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VRS - who has written 18476 posts on Opalesque Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing.


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Meet the Norwegian Currency’s Oil Buffer

Posted on 19 April 2016

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has shielded the krone from the steeper falls suffered by the Russian ruble. When oil price gyrations hit currencies, it’s good to have a cushion to soften the blows. Norway has a big cushion, a 7.5 trillion kroner ($906 billion) sovereign fund.

These Companies Just Got Banned From the World’s Biggest Wealth Fund

Posted on 19 April 2016

Back in June, the Norwegian government confirmed that it would sell off coal investments from its $900 billion sovereign wealth fund—the largest in the world. Late last week the unit of Norway’s central bank that manages the fund identified which companies would be cut. Of those named, 22 are based in the United States, including [...]

Angela Rodell Rebuilds Alaskan Sovereign Wealth Fund

Posted on 19 April 2016

Despite its confidence-inspiring name, Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. is in flux. The state legislature is weighing plans to tap the $52.2 billion Alaska Permanent Fund to make up budget shortfalls while the corporation that manages it reels from the departures of three key executives over the past year.

Dumping tobacco cost Norwegian oil fund $1.9bn

Posted on 18 April 2016

Sovereign wealth fund’s loss may force investors to reconsider divestment from the sector. The Norwegian oil fund’s decision to dump tobacco companies has cost the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund $1.9bn in missed profits over the past decade.

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund drops 52 companies linked to coal

Posted on 18 April 2016

Norway’s $860 billion sovereign wealth fund has unveiled the first list of miners and power producers to be excluded from its portfolio following a ban on coal investments.

Qatar and CVC drop £6bn Sainsbury takeover bid

Posted on 18 April 2016

The Qatar sovereign wealth fund and private equity group CVC have ended plans to launch a dramatic takeover approach for the UK supermarket group J Sainsbury. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is understood to have joined forces with CVC Capital Partners and brought in Canadian property specialist Brookfield group earlier this year to launch a [...]

Okonjo-Iweala: I said governors, NOT Jonathan, lacked the political will to save

Posted on 18 April 2016

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former minister of finance, says her statement blaming the lack of political will to save funds under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan has been taken out of context. The former minister had said “zero political will to save in the last administration” was responsible for some of the challenges facing the [...]

KIC names new COO

Posted on 18 April 2016

Korea’s sovereign wealth fund Korea Investment Corporation said Monday it has named Kim Sang-joon, head of London office, as new chief operating officer. Kim joined KIC in 2009 after working at Samsung Life Insurance’s asset management division for more than 20 years.

Singapore’s GIC invests in Indonesia’s logistics market with MMP deal

Posted on 18 April 2016

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC has made its first investment in Indonesia’s logistics sector, via its partnership with PT Mega Manunggal Property Tbk to build warehouses in the country. GIC has not disclosed the financial terms of the investment. PT Mega Manunggal Property Tbk is a publicity listed logistics developer.

1MDB affair a simple confidence trick

Posted on 18 April 2016

The senior management of 1MDB, we are led to understand from last week’s public statements, sent US$3.5bn around four years ago to a company they believed was Aabar Investments PJS, owned by International Petroleum Investment Co, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund.

Fossil fuelled fund not to invest in fossil fuel coal

Posted on 18 April 2016

However has hit the coal market companies as Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which is world’s biggest with $860 billion under management announced that it will no longer invest into 52 companies worldwide as they are too reliant on coal. These names include Drax in UK, Dynergy and FirstEnergy in US, Reliance and Tata Power in [...]

Norway’s wealth fund drops 52 coal companies

Posted on 15 April 2016

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, has excluded 52 coal-related companies after new ethical guidelines went into effect barring it from investing in such groups, Norway’s central bank said on Thursday. In June 2015, parliament agreed to pull the fund out of mining or energy groups which derive more than 30 percent of their [...]

Norway’s Pension fund not to invest in CIL, NTPC, Reliance Power

Posted on 15 April 2016

Norway’s Finance Ministry determines GPFG’s investment strategy, after advice from Norges Bank Investment Management and discussions in Parliament among others. Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), the world’s biggest, today said it has excluded 7 Indian firms from its portfolio including NTPC, CIL, Tata Power and Reliance Power.

Plunge Into Equities Shows Azeri Wealth Fund Playing Catchup

Posted on 15 April 2016

After diversifying into gold, real estate and Chinese bonds, Azerbaijan’s $33.6 billion wealth fund has some catching up to do with its peers when it comes to equities. This year’s global selloff has done nothing to dissuade the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, known as Sofaz, from plans to raise its allocation of equity investments [...]

Russia’s Vulnerable Side Is at Fore in Putin’s Call-In Show

Posted on 15 April 2016

Russia President Vladimir V. Putin said there was enough money in the two main sovereign wealth funds and other reserves to tide Russia over for the next four years.

How Malaysia’s 1MDB fund scandal reaches around the world

Posted on 15 April 2016

1Malaysia Development Bhd, the troubled Malaysian state fund that’s the subject of global investigations, said it could be a victim of fraud if payments of $3.5 billion intended for an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund never made it there. Authorities from the US to Switzerland and Singapore are trying to determine if some of the [...]

South Korea vs. Foreign Investors

Posted on 15 April 2016

“We will refrain from investing in activist hedge funds,” declared Korea Investment Corp., the sovereign wealth fund, after the public learned that it had placed $50 million with Elliott in 2010.

Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Says It May Be Victim of $3.5 Billion Fraud

Posted on 14 April 2016

1Malaysia Development Bhd., the troubled Malaysian state fund that’s the subject of global investigations, said it could be a victim of fraud if payments of $3.5 billion intended for an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund never made it there.

Swiss Expand 1MDB Probe to Two Former Emirati Fund Officials

Posted on 14 April 2016

Swiss authorities have expanded a criminal probe surrounding state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to include two former Emirati officials in charge of Abu Dhabi sovereign funds, Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said.

Egypt launches sovereign wealth fund as economy bites

Posted on 14 April 2016

In June, Egypt’s cabinet formally approved plans for the country to establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). According to Planning Minister Ashraf El-Araby, the fund is to be called Amlak, and will be state owned via the National Investment Bank. The SWF will also be tasked with running a number of state assets.

Local bank buys $20M from SOFAZ

Posted on 14 April 2016

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) sold $20 million to a bank through the auction held by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA), SOFAZ said Apr.13. SOFAZ offered $50 million for sale through the auction.

Senate Finance introduces bill to tap Permanent Fund earnings

Posted on 14 April 2016

The Alaska Senate Finance Committee has unveiled its plan to fill much of the state’s $4.1 billion annual deficit using the Alaska Permanent Fund. In April 12 meeting, Sen. Anna MacKinnon, R-Eagle River, and co-chair of the committee, debuted “in pencil — per the governor — a committee substitute for Senate Bill 128.”

Iran and kazakhstan sovereign wealth funds signed MOU

Posted on 13 April 2016

National Development fund of Iran and kazakhstan sovereign wealth fund (Baiterek National Holding) signed MOU to cooperate on bilateral investments and financing private sector projects.

Swiss expand 1MDB probe to two former Emirati fund officials

Posted on 13 April 2016

Swiss authorities have expanded a criminal probe surrounding state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to include two former Emirati officials in charge of Abu Dhabi sovereign funds, Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said.

Swiss seek S’pore’s help for criminal probe into 1MDB

Posted on 13 April 2016

Singapore’s Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) said on Tuesday (April 12) it has received a request from its Swiss counterparts for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters related to troubled state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

A-G Chambers helping Swiss probe into 1MDB

Posted on 13 April 2016

Singapore’s Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) is assisting its Swiss counterpart with investigations into troubled Malaysian state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Swiss Widen Inquiry Into Malaysian Fund to Include 2 Emirati Officials

Posted on 13 April 2016

The Swiss authorities said on Tuesday that they had started a criminal investigation into two officials in charge of a sovereign wealth fund in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, as part of an inquiry into the financial transactions of the troubled Malaysian state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Swiss AG has ‘elements’ to suspect 2 officials, movie firm benefited from 1MDB funds

Posted on 13 April 2016

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has “elements in hand’ to suspect that money paid for the guarantee of bonds issued to fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) power plants have benefited “two public officials” and “a company related to the motion picture industry.”

Malaysia fund 1MDB’s payment to Abu Dhabi fund IPIC may have ended up in the movie business

Posted on 13 April 2016

The trail of breadcrumbs from a troubled Malaysian state investment fund took another twist Tuesday when Swiss authorities said some of the money ended up in the movie business.

1MDB will leave behind lasting legacy: PM

Posted on 13 April 2016

State investment firm 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) will leave behind a lasting “legacy” despite politically-motivated allegations levelled against it, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Key U.S. stocks rule hurting big investors: Norway wealth fund

Posted on 13 April 2016

A key rule governing the U.S. stock market that effectively forces stock orders to be sent to the exchange displaying the best quoted price is outdated and should be scrapped, said an executive of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.

Abu Dhabi’s SWF inks $229m deal to build Paris skyscraper

Posted on 13 April 2016

French construction firm Bouygues on Tuesday said it has won a €200 million ($229 million) contract from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), to build a skyscraper in Paris’ largest business district.

Muslim sovereign wealth funds strong drivers for Islamic economy

Posted on 13 April 2016

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) of Muslim countries, most of them managing the fiscal surpluses from oil and gas exports, are a key driver for Islamic finance and the halal economy, a new report released in March by Barcelona-based ESADE Business School and consultancy KPMG shows.

Abu Dhabi fund IPIC says it didn’t receive billions in payments sent by Malaysia fund 1MDB

Posted on 12 April 2016

The mystery over who controlled a British Virgin Islands-registered company that received $3.5 billion from Malaysia’s scandal-tainted state fund 1MDB deepened on Monday when a company in the Middle East with an almost identical name said the BVI firm did not belong to it.

Mid-East company denies links to 1MDB

Posted on 12 April 2016

A Middle Eastern company has denied any links to a British Virgin Islands (BVI)-registered firm with a similar name that had received US$3.5 billion (S$4.7 billion) from troubled Malaysian investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Mystery deepens over $3.5 billion Malaysia’s 1MDB sent to BVI entity

Posted on 12 April 2016

The mystery over who controlled a British Virgin Islands-registered company that received $3.5 billion from Malaysia’s scandal-tainted state fund 1MDB deepened on Monday when a company in the Middle East with an almost identical name said the BVI firm did not belong to it.

How the Qatar Investment Authority’s economic strategy affects the Western world?

Posted on 12 April 2016

As reported in Bloomberg news and other venues, Qatar’s government is looking to get involved in the U.S. in a big way. The country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, has opened a New York office and is aggressively looking to acquire U.S. assets with $35 billion. At the same time, Qatar and its [...]

Envoy seeks Abu Dhabi funds for British cities

Posted on 12 April 2016

Jim O’Neill, the Goldman Sachs economist who became a British Treasury minister, completed a doctoral thesis arguing that Opec oil producers did not put their savings to good use. Gulf sovereigns paid scant attention to rates of return, he wrote – and worse, made investment decisions on an “ad hoc basis”.

Norway’s Wealth Fund Faces Demonstration Over Tax Havens

Posted on 12 April 2016

Norwegian opposition parties and organizations are planning protests outside parliament in Oslo to pressure the country’s $850 billion sovereign wealth fund to dump investments in tax havens, seizing on the indignation that has followed the Panama leaks.

Azerbaijani banks buy $80M from State Oil Fund

Posted on 12 April 2016

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) sold $80 million to 21 banks through the auction held by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA), SOFAZ said Apr.11. SOFAZ offered $100 million for sale through the auction.

Newton Capital Sees Sovereign Wealth Funds Easing Retrenchment

Posted on 12 April 2016

Sovereign wealth funds reined in their investments at a slower pace in the first quarter, according to Helena Morrissey, chief executive officer of London-based Newton Capital Management Ltd.

Sovereign wealth funds like what they see in U.S. middle market

Posted on 12 April 2016

Sovereign wealth funds manage staggering sums of money. But that doesn’t mean they’re so big they only invest with the likes of Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

The Gulf’s sovereign dilemma

Posted on 11 April 2016

To withdraw or not to withdraw?” asks American University of Sharjah professor Dr Jorg Bley in a column for Arabian Business (see page 34) about the present state of Gulf sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). The multibillion-dollar funds have enjoyed strong growth in recent years but analysts now warn that growth is slowing as flat oil [...]

Birth of a new mega sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 11 April 2016

If Saudi Arabia’s plans to partially list Aramco and raise $2 trillion from the public market fructify, it will also result in transformation of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) into a giant sovereign wealth fund, potentially reducing the role of Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency (SAMA) in managing public funds.

Saudi Aramco IPO could raise $106 billion for sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 11 April 2016

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund could receive $106 billion in cash from the sale to the public of a 5% stake in oil giant Aramco’s parent company, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. “Suitable investors in Aramco could be long-term institutional investors such as the Canadian pensions, or even Asian sovereign wealth funds,” the [...]

The Truth Behind Saudi Arabia’s $2 Trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund

Posted on 11 April 2016

Though Saudi Arabia’s plan of a $2 trillion fund exudes power and confidence, raising a megafund of that size is practically next to impossible, unless crude oil prices see a significant appreciation or Saudi Arabia plans to sell a higher portion of Aramco.

Alibaba arm to lift target in record tech funding

Posted on 11 April 2016

Alibaba Group Holding’s finance affiliate has increased the amount it’s raising to at least $3.5bn and gained the support of powerful state-backed investors in a record technology funding, according to people familiar with the matter.

Raub MP: Find out how TIA became 1MDB

Posted on 11 April 2016

Mohd Ariff SabrI calls for answers from Ahmad Said, 1MDB’s ex-boss Shahrol Azral and AmInvestment Bank. Raub MP Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz has called for the former menteri besar of Terengganu to reveal the details of how the state sovereign wealth fund Terengganu Investment Authority became 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

IMDB scandal-linked company closed down

Posted on 11 April 2016

A tax haven company linked to a $450 million takeover bid involving central players in Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal has been quietly shut down, documents show. The Seychelles-registered company, PetroSaudi International (PSI), was used by Saudi businessman Tarek Obaid to buy Malaysian investment banking conglomerate UBG from its shareholders in 2010 in a transaction dubbed “Project [...]

Alaska’s ongoing internal push

Posted on 11 April 2016

Angela Rodell, chief executive of the $52 billion Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) says increasing in-house management capability will be a priority at the fund in the coming year. “External investment will remain important, but we have become much more strategic and thoughtful about our in-house direction,” she says, speaking from APFC’s Juneau headquarters.

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