STUTTGART, Sept 19 — Kuwaiti Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) Anas Al-Saleh has stressed Kuwait’s keenness on increasing its investment shares in Germany.
This came in a speech delivered by the Minister in a ceremony held by the German group for the automotive industry (Daimler) in the city of Stuttgart, Thursday night, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the cooperation between the German group and the State of Kuwait.
Al-Saleh expressed KIA’s honor for the 40th anniversary of its investment in Daimler coinciding with two important events; the first is Kuwait’s celebration of the 50th anniversary for the establishment of diplomatic ties with Germany, while the second is Germany’s snatching of the World Cup for the fourth time.
“So I am pleased to extend my sincere congratulations on this achievement, especially since Daimler is the official sponsor of the German team”, Al-Saleh added.
He recalled some headlines published in a number of world dailies right after Kuwait’s investment in the Daimler in September 1974, where the dailies such as the ‘Washington Post’ and the ‘Financial Times’ warned of the severe consequences of this investment by saying that “The Arabs have bought Daimler-Benz”, “Kuwait is behind the purchase of Benz” and “Bonn upset of a secret deal of Daimler-Benz”.
The Kuwaiti Minister pointed out that the ‘Wall Street Journal’ had then quoted the Minister of State in the Ministry of Economy of West Germany as saying that the federal government was an important ally for Daimler-Benz and we will not stand indifferent to this subject.
However, the ‘Dresdner Bank’ which was behind the sale of shares owned by the family of Quant in Daimler to the state Kuwait had assured the German government and public opinion by saying that Kuwait did not have any intention to get votes in order to manage the business side of the company.
The minister said that this position was later confirmed, according to the ‘Times Herald’ newspaper that ‘Dresdner Bank’ assured Minister of Economy in the then West Germany that Kuwait had absolutely no intention to intervene in the administration’s of the second-largest car company in West Germany.
Al-Saleh noted that after the situations had eased a little, the West German government reiterated that it did not have any direct strategic reservations on the deal as long as Kuwait adheres to its pledge to grant Daimler an absolute freedom in the management of its operations, a matter which had been met.
He added that KIA has maintained its pledge and remained present in the company even in the darkest circumstances and did not lose confidence in the “glory of this company.”
“We were and remain a steadfast partner that can be relied upon as KIA’s ownership in Daimler’s share amounted to 6.14 percent, or about 329 million euros in 1974 to 9.6 percent with more than five billion euros after 40 years of business”, he said.
Al-Saleh noted that KIA started out as a small portfolio in Germany in the ‘Dresdner Bank’ in the mid sixties of last century and has evolved over the years to possess approximately 14 billion euros of the total investments in Germany managed through 31 of the portfolio managers and divided into 17 portfolio of stocks and 14 portfolio of bonds, therefore, Germany is the largest host of KIA’s investments in the continent of Europe.
The Kuwaiti minister said that KIA, as a sovereign responsible investor, pursues a policy of non-interference in the management of companies or the pursuit of short-term profit despite the many temptations, adding that KIA strives to achieve stability and provide job opportunities wherever it is based.