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VRS - who has written 15806 posts on Opalesque Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing.


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1MDB-PetroSaudi deal includes repaying US$700 million debt

Posted on 19 February 2015

Online news portal Sarawak Report has published a 26-page document, revealing sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had paid US$1 billion of public funds into a shady venture with Petrosaudi International, despite its lack of a tangible track record.

Mumtalakat given highest rating for transparency

Posted on 19 February 2015

Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the investment arm of the Kingdom of Bahrain, was ranked among the world’s most transparent sovereign wealth funds as it was rated ten out of ten in the 2015 Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index. The rankings represent an upgrade from the previous year’s score of 9/10, reflecting the ongoing commitment of Mumtalakat’s [...]

Saudi Arabia’s oil pain could become local SMSFs’ gain

Posted on 19 February 2015

The drive to have self-managed funds and local communities become major funders of future infrastructure projects is gathering momentum. At the same time, there is a real chance that low oil prices will change the global infrastructure game. David Murray, the chairman of the Financial System Inquiry, along with many others, is watching closely [...]

Permanent Fund gains 3.2 percent in most recent quarter

Posted on 19 February 2015

The Alaska Permanent Fund returned 3.2 percent in the most recent quarter of fiscal 2015, bringing the year-to-date return to 1.9 percent.

Alaska Permanent gains 3.2% in quarter, surpassing benchmark by 110 basis points

Posted on 18 February 2015

Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., Juneau, returned 3.2% for the quarter ended Dec. 31 and 1.9% fiscal-year-to-date, said a news release from the $52.8 billion sovereign wealth fund. The permanent fund’s strategic risk benchmark returned 2.1% and 0.5%, respectively, during the same periods. The permanent fund’s fiscal year ends June 30.

How will the oil crash affect Norway?

Posted on 18 February 2015

Most of the surplus is due to the trade balance rather than the income earned from the assets held abroad by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund. The fund produces a large cash flow in absolute terms, but those receipts are far smaller than the export earnings from oil and gas. At the current oil price of [...]

Singapore’s Temasek Celebrates 40 Years of Development

Posted on 18 February 2015

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Temasek, one of Singapore’s two sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), along with the Government Investment Corporation (GIC). Set up in 1974 as part of the newly independent city-state’s nation- building effort, Temasek has evolved from a sleepy holding company shepherding an initial portfolio of 35 inherited government-linked companies (GLCs) [...]

Temasek-controlled NOL sells $1.2b APL

Posted on 18 February 2015

Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. is selling its profitable logistics business to a Japanese logistics-service provider for $1.2 billion, as the Singaporean firm narrows its focus on its struggling container-shipping business.

Khazanah signs up luxury hotel firm

Posted on 18 February 2015

Khazanah Nasional Bhd unit Destination Resorts and Hotels Sdn Bhd (DRH) is set to venture into another luxury hotel development here, tying up with Thailand-based Minor Hotel Group. The two parties inked an agreement last week to set up the first Anantara luxury resort in Malaysia, at a location yet to be decided.

Azerbaijan’s Devaluation in Disguise

Posted on 18 February 2015

Though Azerbaijan is not as tied to the Russian economy, it still is facing difficulties driven by the drop in oil prices. Government finances are based on a $90 a barrel price of oil while currently it is a fraction of that. Thus one of the moves is to tap the $37 billion oil [...]

SOFAZ and Oil price

Posted on 18 February 2015

Azerbaijan produced in 2014 some 41.9 million metric tons of oil and gas condensate as compared to 43.1 million metric tons of oil and gas condensate, produced in 2013. The revenues of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) in 2014 stood at 12,731 million AZN, expenses amounted to 10,117.2 million AZN.

ADIA Said to Oppose L&R in Bidding for Former UniCredit Milan HQ

Posted on 17 February 2015

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the world’s second-biggest sovereign wealth fund, and London & Regional Properties Ltd. have bid for the former headquarters of UniCredit SpA in Milan, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Deploys Capital to European Real Estate

Posted on 17 February 2015

Seeking higher investment yields in recent times, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) has largely bypassed London properties to focus more on Continental European opportunities. The Gulf-based sovereign wealth fund invests in both developed properties and in construction projects - unafraid of developmental risks.

Test for non-oil economy

Posted on 17 February 2015

Oil prices have crashed from over $100 to sub-$60 a barrel in just five months. While this is good news for consumer countries, it also means only half the revenue for the energy producers, especially the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Hydrocarbon incomes are set to reduce from $743 billion in 2012 to about $410 [...]

Temasek sold 7.3 million shares in Alibaba during rally

Posted on 17 February 2015

Temasek Holdings sold shares in Alibaba Group Holding in the fourth quarter as the Chinese Internet firm’s shares rallied following its initial public offering in September. The Singapore investment firm sold 7.3 million American Depositary Receipts (ADR) in Alibaba, leaving it with 10.7 million shares, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange [...]

Singapore’s Temasek, JTC agree to merge 4 real estate subsidiaries

Posted on 17 February 2015

Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and JTC Corp, a government agency for infrastructure development, agreed to combine four of their real estate and urban planning units, to capitalise better on rapid urbanisation in emerging markets.

Temasek, JTC to merge units to create a S$5b entity

Posted on 17 February 2015

Investment giant Temasek Holdings and industrial developer JTC Corp yesterday said they had entered into an agreement to merge four of their operating subsidiaries into a mega-entity worth about S$5 billion to tap opportunities from rapid urbanisation across Asia.

China’s Silk Road dream falls into place with US$40b fund

Posted on 17 February 2015

Beijing has launched its US$40 billion Silk Road infrastructure fund along the lines of a long-term private equity venture to boost businesses in countries and regions along the route, the central bank governor said. The announcement serves as a prelude to the publication of a blueprint that sheds light on the country’s ambitions to create [...]

1MDB director Ong is business partner of Jho Low’s father

Posted on 17 February 2015

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) non-executive director Tan Sri Ong Gim Huat is not just a friend, but also a business partner of 30 years of Tan Sri Larry Low Hock Peng. L‎ow is the father of Jho Low or Low Taek Jho, who is said to have influence over the operations of debt-laden 1MDB, the [...]

China grants GIC licence to invest in renminbi-denominated mainland assets

Posted on 16 February 2015

China’s securities regulator has handed out a renminbi qualified foreign institutional investor (RFQII) licence to Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd, AsianInvestor reported on Friday. It was among 10 new licences announced late Thursday by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), five of which went to Korean asset managers and two more to Singapore-incorporated [...]

China Sovereign Fund Buys $1.2B Tokyo Building From Mori

Posted on 16 February 2015

Relations between Beijing and Tokyo may have been tense in recent years, but that didn’t stop a Chinese sovereign fund from teaming up with LaSalle Investment Management of the US to buy a Tokyo mixed-use complex for ¥140 billion ($1.2 billion).

Temasek Sold Alibaba Shares Last Quarter, Added Gilead

Posted on 16 February 2015

Temasek Holdings Pte sold shares in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in the fourth quarter as the Chinese Internet firm’s shares rallied following its initial public offering, and put more money into pharmaceuticals maker Gilead Sciences Inc.

Greens want NZ Super Fund to drop fossil fuels

Posted on 16 February 2015

The Greens are calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels, as it accuses its guardians of betting on a climate disaster. The fund currently has $676 million in fossil fuel companies - about 2 per cent of the fund’s assets under management. “The guardians are meant to be investing for [...]

Future Fund backs Calpers’ ‘less is more’ stance on private equity

Posted on 16 February 2015

The head of one of the world’s largest investors in private equity believes Calpers, the US’s biggest pension fund, was right to slash the number of private equity managers it uses in what is a further blow to the sector. Calpers, or the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, told the FT last month that it [...]

Malaysian Fund 1MDB Settles $550M Loan With Lenders

Posted on 16 February 2015

Sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd has settled a 2 billion ringgit ($550 million) loan with Malaysian lenders, its president said on Friday, a move that could help the state-backed investor move forward with a $3 billion initial public offering.

1MDB says no Jho Low connections to company

Posted on 16 February 2015

The Penang-born financier and businessman Jho Low has no connections to government investment company 1Malaysia Development Bhd, its chief executive told Mingguan Malaysia. Arul Kanda Kandasamy, in his first major newspaper interview since taking over as 1MDB boss, denied a front-page report in the New York Times last week which had linked Jho Low (Low [...]

Qatar’s clean sweep builds UK assets portfolio

Posted on 16 February 2015

The Qatar Investment Authority’s most recent acquisition is only the tip of an asset-owning iceberg — one some observers are becoming concerned about. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, effectively owned by the Qatari royal family, now has control of London assets that include The Shard, Europe’s tallest office block; the Olympic Village, which is rapidly being [...]

World’s biggest wealth fund has peaked as oil sinks, Norway says

Posted on 16 February 2015

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund has reached its peak amid a collapse in oil prices, according to the governor of Norway’s central bank. The development means western Europe’s biggest crude producer needs to get used to lower revenue from its petroleum industry, Governor Oeystein Olsen said in the text of a speech delivered in [...]

China’s CIC bought Tokyo landmark property-advisers

Posted on 13 February 2015

China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC) provided most of the capital for a more than $1 billion purchase of Tokyo’s landmark property Meguro Gajoen from Mori Trust Co, in China’s largest investment in Japanese property, advisers said.

Temasek unit gives local firm a shot in the arm

Posted on 13 February 2015

A unit of Temasek Holdings has invested an undisclosed amount in local construction firm Deluge Fire Protection to allow it to expand further overseas. The capital injection by Heliconia, which focuses on helping local small and medium-sized enterprises, will underpin the firm’s expansion into Indonesia and the Philippines amid rapid urbanisation across the region.

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Has Peaked as Oil Sinks, Norway Says

Posted on 13 February 2015

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund has reached its peak amid a collapse in oil prices, according to the governor of Norway’s central bank. The development means western Europe’s biggest crude producer needs to get used to lower revenue from its petroleum industry, Governor Oeystein Olsen said in the text of a speech delivered in [...]

Norway Takes the High Ground on Climate Change

Posted on 13 February 2015

There was some dramatic news out of Norway this week, showing what is possible on the climate front if the political will is there. The Norwegian government announced that they would cut their carbon emissions by no less than 40% from 1990 levels by the year 2030. This puts them in line with the ambitious [...]

Investing and Divesting for the Climate

Posted on 13 February 2015

A recent study from WWF Sweden and PwC has revealed exactly that. Through the social security system, sovereign wealth funds and church funds, among other, all of us are investors. This crucial piece of information has been picked up by many, not least by professional investors and future pensionists.

Oil Fund allocates AZN 300m for needs of refugees

Posted on 13 February 2015

In 2014, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) allocated AZN 300 m to improve social and living conditions of refugees and internally displaced, Oxu.Az reports with reference to SOFAZ.

Prosperity Fund part of wise resource management

Posted on 13 February 2015

In 2013, Premier Christy Clark announced an intention to create the B.C. Prosperity Fund using liquefied-natural-gas revenues. Since then, we’ve heard little about it. But as budget season comes around again, we might finally get some details. After all, last year’s budget said that the Prosperity Fund wouldn’t move forward until the LNG tax was [...]

Ottawa Should Look To Norway To Overcome Oil Woes: Reports

Posted on 13 February 2015

Greg Poelzer of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute released a report Thursday arguing that the creation of so-called “sovereign wealth funds” would take money out of the hands of politicians interested in spending in the short-term and instead place it into long-term investments.

Abu Dhabi Santiago Bernabeu: Oiling the wheels of footie

Posted on 13 February 2015

The news that Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company has secured naming rights to Real Madrid’s home ground – turning it into the Abu Dhabi Santiago Bernabeu – represents an interesting branding exercise. Sovereign wealth funds rarely seek brand recognition: usually quite the reverse.

NSSF to buy bonds

Posted on 13 February 2015

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has unveiled plans to buy bonds of high growth potential start-ups on the Growth Enterprise Market Segment (GEMS). The fund intends to buy well-designed bonds on the alternative market and later sell the same to new investors through the stock exchange; the move is expected to bolster the segment.

Middle Eastern sovereign wealth money still flowing, despite oil woes

Posted on 12 February 2015

The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein says that Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds are making larger investments than ever before. Co-CEO David Rubenstein said during an analyst call that there has been a marked increase in commitments from sovereign wealth funds, including from Middle Eastern governments that are under fiscal pressure due to falling oil [...]

Carlyle Group sees rise of sovereign wealth fund investment, decline in pensions

Posted on 12 February 2015

Sovereign wealth funds are “a gigantic source of new investment” that are elbowing aside public pension funds in the private equity space, Carlyle Group co-CEO David Rubenstein said Wednesday. Such state-controlled funds increased to 37 percent of capital commitments at Carlyle last year, up from 17 percent a year earlier, Rubenstein said.

How Hedge Funds Can Access Sovereign Wealth Funds

Posted on 12 February 2015

As U.S. pensions such as California Public Employees’ Retirement System which pulled out of hedge funds in 2014, and New Mexico Public Employees’ Retirement Association which lowered its hedge fund allocation from 7% to 4%, sovereign wealth funds are becoming a larger target market for hedge funds. There is a segment of sovereign wealth [...]

Norway’s sovereign fund buys 45% of Manhattan’s 11 Times Square Tower

Posted on 12 February 2015

Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund bought a stake in 11 Times Square, a 40-story office tower in midtown Manhattan, in a deal the seller says values the building at $1.4-billion (U.S.). Norges Bank Investment Management purchased the 45-per-cent interest from developer SJP Properties and Prudential Financial Inc., according to SJP.

Return on assets of the Oil Fund of Azerbaijan fell to 1.43%

Posted on 12 February 2015

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan Republic (SOFAZ) reports about drop in return on assets in 2014. According to SOFAZ, by the end of the last year return on assets fell to 1.47% (to 1.43% taking into account gold) against 1.77% in 2013 and 2.16% in 2012. Return on assets reached its peak in 2007 [...]

State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan did not buy physical gold for 3 quarters at a run

Posted on 12 February 2015

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) did not buy physical gold over three quarters in a row (2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of 2014). The Fund informs that as of 1 January 2015 it owned physical gold worth $1.15 bn which was equivalent to 3.13% of its investment portfolio ($36.7 bn).

Yield of Azerbaijan’s oil fund in euro reached 10.04% of yield

Posted on 12 February 2015

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) has called the euro the most successful investment in 2014. SOFAZ reports that last year its investments in euro (EUR 10.25 bn or 33.9% of assets) ensured for it 10.04% of yield in base currency, including 8.57% from currency difference.

Credit Investors Spurn Oil Sovereigns

Posted on 12 February 2015

As the oil tide recedes, oil-exporting sovereign entities have been treated with increasingly bearish sentiment by credit investors. Oil has seen its price halve since the end of July last year, from around $100 per barrel to around $50 today (WTI), compelling net exporters to rethink their budgets.

Oilman becomes milkman as Norway’s best jobs disappear

Posted on 11 February 2015

Norway’s oil industry, so rich it spawned the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, is struggling as oil prices plunge. When Joergen Langaunet started as a project planner at offshore engineer Aker Solutions ASA in 2012, he worked a lot of overtime.

Why Norway is not panicking about the oil price collapse

Posted on 11 February 2015

The big advantage that Norway has is the US$860bn (£565bn) Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global into which the oil money is deposited. Intended as an investment for future generations, it is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world.

Fossil Fuel Divestment: Smart Bet or Losing Strategy?

Posted on 11 February 2015

Just last week, Norway announced that its sovereign wealth fund — an $850 billion pension reserve that was built on the Scandinavian nation’s oil and gas resources — had jettisoned more than 49 companies, many involved in coal and unconventional oil extraction, from its portfolio in 2014.

Bud Smith: B.C. Prosperity Fund is no golden ticket

Posted on 11 February 2015

Lst year’s budget said that the Prosperity Fund wouldn’t move forward until the LNG tax was finalized, and that happened last fall. This makes now a good time to renew the discussion about a sovereign wealth fund in B.C. First off, let’s revisit what a sovereign wealth fund is and why resource-dependent regions use them. [...]

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