S.Korean sovereign wealth fund to bet on metaverse, AI by investing Silicon Valley startups

Asian Tech Press (Feb 11) -- Korea Investment Corporation (KIC), a $200 billion South Korean sovereign wealth fund, is now planning to boost its investments in Silicon Valley startups, aiming to accelerate its expansion in the alternative asset space through metaverse and artificial intelligence.

Seoungho Jin, who was appointed CEO of the investment firm only in the middle of last year, expects the firm's San Francisco office to expand its staff this year to explore investing in technology, health and green projects in Silicon Valley.

One of the major investment focuses is the recently hot metaverse concept. The metaverse is an immersive version of the Internet, where everyone can interact, play games and complete tasks as a digital avatar using devices such as virtual or augmented reality glasses.

Jin also said the firm is also increasing its exposure to technology stocks while evaluating opportunities in financials, which could benefit from rising interest rates.

The South Korean sovereign wealth fund, established in 2005, was originally created to increase the country's national wealth and contribute to its financial industry. The fund only invests outside of South Korea and has not yet announced its performance for 2021.

Jin, who once worked for the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) and the National Commission on Sustainable Development (NCSD) directly under the South Korean president, noted that KIC provides an economic cushion to ensure that South Korea does not repeat the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

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