Oman’s wealth fund scouts for UK deals amid pound slump

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The Oman Investment Authority, which manages funds equivalent to 40 percent of the Sultanate’s economy, is looking for deals in the UK, a senior executive said.

“Problems create opportunities,” Ibrahim al-Eisri, director of private equity at OIA said in an interview. “We see opportunities in Europe in different sectors especially in technology. UK has lots of opportunities due to the falling currency.”

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“We have high exposure to the US and we like that market,” he said on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Wednesday.

Oman split its wealth fund this year into two units overseeing local and foreign assets. The so-called Generational Portfolio consists of mostly foreign assets and will focus on “achieving the greatest returns for future generations.”

The OIA’s other arm, the National Development Portfolio, includes more than 160 companies and manages local assets. Locally, the fund is looking to do is to build a hub in Oman on alternate technologies -- hydrogen, wind and solar,” al-Eisri said.

“These are very much evolving technologies and Oman has potential to become a big player in this space, particularly in hydrogen technology,” he told Bloomberg.

Earlier this year, Abu Dhabi wealth fund ADQ and the OIA said they’d identified investments worth $8 billion in the sultanate.

The funds said they’re looking into new projects across sectors including hydrogen, solar and wind, green aluminum and steel, as well as water and electricity transmission lines.

“The country wants to create opportunities for FDI to come in,” al-Eisri said. “A government entity partnering with these companies helps create a hedge.”

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