Kuwait Inc. also owned three million shares of IBM stock, as well as stock in DuPont and Ford in the 1980s. At least $457 million worth of the stock of the U.S. oil companies and $191 million worth of the stock of U.S. utility companies were also owned by the Kuwait Inc. government in the 1980s. The Kuwait Inc. government also owned $12 billion in U.S. government treasury bonds in the early 1980s. The U.S. stocks and bonds owned by the government of Kuwait Inc. continued to be managed by Citibank, Chase Manhattan Bank, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan/Morgan Guaranty Trust in the 1990s.
The government of Kuwait Inc. and Kuwaiti private businessmen also used their new post-1973 oil wealth to make more direct investments in the United States. In 1985, for instance, the value of property in the United States in which the Kuwaiti Inc. government or Kuwaiti private businessmen owned more than 10 percent of the stock exceeded $4 billion. The Atlantic Hilton Hotel, for instance, was owned by Kuwait Inc. investors. A large share of the Galleria Dallas and Houston hotels and malls, worth $500 million, was also owned by Kuwait Inc., as was a large share of the Great Western Resources Oil company, worth $100 million. In the early 1980s, Kuwait Inc. businessmen also owned the Columbia Plaza, a $22 million office complex in Washington, D.C.
The government of Kuwait Inc. also owned 15 percent of the Exploration Company of Louisiana in the 1980s. Other partly-owned Kuwait Inc. properties in the U.S.A. included PCA Crossroads Associates, the Kansas Oil Resources Project, L’Ermital Palm Beach Project and the Williston Basin Oil Exploration Project. The Williston Basin investment of Kuwait Inc. stemmed from the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation joining with the Arizona-based AZR Resources Inc. to set up the International Energy Development Corporation that explored for oil. KPC also agreed in 1981 to set up a joint venture to refine and sell oil products with the Honolulu, Hawaii-based Pacific Resources Inc..
In 1981, private Kuwaiti businessmen also spent over $200 million to acquire three small independent Texas oil refineries. In 1982, Kuwaiti private investors also joined other Arab investors in purchasing a 25 percent share of the U.S. private banking house, Smith Barney, for $40 million.
The government of Kuwait Inc. also owned a 25 percent share, worth $2.4 billion, of Germany’s Hoechst AG transnational chemical company during the early 1980s. In 1986, Hoechst AG purchased the U.S.-based Celanese Corporation for $2.8 billion. Hoechst AG also operated two large factories in low-wage South Carolina through its Hoechst Fibers textile subsidiary in the 1980s.
A 14 percent share of Germany’s Daimler-Benz transnational automotive company, worth $3.5 billion, was also owned by the government of Kuwait Inc. in the 1980s. Daimler-Benz’s U.S. subsidiary, Freightliner, had total annual sales of $1.3 billion each year, prior to Daimler-Benz eventually merging with Chrysler. Fifty-one percent of Korf Industries, a U.S. subsidiary of Germany’s Korf Stahl steel company was also owned by the government of Kuwait Inc. in the 1980s.
The government of Kuwait Inc. also owned 9.9 percent of British Petroleum [BP], whose U.S. subsidiary, BP America, was worth $21 billion in the late 1980s. BP America used to operate under the name of Standard Oil of Ohio [SOHIO] before the British government and the Kuwait Inc. government’s BP purchased it.
Next: Kuwait Inc.’s Past Santa Fe International Investment