Dubai’s SWF to form investment alliance with Korea

26 August 2014   Category: News, Asia, Global, Korea, Middle East, United Arab   By Daniel Shane

Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the Gulf emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), which will see the two explore investment opportunities across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

As Korea’s official trade finance agency, KEXIM is responsible for providing financial support for international investments in which entities from the East Asian country are participating.

A statement said that the partnership had a broad remit, but would initially focus on investments in healthcare, infrastructure and energy.

"We believe that this partnership provides a fantastic platform to promote and develop new investment opportunities in potentially new markets for mutual benefit, alongside a partner of global standing, with complementary competencies and a congruent investment philosophy,” commented Lee Duk-Hoon, chairman and president of KEXIM.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, ICD board member, added: "ICD is very pleased to be entering into this venture with KEXIM, who provide unparalleled connectivity with the Korean business community that includes many global leading companies with proven export credentials, in addition to the financial strength, acumen, discipline and track record to successfully deliver on investment projects".

ICD’s portfolio includes equity stakes in some of Dubai’s largest corporate entities, including Emirates NBD, Emaar Properties, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates Airline, Emirates National Oil Company, and Dubai Duty Free. The wealth fund is chaired by Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Trade between Dubai, a transportation and logistics hub in the Middle East, and Korea currently stands at about US$10 billion per year, according to data from the emirate’s government.

Last year, Dubai’s largest construction company, Arabtec, formed a major joint venture with Korea’s Samsung Engineering that will seek to explore opportunities in oil and gas, power and infrastructure in the Middle East and North Africa.