OSLO: Norway’s Government Pension Fund, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, said yesterday it had entered the US real estate market by investing $600m (¤448m) in five office properties. The fund bought a 49.9 percent stake in five office buildings in Washington DC, New York and Boston after forming a joint venture with the seller, TIAA-CREF, a pension fund.The US fund will retain a 50.1 percent holding and will be responsible for managing the properties, it said.
“As the world’s largest real estate market, the US will be an important part of the fund’s long-term property portfolio,” said Karsten Kallevig, chief investment officer for real estate at the Norwegian central bank unit responsible for managing the fund’s assets.
The Government Pension Fund is the main investment vehicle for Norway’s oil revenue and is estimated by the US-based SWF Institute to be the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. The value of its assets currently stands at around 3,892bn kroner (¤527.2bn or $707.4bn). The fund has said it wants real estate to account for 5 percent of its global investment portfolio in the future, compared to only 0.3 percent at the end of September last year.
Saudi Arabia to build water desalination plant in Rabigh
KHOBAR: Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corporation plans to build a new water desalination plant in Rabigh, on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, state media reported yesterday. The plant will have a capacity of 600,000 cubic meters per day of desalinated water and is in the state utility’s budget for this year, SPA reported without providing a cost for the project due to be completed in 2018.