Political Economy of the Gulf Sovereign Wealth Funds
A Case Study of Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
Published October 29th 2012 by Routledge – 194 pages
Using four Gulf sovereign wealth funds as case studies – Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE - this book examines and analyses the history, governance and structure, and investment strategies of the above mentioned funds, in the context of on-going debates about their transparency.
The book discusses how most Gulf sovereign wealth funds were established under colonial rule, and have operated in the global financial system for many decades. With the increase of oil revenues, it goes on to look at how the funds have broadened their asset classes and their institutional development. Debate over the transparency of sovereign wealth funds has highlighted various global practices. Recently, organisational measures have been introduced for calculating possible risks from non-commercial investment incentives of funds, whose politically-driven investment strategies are viewed as potentially a major threat to the national security of their host countries.
Highlighting a number of incidents that triggered the transparency debate, the book scrutinises the reaction of some of the Gulf sovereign wealth funds to these recent regulatory codes and strategies. It is a useful contribution to Development, Political Economy and Middle East Studies.
1. Introduction and Definition of SWFs 2. The Gulf Commodity-based SWFs 3. Kuwait Sovereign Wealth Fund Management 4. Saudi Arabia’s Sovereign Wealth Funds 5. The United Arab Emirates’ Sovereign Wealth Funds 6. Iran’s Experience of Sovereign Wealth Management 7. The Government Pension Fund of Norway 8. The challenge of transparency for SWF 9. Conclusion
Sara Bazoobandi is visiting fellow at Middle East Institute of the National University of Singapore.