested in industrial enterprises.
Only recently the Arabian state-run corporation Saudi Basic Indurtries assumed control of GE Plastics, a U.S. plastics manufacturer.
Furthermore sovereign-wealth funds invest in prestige brands such as Aston Martin or Bulgari. Meanwhile hotel chains, for example InterContinental, are funded by sovereignwealth funds from the Middle and Far East.
Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung GmbH (ZEW)
The ZEW works in the field of user-related empirical economic research. In this context it particularly distinguished itself nationally and internationally by analysing internationally comparative issues in the European context and by compiling scientifically important data bases. The ZEW's duty is to carry out economic research, economic counselling and knowledge transfer.
The ZEW was founded in 1990. At present, 160 employees work at the ZEW, of which about two thirds are scientifically active.
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