KIA held a luncheon banquet in honor of the BlackRock Board Chairman and Board of Directors
On Wednesday 4.6.2008 KIA held a luncheon banquet in honor of the BlackRock Board Chairman and Board of Directors. The banquet was attended by the Minister of Finance and KIA Board Chairman HE Mustafa Jassem Al-Shamali, KIA Board Members and the CEOs of major companies and banks in Kuwait, as well as the Executive Directors of KIA.
BlackRock is a leading financial institution specializing in global investments management. After its merger with Merrill Lynch in October 2006 it became one of the leading asset management and investment institutions in the world; it includes a group of major international economic companies active in more than fifty countries around the world, and managing assets worth 1.4 trillion US Dollars. Shares of this giant institution are held by Merrill Lynch (49%), PNC Financial Services (34%), and the remaining 17% are owned by BlackRock staff and a group of individual shareholders.
The Minister of Finance HE Mustafa Al-Shamali welcomed the honored guests and stressed the importance of such meetings in strengthening ties and creating new fields for cooperation between the two parties.
In his speech, the BlackRock Board Chairman Mr. Laurence Fink expressed his gratitude for the hospitality extended to him and the BlackRock Board members by KIA officials. He also praised the hard work of members of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as the CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation for allowing them the chance of have a closer look at Kuwait’s economy and a clearer picture on the economic environment which may encourage BlackRock to expand its investments in Kuwait.
Mr. Fink said that he was impressed with the pace of economic development in Kuwait and throughout the Gulf, and that they were excited to learn of the many interesting investment opportunities in the region, and hope that their visit has laid the groundwork for future information sharing that helps all parties become better investors.
He also referred to the leading role of KIA and other similar sovereign fund managers in maintaining stability of the world financial markets through their long-term investments, amidst the turbulences of world markets which presents great challenges for investors and financial institutions. He also expressed his pride to work with the KIA to help identify compelling risk management and successful investment solutions.
In turn, Mr. Bader Al-Sa’ad, KIA Managing Director, expressed his pleasure that BlackRock Board Chairman and members accepted KIA’s invitation to visit Kuwait. He also pointed out that the KIA is proud of its business ties with BlackRock and that the KIA is keen on developing these ties further so as to benefit from BlackRock’s outstanding performance in various fields of global investments. He also stated that he intends to invite more senior financial entities to Kuwait so as to introduce them to Kuwait’s economy and have a closer look on the investment opportunities offered by Kuwait’s economy as well as on the major projects under execution in the region, which gives Kuwait the opportunity to achieve its goal of becoming a leading regional financial, trade and logistic center.
The BlackRock Board Chairman and members were keen on reviewing the promising investment opportunities in the oil sector in Kuwait through the overview that the CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation Mr. Sa’ad Al-Shuwaib gave on the expectations of the oil sector in Kuwait and global oil markets.
Mr. Bader Al-Sa’ad expressed his pleasure that BlackRock’s visit was successful as it was the first time for the KIA to host a delegation of the size and importance of BlackRock which included representatives of the following institutions:
·                    Merrill Lynch.
·                    Marsh & McLennan
·                    PNC
·                    KKR
·                    Senior Management Team of BlackRock.
Mr. Bader M Al Sa’ad also stated that the success of such visits will ensure more invitations to global financial institutions to visit Kuwait to learn about Kuwait’s economy and the investment opportunities which Kuwait has to offer. This will bring KIA closer to achieving its goal of making Kuwait a leading regional financial, trade and logistic center.