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Mubadala to double down on tech after $1.2bn Jio stake

Mubadala to double down on tech after $1.2bn Jio stake

The $232bn fund is looking at India, China and Southeast Asia for potential investments

Mubadala Investment Co. is preparing to double down on its exposure to the technology sector, setting its sights on Asia, after the Abu Dhabi fund took a $1.2bn stake in India’s Jio Platforms.

Technology, in particular the venture space, medical technology, life sciences and artificial intelligence, is “the place to go,” chief executive officer Khaldoon Al Mubarak said during the Bloomberg Invest Global virtual conference on Monday. “That’s the arena for us to build experiences and expertise in and to deploy significant capital.”

The $232bn fund is looking at India, China and Southeast Asia for potential investments.

“We are, from a relative perspective, under-invested in Asia,” he said. “So you’ll see us grow our portfolio in Asia and expect us to do more in the med-tech space, artificial intelligence, life sciences, agribusiness. These are spaces we like.”

Mubadala is among Gulf sovereign funds plowing their oil and natural gas wealth into technology to lessen their reliance on crude and help transform their economies.

The firm this month joined regional and global marquee investors in pouring billions of dollars into the telecommunications and digital services business controlled by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani.

Mubadala, which has offices in San Francisco, New York and Moscow, made a $15bn commitment to the SoftBank Vision Fund and launched a number of tech funds in the US and Europe.

The fund – formed in 2017 by the merger of Mubadala Development Co. and International Petroleum Investment Co. – is ready to use its growing cash pile for deals across the globe, Saeed Al Mazrouei, deputy chief financial officer and head of mergers and acquisitions at Mubadala, said earlier this month.

Mubadala has also been divesting some of its technology and other assets to redeploy proceeds to new investments.

Last year, it sold 34.9 million shares in Advanced Micro Devices. In March, Mubadala helped lead a $2.25bn investment in Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car unit.

Al Mubarak also said:

  • “The US will continue to be a very interesting place to invest in.” Mubadala has no plans to reduce its exposure there, but will continue to grow its portfolio
  • Mubadala’s investment strategy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is “on the offense rather than on the defensive”
  • “There are high valuations at the market. If you look at, let’s say, the US market right now, it does not reflect the reality of the macro situation we see in the US”

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