The Trouble With Sovereign-Wealth Funds

Dec. 22, 2015 9:04 p.m. ET

Kazakhstans $55 billion sovereign-wealth fund helped pull the country through the global financial crisis and offered funding for the countrys bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

But the collapse in oil prices has hit Kazakhstan and its fund, Samruk-Kazyna JSC, hard. In October, the fund borrowed $1.5 billion in its first syndicated loan to help a cash-strapped subsidiary saddled with a troubled oil-field investment.

Our oil company lost lots of its revenues, says the funds chief executive, Umirzak Shukeyev. Currently, we are trying to adjust to the situation.

Funds like Samruk are at a critical juncture. For years, sovere