US strikes investment accords with Abu Dhabi, Singapore funds

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2008 (AFP) – The US Treasury said Thursday it had reached a series of agreements with two powerful sovereign wealth funds based in Abu Dhabi and Singapore covering investments in US markets.

The agreements were hammered out in a meeting at the US Treasury hosted by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and come amid mounting congressional scrutiny of foreign government funds, some of which are buying up large stakes in corporate America.

“The US welcomes sovereign wealth fund investment and looks forward to continuing to work with these two countries and others to support the initiatives underway at the IMF and OECD to develop best practices for sovereign wealth funds and recipient countries,” the US Treasury chief said.

The International Monetary Fund and the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development are also trying to thrash out similar voluntary principles governing sovereign wealth funds.

Paulson announced the agreements after meeting Singapore’s Finance Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and the deputy chairman of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), Tony Tan. The GIC controls investment funds of more than 100 billion dollars.