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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing 23.Sep 2016

Posted on 23 September 2016 by VRS |  Email |Print

The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth fund is pursuing a strategy to increase its portfolio weight of real estate assets to about 5% within the foreseeable future - planning to increase the weight by 1% per year until 2020, with a corresponding decrease in bond holdings.
So far most of the real estate investments (outside of Europe) have been in North America, exploding in recent years and comprising billions of dollars annually. The latest in the surge was announced today in Washington DC…………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 September 2016 by VRS |  Email |Print

Norway’s “Pension Fund Global” is the biggest sovereign-wealth fund in the world, worth an estimated $882B (more than double the national GDP). Not bad for a country with a population of just over 5m people.
It owns 2% of all listed shares in Europe and over 1% globally. Plus, contrary to the way most funds are structured, it’s incredibly transparent by detailing every investment it makes online. The fund refuses to invest in firms with products deemed “unethical,” such as tobacco and weapons. It also acts as an activist of sorts by “blacklisting” corrupt companies, including those that misuse water and energy or engage in child labor………………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 September 2016 by VRS |  Email |Print

The country created a government-run pension fund in the 70s and began investing profits abroad in 1990. Today, according to The Economist, “No sovereign-wealth fund is bigger. It owns more than 2% of all listed shares in Europe and over 1% globally. Its largest holdings are in Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft and Nestlé, among 9,000-odd firms in 78 countries.”
With the decline in oil prices, however, making solid investments becomes more crucial. And even with the canniest managers, the fund may not be the envy of the world forever. It may be impossible for democracies to sustain a rich wealth fund, the Economist points out. Too many people have a say in where they funds are invested and many of them put ideology over high returns………………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 September 2016 by VRS |  Email |Print

UK’s sovereign wealth fund CDC Group has appointed two directors to the board of cement manufacturer ARM in which it recently acquired a 40.6 per cent stake for Sh14.1 billion. The fund appointed Pepe Meijer and Ketso Gordhan to the board of the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed company.
Investment banker John Ngumi was also simultaneously appointed as an independent director of the firm. The three new appointments coincided with the exit of three board members —finance director Atul Mathur and non-executive directors Daniel Ndonye and Michael Turner. Mr Mathur’s replacement is expected to be picked in the coming days…………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 September 2016 by VRS |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) sold $61.4 million to 19 banks through an auction held by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) Sept. 22, SOFAZ said in a message on September 22.
As much as $100 million was put up for the auction. SOFAZ will continue selling foreign currency through auctions in 2016. The foreign currency is sold as part of SOFAZ’s transfers to the Azerbaijani state budget, which are envisaged to stand at 7.615 billion Azerbaijani manats in 2016………………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 September 2016 by VRS |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) and the Central Bank have created the currency oversupply during its centralized sale of foreign currency to banks. SOFAZ reports that today the Central Bank (CBA) has held the next foreign exchange auction.
“At the auction SOFAZ, putting an application for $100 million, sold $61.4 million to 19 banks,” SOFAZ said. In its turn, the CBA announced the putting the application for $50 million. As a result, total application from these two organizations made up $150 million, exceeding the demand at the auction by 2.44-fold………………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 September 2016 by VRS |  Email |Print

The corporation that manages the $54 billion Alaska Permanent Fund is rejecting a proposal from the Walker administration to invest in the oil and gas tax credits issued by the state. The corporation does not view the idea as “an attractive investment opportunity,” said Paulyn Swanson, communications manager for the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., in an email on Tuesday.
Swanson said the “proposed structure and related returns do not justify taking on the associated risks.” Craig Richards, Walker’s former attorney general and under contract to the governor as a private attorney, pitched the idea to the corporation’s board of trustees at its Sept. 2 work session………………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 September 2016 by VRS |  Email |Print

Switzerland’s Xavier Justo was the man who dragged the scandal surrounding Malaysia’s state fund 1MDB into the limelight. He was convicted for attempted extortion and sent to prison in Thailand. The country has now rejected an extradition request by the Swiss authorities.
Xavier Justo, a Swiss citizen of Spanish descent, has to stay in Thailand. The judiciary in the Asian country rejected the request to have him sent back to Switzerland filed by the Swiss foreign office (EDA), according to a report by Reuters newswire………………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 September 2016 by VRS |  Email |Print

Switzerland said it regrets a decision by Thai authorities not to extradite Swiss national Xavier Justo, a possible key witness in the global money-laundering probe linked to Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Malaysia’s 1MDB, once a pet project of Prime Minister Najib Razak who chaired its advisory board, is the subject of money-laundering investigations in at least six countries, including Switzerland, Singapore and the United States………………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 September 2016 by VRS |  Email |Print

Accused of involvement in stealing billions from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, Prime Minister Najib Razak did what autocratic leaders around the world do when scandal is in the air. He cleared house. In the space of a day last July, he fired his deputy prime minister and attorney general and sidelined members of a parliamentary committee looking into the apparent theft.
With the press increasingly muzzled and the country’s opposition leader behind bars, Najib appeared to have weathered the crisis unscathed. That is, until the United States stepped in. On July 20, the US Department of Justice announced it was launching a case to recover more than US$ 1 billion in assets out of a total of about $3.5 billion allegedly stolen from the sovereign wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)………………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 September 2016 by VRS |  Email |Print

Robert De Niro is unconcerned after being linked to a Malaysian corruption scandal. Back in July, the U.S. Department of Justice filed to seize the assets of a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund called 1MDB, set up by the country’s Prime Minister Najib Razak. It is claimed more than $1 billion was embezzled and misappropriated from the fund - including $100 million which was used from the fund to finance Leonardo DiCaprio’s 2013 movie The Wolf of Wall Street.
Now, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed Robert De Niro is the latest star to be embroiled in the corruption scandal, with the actor’s Tribeca Film Institute reportedly taking a donation from the Jynwel Foundation, which is linked to the 1MDB fund………………………………………Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 September 2016 by VRS |  Email |Print

On Friday, September 16, Alaska senator Bill Wielechowski filed a lawsuit contesting Governor Bill Walker’s veto of half of the funding for the Permanent Fund Dividend.
Last June, Alaska Governor Bill Walker vetoed half of the funds that the state legislature had approved for the annual payout of the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). This unprecedented decision caps the size of the dividend at $1000 per resident. The amount vetoed–over $666 million–is to remain in the Permanent Fund, where it may be used for future payouts…………………………………….Full Article: Source

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