Guyana’s remarkable oil developments have attracted the attention of Black Rock, the world’s largest asset manager, along with other American heavyweights like Bank of America. Top officials from these companies, as well as Hess Corporation, Capital Group, MFS Investment Management, and Aristotle, held talks with President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali at his Georgetown Office on Wednesday.
President Ali was joined by Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo; Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, and Director of Presidential Affairs, Marcia Nadir-Sharma.
The large delegation spoke to the Head of State about potential investment opportunities and highlighted their areas of expertise. They also enquired about the government’s vision for the country and ways they can participate in the overall development.
Black Rock’s presence in Guyana is of particular importance as it is the world’s largest asset manager, with US$8.59 trillion under management as of December 31, 2022. Guyana’s burgeoning Natural Resource Fund, which has received over US$2 billion in royalties and profit oil, is underpinned by robust legislation that allows for safe investments in ineligible assets. For the time being, no approval has been granted to pursue such options.
Black Rock is no stranger to teaming up with fund managers since last year for example, it signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund to jointly explore infrastructure projects in the Middle East.
Black Rock is also the second largest shareholder in ExxonMobil Corporation whose affiliate is leading a consortium in the oil-rich Stabroek Block. It also holds a significant number of shares in Hess Corporation which has a 30 percent working interest in the block.
The presence of Capital Group which ranks among the world’s largest investment management organisations, with over US$2.6 trillion in assets under management, also underscores Guyana’s growing importance as an investment destination in the world.
As for MFS Investment Management, it was founded in 1924 and stands as one of the oldest asset management companies in the world.
Though not an asset manager, Aristotle International would be of interest to the government as it has been at the forefront of consulting for political campaigns and advocacy groups since 1983.
Guyanese authorities are pursuing an aggressive campaign to attract investments and technical support to meet the demands of managing the country’s rapidly expanding oil and gas sector.
Thus far, the USA, Africa, India, and the United Arab Emirates have stepped up to provide capacity-building support.
It has also acknowledged the importance of keeping institutional and legislative changes on the front burner to ensure operational efficiencies within the economy are optimised.