Sovereign wealth funds: Gearing up

Sep 1, 2012

The hope is that large strategic investors such as sovereign wealth funds will become an integral part of Latin America’s financial landscape. The reality, however, is more complex

By Ben Miller

Latin America’s appeal to other regions eager to access its resource wealth is hardly a secret. But so far, large state-backed investments into the region’s strategic sectors have been limited and have often passed under the radar.

Today, there are signs sovereign wealth funds and other large strategic investors are looking to step up their presence in Latin America – not least through deals in the region’s often challenging public equity markets.

Mubadala Development Company’s $2 billion purchase of 5.63% of Brazil’s EBX this March underscored a growing interest in the region from Gulf states eager to diversify and secure access to resources. The Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle made an investment characteristic of large funds – an infrastructure bet supporting a large, diversified well-known player at the pre-IPO stage.

EBX, the holding company for Eike Batista’s family of companies, also used its...

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