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VRS - who has written 15600 posts on Opalesque Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing.


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Azeri Oil Fund to Invest $500 Million in Yuan, Keep Ruble Assets

Posted on 26 January 2015

Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund, known as Sofaz, will invest $500 million in yuan assets this year and continue to pursue real estate across Asian markets to diversify its portfolio, the fund’s executive director said.

LPFA, Greater Manchester launch GBP500m real assets fund

Posted on 26 January 2015

Pension funds in London and Manchester have joined forces for a £500 million ($757 million) infrastructure fund that could expand to rival the multibillion-dollar sovereign-wealth funds that are regular buyers of large U.K. development projects such as railroads and airports. “If you want a good crop you have to plant a few seeds. You can’t [...]

Russians party on in Davos as vodka flows, Ukraine in havoc

Posted on 26 January 2015

VTB Bank isn’t letting a bad year get in the way of a good party. Executives at the state-controlled Russian bank, which has cut hundreds of employees following U.S. and European Union sanctions, are betting a little jazz and vodka with the world’s elite will dull the pain.

Russia faces $40bn battle to stave off banking crisis

Posted on 26 January 2015

Russia may have to spend more than $40bn this year to avert a banking crisis, as the growing likelihood of a sharp recession threatens to pile extra costs on a sector suffering from Western sanctions over Ukraine and a plunge in the rouble.

Pluribus Raises $50M with Temasek as New Investor

Posted on 26 January 2015

Pluribus Networks, the company that brings together computer, network, storage and virtualization into a single, open and programmable SDN platform, announced today that it has raised US$50 million in a Series D round of funding led by Temasek Holdings, an investment company based in Singapore with a net portfolio value of US$177 billion.

Mumtalakat won’t sell assets to plug shortfall

Posted on 26 January 2015

Bahraini sovereign fund Mumtalakat will not sell any assets or change its investment strategy in response to a likely oil price-driven shortfall in the state budget, it said. The fund holds stakes in Bahraini companies including Alba, Gulf Air and Batelco.

Private equity: The definition of an opaque asset class

Posted on 26 January 2015

At a private equity conference years ago, I sat beside a couple of trustees from a small pension fund. Nice men, highly educated and intelligent, and wanting to do their best for their members, but utterly clueless about investments. Going straight to direct investment is not always wise, as the $72bn Korea Investment Corporation found. [...]

London and Manchester Create Rival to Sovereign Wealth Funds

Posted on 23 January 2015

Pension funds in London and Manchester have joined forces for a £500 million ($757 million) infrastructure fund that could expand to rival the multibillion-dollar sovereign-wealth funds that are regular buyers of large U.K. development projects such as railroads and airports.

Samruk-Kazyna cuts spendings by $1.83 bln in 2015

Posted on 23 January 2015

Samruk-Kazyna will reduce its spending by 337 billion tenge ($1.83 billion) in 2015, Tengrinews reports citing the press service of the company. The National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna, is a sovereign wealth fund and joint stock company in Kazakhstan which owns, either in whole or in part, many important companies in the country, including the national [...]

Russia prepares RUB1.375 trillion anti-crisis plan

Posted on 23 January 2015

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has approved the provisional version of an anti-crisis plan drawn up by the government. According to media reports, the plan involves recapitalisation of banks, provision of state guarantees, support measures for state development bank VEB and diverse sectors, changes to state procurement laws and procurement to facilitate import substitution, support for [...]

Bahraini fund Mumtalakat won’t sell assets to plug any budget shortfall

Posted on 23 January 2015

Bahraini sovereign fund Mumtalakat will not sell any assets or change its investment strategy in response to a likely oil price-driven shortfall in the state budget, it said on Thursday.

What Nicolas Maduro Should Learn From Africa

Posted on 23 January 2015

For many years Africa has been susceptible to the volatile nature of the commodities markets, resulting in long periods of economic stagnation, accompanied by reductions in social spending and living standards. To counteract these effects, countries like Botswana have created sovereign wealth funds to better manage the revenue from the extractive industries and invest in [...]

Najib duping Malaysians over 1MDB, says DAP

Posted on 23 January 2015

DAP today said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was insulting the intelligence of Malaysians with his “incredulous” claims about 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Its national publicity chief Tony Pua questioned Najib’s justification that Putrajaya had only committed RM1 million to the controversial sovereign fund.

GPT taps market to fund buyback of note

Posted on 23 January 2015

GPT Group’s decision to tap the market for $375 million to pay for its buyback of a note held by its former white knight investor has been welcomed, but has also raised questions about GPT’s next step.

Korean Sovereign Fund to Double Alternative Assets (Video)

Posted on 22 January 2015

Korea Investment Corp., South Korea’s $85 billion sovereign wealth fund, plans to more than double its allocation to alternative investments by the end of 2015, said Chairman and Chief Executive Hongchul Ahn.

GPT Group raises $325m as Singapore’s GIC exits

Posted on 22 January 2015

The GPT Group has raised $325 million from institutional investors after agreeing to buy back a perpetual note held by its one-time “white knight”, Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC. The redemption of the note marks GIC’s exit from the company it aided in November 2008 in the depths of the financial crisis.

Temasek To Acquire SVB India Financial

Posted on 22 January 2015

Temasek Holdings, Singapore government’s global investment arm, is acquiring Mumbai-based venture lender SVB India Finance, an arm of Nasdaq-listed SVB Financial Group, for $46.4 million (about Rs 280 crore). The quasi-management buyout will see the venture lender’s existing India team become shareholders in the re-branded entity that is slated to be created post the completion [...]

Temasek building icons to pay it forward

Posted on 22 January 2015

Big-Ticket deals have been the calling card of Temasek Holdings but a shift in strategy could be under way and you only have to go to the zoo to see it. The zoo might not be the most obvious place one can think of to observe the operations of one of the corporate world’s biggest [...]

China’s European Shopping Spree

Posted on 22 January 2015

China’s European presence blossomed in 2008 in debt-ridden Greece, where Beijing-owned shipping giant Cosco started building a European hub around the Pirea Harbour, near Athens. Even in Germany, the eurozone’s largest economy, medium-size companies such as manufacturer Putzmeister and electronics firm Medion now have Chinese owners.

SOFAZ investment portfolio hits 28 bln manats

Posted on 22 January 2015

The predicted cost of the investment portfolio of Azerbaijan’s state oil fund SOFAZ was set at 28.2 billion manats for 2015. On January 19, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev issued a decree approving the main directions (programs) on use of SOFAZ funds for 2015.

Investment portfolio of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan for 2015 limited to AZN 28.2 bn

Posted on 22 January 2015

The major areas (investment program) for the use of the SOFAZ means in 2015 have been approved by the decree on SOFAZ budget issued by Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan. In accordance with the program, the Fund should pursue the investment policy aimed to get maximum high revenue with minimization of risks from assets loss.

Deficit-ridden budget of the Oil Fund of Azerbaijan approved for 2015

Posted on 22 January 2015

The budget of the State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) for 2015 has been approved by the decree of Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan. According to the decree, SOFAZ revenues in 2015 are expected to be at the level of AZN 10,246,611,900, while the expenses are set at the level of AZN 11,813,909,200. In other words, the [...]

Telefonica Said to Have Weighed Stake Sale to Qataris

Posted on 22 January 2015

Telefonica SA (TEF), the Spanish carrier in talks to sell its U.K. mobile-phone business to Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (13), also considered selling a stake in itself to Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund to help cut debt, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

Oiling the wheels! Goldman Sachs faces lawsuit for allegedly duping Colonel Gadaffi’s officials

Posted on 22 January 2015

In oil-rich North Africa, the Libyan Investment Authority brings this to mind once again in the form of a claim that global investment bank Goldman Sachs abused the financial illiteracy of Libyan officials during Colonel Gadaffi’s regime in order to attract investment of almost £800 million.

Alberta has no reason to panic, at least not yet

Posted on 22 January 2015

A dramatic fall in oil prices, predicted to reduce provincial government resource revenues in Alberta by $7 billion — a drop of at least 16 per cent — has generated intense speculation regarding public expenditure cuts, tax changes and, of course, the introduction of a general sales tax.

Alitalia chief welcomes possible Abu Dhabi investment in Rome airport

Posted on 21 January 2015

Alitalia’s chief executive said yesterday that he welcomes a potential acquisition of a stake in Rome’s airport by an Abu Dhabi investment fund. “We are perfectly aware of the ongoing discussions between Abu Dhabi Investment Authority [Adia] and Aeroporti di Roma. Adia is a suitable stakeholder to be involved in these discussions,” said Silvano Cassano, [...]

Investment managers doing right by New Mexico

Posted on 21 January 2015

It is what New Mexico has that is entirely its own, which is why the money from these revenue flows are called sovereign wealth funds. Worldwide, there are some 50 sovereign wealth funds, led by Norway with $893 billion in assets and followed closely by Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and China. In the United [...]

No crisis yet for Qatar but fiscal discipline is vital

Posted on 21 January 2015

As Gulf countries are devising strategies to tackle over the 60% plunge in oil prices year-to-date, Qatar may see budget deficit of $5bn-$10bn in 2015 if crude remains at $50 for the entire year, Amwal has said.

Citigroup Can’t Block Arbitration in Court

Posted on 21 January 2015

A federal judge properly refused to enjoin arbitration over Abu Dhabi’s $7.5 billion loss during the 2008 financial crisis, despite Citigroup’s claims of redundancy, the 2nd Circuit ruled. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), a sovereign wealth fund, had made its investment back in 2007, taking a 4.9 percent stake in Citigroup, at the time [...]

Singapore’s GIC Invests $165 Million in India’s Bandhan

Posted on 21 January 2015

Singapore’s sovereign-wealth fund, GIC Pte., is planning to invest $165 million in India’s Bandhan Financial Services in a move that will enable the Kolkata-based microfinance company to set up a full-fledged bank.

Zeti: Malaysia’s fundamentals still intact

Posted on 21 January 2015

Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz did not give away any indication that there is going to be a hike in the current overnight policy rate of 3.25%, as it is still accommodative for the country’s economic growth.

Temasek trims CCB stake

Posted on 20 January 2015

Temasek Holdings trimmed its stake in China Construction Bank to cash in HK$354 million last Tuesday, the Singapore government’s investment arm said. The sovereign investor sold 54.38 million H shares in China’s second-largest commercial bank at an average price of HK$6.50, reducing its shareholding in CCB to 5.99 percent from 6.02 percent.

Temasek buys 18% stake in Medanta from Punj Lloyd

Posted on 20 January 2015

Infrastructure firm Punj Lloyd has sold its entire 17.74 per cent stake in Global Health Pvt Ltd, which owns and runs Gurgaon-based multi specialty hospital Medanta - The Medicity, to Singapore’s state-owned investment firm Temasek, for an undisclosed amount, it said on Monday.

GIC to invest in Bandhan

Posted on 20 January 2015

Microfinance entity Bandhan has received an investment commitment from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC to shore up capital as it looks to start banking operations before September 2015. The Calcutta-based microlender today said its capital base would increase by around Rs 1,700 crore following the investments by GIC and World Bank group member International Finance [...]

SOFAZ names revenues from Shah Deniz, ACG projects

Posted on 20 January 2015

Azerbaijan’s state oil fund SOFAZ has earned $2.12 billion since 2007 by implementing the project of the giant Shah Deniz oil and gas condensate field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. “SOFAZ received $523 million within the Shah Deniz project in 2014,” the fund told Trend Agency on January 16.

Azerbaijani President approves revenues and expenditures of State Oil Fund budget for 2015

Posted on 20 January 2015

President Ilham Aliyev has signed a decree on the budget of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) for 2015.

Russia approves $2.3 billion funding for Hanhikivi 1

Posted on 20 January 2015

Russia’s Cabinet of Ministers has approved up to RUB150 billion ($2.3 billion) in funding from the country’s sovereign wealth fund for the Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant project in Finland. Russian ministerial approval was granted on 30 December via order number 2795-pc, which was published on 16 January on the government’s official website for legal [...]

How Is it That Norway Is Rich and We Are Not?

Posted on 20 January 2015

Norway - A small nation of about five million people nestled in the northwest corner of Europe. Either in this year or next, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund will crest a trillion dollars. Eighteen years ago the sovereign wealth fund sat at a mere $200 million.

Gulf Arab sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 20 January 2015

Plunging oil prices could prompt Gulf Arab sovereign wealth funds to pull tens of billions of dollars out of global markets this year, with much of the money expected to come out of U.S. dollar debt and deposits with banks abroad.

Nigeria: Oil Price Crash and the CBN Response

Posted on 20 January 2015

Little is there in the Sovereign Wealth Fund (which is a replacement for the Excess Crude Account with three separate funds: stabilization fund, infrastructure fund and future generations fund has only $1 billion as initial take-off capital in 2011) (the Nigerian sovereign wealth fund is the third-largest in sub-Saharan Africa, after the $6.9bn Botswana and [...]

Canada’s Sovereign Wealth Funds: A Question of Consolidation

Posted on 19 January 2015

It is a well-established fact that Norway has a massive sovereign wealth fund (SWF) from its oil resource, totaling US$893 billion; other oil producers such as the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia have sizeable SWF’s as well, valued at $773 billion and $757 billion each [1]. However, it might come as a surprise that Canada also [...]

Norway Sticks to Budget Plan Despite Oil Slump

Posted on 19 January 2015

The finance minister of Norway, Western Europe’s biggest oil producer, said on Friday that she would sanction extra fiscal stimulus if the economic outlook were to worsen further but for now her budget plan for 2015 still holds despite the rapid drop in crude prices.

Temasek may buy 18% in Medanta Owner for Rs 700 crore

Posted on 19 January 2015

Temasek, the Singapore government’s investment company that has $223 billion in assets, is set to acquire a stake of about 18% for nearly Rs 700 crore in Global Health Pvt. Ltd, which owns, manages and operates Medanta hospital in Gurgaon outside Delhi, two people familiar with the matter said.

1MDB IPO: A chance to get it right

Posted on 19 January 2015

Just when it looked like state-backed 1MDB was finally ready to put its energy assets on the market for Malaysia’s biggest IPO in years, the listing has come up against another delay. That hardly inspires confidence in the sovereign wealth fund. But with a new president in place, there is now a chance to set [...]

1MDB ‘dirt’ so great even Mideast investors AFRAID for their investments

Posted on 19 January 2015

Mounting troubles at Malaysia’s government-owned strategic investment company 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, which has a focus on promoting foreign direct investment in Malaysia, have caused alarm bells ringing for two of its main investment partners from the Middle East, the Qatar Investment Authority and Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investment.

Nigeria: Excess Crude Account Reduced to $2.45bn

Posted on 19 January 2015

The Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, speaking at the end of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, in Abuja on Friday announced that the balance in the excess crude account for December 2014 stood at about $2.45 billion.

Alaska’s fiscal perfect storm

Posted on 19 January 2015

Alaska depends on oil tax revenue from development on state lands to fund much of state government. Oil prices are volatile, and Alaska’s economy has ridden out ups and downs. With no state income or sales tax and no commitment to tap the $52 billion Permanent Fund, oil dictates most everything in Alaska.

Former Treasurer Peter Costello a no-show at Future Fund’s ‘five star booze up’

Posted on 19 January 2015

Peter Costello’s Future Fund has invested $11,000 in a “five star booze up’’ to ensure 96 highly paid staff celebrated Christmas in style. But the former Treasurer, who established the scheme in 2004 and is now paid $200,000 a year for a part-time gig as chairman, failed to turn up leaving staff to enjoy the [...]

Mining communities must benefit from bauxite/alumina revival, say MPs

Posted on 19 January 2015

They are happy that bauxite mining is about to resume and that the Alpart (alumina) plant in Nain which has been closed since 2009 is to be reopened in 2016. However, parliamentarians Michael Peart and Richard Parchment who represent communities most affected in neighbouring South Manchester and South-Eastern St Elizabeth want to make sure that [...]

SOFAZ reduces 2015 expenditures up to AZN 500 mln

Posted on 16 January 2015

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) will reduce its 2015 expenditures. APA-Economics reports that SOFAZ will reduce its expenditures AZN 491 mln to AZN 11.814 bln. According to budget package for 2015, Fund’s incomes were amounted to AZN 10.246 bln, expenditures – to AZN 12.305 bln. Fund’a budget deficit was forecasted ay AZN 2.1 [...]

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