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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing - Category | Market more

Why Sovereign Wealth Funds Need Private Equity

Posted on 16 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI), direct sovereign wealth fund transactions from the 3rd Quarter of 2014 back 12 months, totaled US$ 203.61 billion. This is an unprecedented amount of sovereign wealth capital flowing toward direct investing in assets and companies. With that being said, sovereign wealth funds are constantly on the prowl, seeking various channels to manage their money on a risk-adjusted basis.
About 15 of the top 25 sovereign wealth funds ranked by assets under management, have an allocation to private equity funds. Private equity is an asset class, where sovereign wealth funds are able to put their capital to work on a long-term, illiquid basis. With increased volatility in U.S. equities, a realization of change with regard to U.S. interest rates and lower expected returns in public markets, public asset owners have augmented allocation to private markets……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Energy revenues focus of Aust-PNG talks

Posted on 15 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia will encourage Papua New Guinea to set up a sovereign wealth fund to take advantage of revenues from a new LNG project. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will on Sunday fly to PNG to chair the annual Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum, and she said the country’s booming economy will be a major focus of the talks.
Ms Bishop will be accompanied by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, Defence Minister David Johnston and Justice Minister Michael Keenan. Ms Bishop said PNG was undergoing a “incredible energy renaissance” thanks to the windfalls from the $19 billion ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG project, which went online earlier in 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB top officials received tongue-lashing from Dr M, says veteran journalist

Posted on 15 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Top officials of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) received a tongue-lashing from former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during a recent meeting, veteran newsman Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said.
Citing sources, the former group editor-in-chief of New Straits Times said the meeting was held prior to the police report lodged by Penang’s Umno Batu Kawan division leader Datuk Khairuddin Abu Hassan against 1MDB over the alleged mismanagement of its finances………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Alberta caught in a fiscal bind

Posted on 15 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

However, when it comes to oversight of the bounty afforded by natural resource revenues, Alberta has not been as persistent as other jurisdictions when it comes to investing natural resource rents in sovereign wealth funds. An adequately managed fund would have resulted in a substantial sum that could yield earnings to help stabilize the province’s finances during downturns. Indeed, Alberta has squandered decades of natural resource revenues by not adequately investing them.
Although Alberta established the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund (AHSTF) in 1976, there were no inflows to the fund for the period 1988 to 2005 and substantial outflows of income earned were made to the Alberta government’s general operating fund and capital expenditures………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russian Direct Investment Fund and IDFC sign MoU to invest $1 bn

Posted on 12 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and financial services company IDFC Ltd on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding for up to $1 billion in joint investments in infrastructure and related industries, IDFC said in a statement. Each company will invest up to $500 million in the joint projects.
The agreement will create a framework for the investments in accordance with the investment mandates of RDIF and IDFC. “We are extremely happy to partner with RDIF and it is a privilege for us to play such a significant role in the development of ties between Russia and India. Both countries are progressing at a fast pace and infrastructure remains one of the key focus areas………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Tata Power, RDIF to explore investment opportunities in Russia

Posted on 12 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Seeking to strengthen its international footprint, Tata Power, along with Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF, will explore investment opportunities in the Russian energy sector.
In this regard, the power producer has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). “RDIF and Tata PowerBSE -2.59 % will co-operate on identifying and targeting investment opportunities in the energy sector across Russia in order to develop mutually beneficial transactions,” Tata Power said in a statement. The pact has been inked during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Deals in S’pore rise 30% on mergers: Report

Posted on 12 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Republic has recorded a 30 per cent jump in deals, which totalled US$55.4 billion (S$72.8 billion) this year, fuelled by a surge in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), with a strong deal pipeline expected next year. Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and investment giant Temasek Holdings contributed significantly to the M&A market performance, with both accounting for five of the top eight deals this year.
The biggest deal was led by a consortium of investors, including GIC acquiring United States-based IndCor Properties for US$8.1 billion, followed by Temasek buying a 25 per cent stake in AS Watsons Holdings for US$5.67 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar And The QIA: When The SWF Is Also A Family Office

Posted on 12 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In recent days, two important pieces of information about the Qatar Investment Authority, the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, emerged into public consciousness.
First, the emir has replaced the chief executive of the SWF, Ahmad Al-Sayed, with a royal family member, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani. The state-run news agency announced as much on December 3d. Second, the QIA has gotten behind the makers of the ride-sharing app, Uber………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar and the QIA: When the SWF Is Also a Family Office

Posted on 11 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In recent days, two important pieces of information about the Qatar Investment Authority, the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, emerged into public consciousness.
First, the emir has replaced the chief executive of the SWF, Ahmad Al-Sayed, with a royal family member, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani. The state-run news agency announced as much on December 3d. Second, the QIA has gotten behind the makers of the ride-sharing app, Uber………………………………………..Full Article: Source

With New Fund, China Hits a Silk Road Stride

Posted on 11 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s ambitious plan to expand trade links westward into Central Asia in the spirit of the ancient Silk Road is taking shape now that the government has decided to shift foreign currency into a special fund. The State Council will tap the nation’s foreign currency reserves for about 65 percent of a new US$ 40 billion infrastructure and trade financing mechanism called the Silk Road Fund.
The rest of the fund’s cash will come from the government’s sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp., and two policy banks, the Export-Import Bank of China and China Development Bank Capital Co. (CDB), sources said. CIC’s share of the tranche is 15 percent, while the banks will contribute 15 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Future injections may be ordered if investment demand warrants………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s investment fund disaster

Posted on 11 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In 2008, a boisterous young man by the name of Jho Low Taek, a Penang-born Wharton grad with a taste for Cristal champagne and Broadway blondes, approached Malaysia’s Terengganu state government with a proposal to use the state’s authority to sell RM10 billion (US$2.87 billion) in bonds to start a state-backed investment fund.
That proposal has led to what Tony Pua, a Democratic Action Party lawmaker, has called “the mother of the mother of the mother of all scandals in the history of Malaysia.” That might be one mother too many, but Pua is not alone, with critics of what is now called 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, coming from outside the opposition as well. It is certain that the proposed Terengganu Investment Authority has metastasized into a mess that can properly be called huge and has put Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s tattered reputation on the line yet again……………………………………….Full Article: Source

How Sovereign Wealth Funds Bought Spain

Posted on 10 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds are known for their sophistication and long-term time frame, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that they were highly active picking up bargains during the European debt crisis. This is well known. But new research shows just how remarkably busy they were at a time when everyone else was heading for the hills.
A new report by ESADEgeo, a Spanish group affailiated with ESADE Business School, does a good job of quantifying just how investment patterns among sovereign wealth funds changed through the financial crisis, as funds that had previously committed to boosting their presence in emerging markets instead changed tack as they found opportunities in the developed world………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore Acquisitions Hit a Record High

Posted on 10 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Heavy buying by Singapore companies, such as an $8.1 billion purchase in the U.S. by a consortium including sovereign-wealth fund GIC Pte. Ltd., has sent acquisitions to record highs this year. Buying by GIC and Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd., the government’s two investment firms, accounts for more than a third of the total.
Together, GIC and Temasek have spent close to a record $21 billion, according to figures from Dealogic, a data-tracking company, more than double the $8.9 billion they spent last year. The total is more than the $19.8 billion they spent in 2007, when the state investment companies laid out billions of dollars to acquire stakes in banks such as Barclays PLC, Merrill Lynch and UBS AG………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Brookfield-Qatari bid for Canary Wharf owner gains some support

Posted on 09 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Songbird Estates shareholder Madison International Realty plans to accept Qatar Investment Authority’s offer for the British property company, the sovereign wealth fund behind the hostile move said. The offer of 350 pence per share for the owner of London’s Canary Wharf financial district was launched to Songbird shareholders by QIA and U.S. investor Brookfield Property Partners on Thursday.
In a statement on Monday QIA said that Madison had written a letter to Songbird saying it intended to accept the offer before its closing date. Madison holds a total of 18,627,054 Songbird shares, representing approximately 12 per cent of Songbird’s shares in free float and 2.5 per cent of Songbird’s issued ordinary share capital………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global Logistic Properties to partner GIC in US$8.1 billion IndCor investment

Posted on 09 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global Logistic Properties will be co-investing with Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC to acquire one of the largest logistics real estate portfolios in the US for US$8.1 billion, confirming earlier speculation that it would be involved in the deal.
GIC had announced last week that it and other partners were set to buy over warehouse owner IndCor from private equity giant Blackstone. The transaction provides GLP with immediate scale in the US, the world’s largest economy and logistics market, as well as an experienced local management team that further strengthens GLP’s team……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Dr Mahathir slams Umno silence over 1MDB, TPPA

Posted on 08 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad continued his tirade against his successors in Umno, writing today that party delegates and Putrajaya have not addressed issues about the controversy-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), a Pacific Rim trade pact and the widening wealth gap.
Dr Mahathir, who is one of 1MDB’s fiercest critics, congratulated Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for keeping the Sedition Act but noted that there was no response from the government on the controversial sovereign wealth fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil states’ recourse to sovereign funds could rattle world markets

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Energy-exporting countries which have stashed billions in windfalls in sovereign investment funds may be forced to draw down on them as oil revenues shrink, sending a chill through stock, bond and property markets worldwide.
Oil-based sovereign wealth funds are a major force in international finance, holding more than $5 trillion in assets, according to David Spegel, an emerging markets expert at BNP Paribas. The funds’ money is typically split into baskets serving distinct functions, propping up government spending at times of falling export revenues or managing windfalls over decades for future generations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russian investment fund eyeing more joint ventures with Turkey

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Defying rising pressure on Ankara from Western powers to join economic sanctions against Moscow, Turkey and Russia have taken yet another bold step toward deepening their joint investment cooperation. The move has prompted a top executive of the state-run $10 billion Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to express his admiration for Turkey’s “entrepreneurial spirit.”
“Right now, what is interesting is some investors don’t invest in Russia and wait. Other investors see there is actually an opportunity to invest when other people are not investing. So we have quite a bit of interest from China and the Middle East to invest, from Turkey and frankly, those countries are taking away some of the positions that other countries had,” Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the sovereign wealth fun RDIF, said ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norway Considers Investing Oil Fund in Infrastructure

Posted on 03 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway is assessing whether to allow its sovereign-wealth fund to invest in unlisted infrastructure, potentially including railways, pipelines and power plants, a move that would expand its asset universe from stocks, bonds and real estate.
The country’s Ministry of Finance, which oversees the $870 billion fund, said it would ask an expert group, the Strategy Council, to make an assessment of allowing infrastructure investments. It would be the first expansion of the fund’s asset classes since a 2010 decision to allow it to invest up to 5% of its value in real estate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah Evaluating Business Proposals On MAS

Posted on 02 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd, which said Friday that it is on track to make a key leadership appointment by end of December, is evaluating business proposals, of which it has received no less than 28, to either participate in or complement its Malaysian Airline System (MAS) Recovery Plan.
“We wish to state that as required by Khazanah’s operating processes and procedures, only credible proposals are evaluated and assessed , in a process that, if they qualify, will be ultimately tabled to the board of directors of Khazanah, or if appropriate, channelled to the management and board of directors of MAS,” the sovereign wealth fund said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah establishes Malaysia Airlines’ successor holding company

Posted on 02 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia Airlines is on track with its restructuring programme the carrier’s majority shareholder, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, has said. The carrier’s overhaul has taken on an air of increased urgency after it reported a third quarter net loss of MYR576.11 million (USD170.39 million), up from MYR375.4 million in the same period last year. For the first nine months of this year, Malaysian Airline System (MAS) has racked up cumulative losses amounting to MYR1.32billion (USD390.1million).
Last week, the Malaysian Airline System Bhd (Administration) Bill 2014 formalizing the establishment of Malaysia Airlines Bhd, the successor to Malaysian Airline System Bhd, as the national carrier was tabled in Parliament for its first reading………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Role of banker at centre of Songbird questioned by Qatari bidders

Posted on 01 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Songbird board denies Rothschild’s Alex Midgen is conflicted despite advising the board, and having a seat on it. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has lodged a complaint with the board of Songbird Estates over a potential conflict of interest with one of its bankers as it considers walking away from its mooted £2.2bn takeover of the company that controls Canary Wharf.
The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has questioned the role of Alex Midgen, Rothschild’s head real estate investment banking who is an adviser to Songbird but also has a seat on the board as a nominated director of Simo Glick, who owns 25pc of Songbird. Mr Midgen separately also owns 111,000 shares in Songbird………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah evaluating business proposals on MAS

Posted on 01 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd, which said Friday that it is on track to make a key leadership appointment by end of December, is evaluating business proposals, of which it has received no less than 28, to either participate in or complement its Malaysian Airline System (MAS) Recovery Plan.
“We wish to state that as required by Khazanah’s operating processes and procedures, only credible proposals are evaluated and assessed , in a process that, if they qualify, will be ultimately tabled to the board of directors of Khazanah, or if appropriate, channelled to the management and board of directors of MAS,” the sovereign wealth fund said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A key benefit of sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 01 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) validated the buffer value of international reserves and the active management of buffer funds. These issues are especially pertinent for commodity exporters, for whom the high volatility of commodity terms of trade translates into large shocks that impact the real exchange rate and GDP.
The history of Latin America provides ample examples where adverse terms of trade shocks terminated spells of ‘good times’, leading to capital flight and financial crises. ‘This time has been different’ for countries that, opting for counter-cyclical macro policies during the 2000s, followed the dictum of ‘save for rainy day’……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sutherland: Funds use not a long-term solution

Posted on 01 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Wyoming should spend a portion of its reserve funds. The state has two separate accounts that are intended to protect the state against economic decline should there be a decrease in revenue from our extractive industries—the Wyoming Permanent Mineral Trust Fund and the Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account (The so-called “Rainy Day Fund”). It is not efficient. Saving the money without also laying the groundwork for a diverse economy, which is necessary to protect the state from an economic bust, is not a long-term solution.
We should use some reserve funds to boost economic diversification (we are among the worst diversified economies in the nation) and attract and retain educated, entrepreneurial individuals to the state. Reserve funds could be used to enhance and promote efforts to support new businesses via organizations such as the Wyoming Business Council………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Multi-Asset Demand Drives Institutional Business

Posted on 01 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

To save the global economy, central bankers have played the free money melody, entrancing asset managers and asset owners such as sovereign wealth funds and public pensions. With probable shifts in key interest rates, institutional investors are re-examining new strategies and solutions. One of these solutions is multi-asset investing.
For example, Latin American pension funds and afores admit their high exposure to domestic markets, some view multi-asset strategies as a liquid alternative to gain exposure to international markets and varying asset classes. Institutional money managers of all stripes are hiring multi-asset operators, salespeople and executives en masse, cashing in on the demand for multi-asset strategies. Asset managers are hiring professionals with deep-rooted client connections from competitors, experience running multi-asset portfolios and individuals with clear communication skills……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Update on MAS restructuring by Sunday, says Khazanah

Posted on 28 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd will provide updates on the the restructuring of ailing Malaysia Airlines System Bhd (MAS) before this weekend, says the majority shareholder. Managing director, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, said the announcement would be in line with the government’s investment arm’s initial plan which was to provide an update every three months.
“November 29 is exactly three months since we reveal restructuring plan” he said today. He said Khazanah’s response to Jentayu Danaraksa Sdn Bhd’s interest in buying parts of the national carrier’s assets would also be revealed in the update………………………………….Full Article: Source

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Hunts for Tailored Benchmark Index

Posted on 27 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $860 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, says designing benchmark indexes that give its portfolio managers greater investing freedom will help drive up returns.
“A large investor may wish to carve out some capital and allocate risk to active portfolio managers with the aim of enhancing the fund return,” it said in a report published on its website today. “A large investor may wish to design non-market capitalization weighted benchmarks to maximize the benefit to the investor of the stock picking ability of active portfolio managers.”……………………………………Full Article: Source

Russian Investment Grade Seen at Risk by S&P on Fund Raid

Posted on 27 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russia has limited room for tapping one of its sovereign wealth funds before jeopardizing its investment-grade debt rating, according to Standard & Poor’s.
“If money is spent to support the economy, to support specific companies — that would lead to a decline of those fiscal buffers beyond what we currently expect,” S&P analyst Christian Esters said in an interview in Moscow yesterday. The rainy-day funds “are strong mitigating factors for the stresses Russia has been experiencing.”……………………………………Full Article: Source

Was China Ready to Bail Out AIG?

Posted on 27 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Was China’s sovereign wealth fund poised to save U.S. taxpayers from the risk they took in bailing out American International Group Inc.—but then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson rebuffed the Chinese help? That is one of the key assertions in the lawsuit brought by Maurice R. “Hank” Greenberg, the global insurer’s former long-time chief executive. Testimony ended Monday in the 37-day bench trial, and a review of court transcripts helps to shed light on what the Chinese did and didn’t do.
Mr. Greenberg’s suit maintains the government coerced AIG’s board into accepting its harsh terms—including the handover of a 79.9% equity stake to the U.S. —by quashing AIG’s other financing alternatives. The alleged motive: funneling bailout money through AIG to Wall Street firms and overseas banks in “backdoor bailouts.”……………………………………Full Article: Source

KIC to retain BOA stake for time being: chief

Posted on 26 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The head of South Korea’s sovereign wealth fund on Monday apologized for its botched investment in Bank of America (BoA) but stressed it plans to retain the stake for the time being to minimize losses.
“I believe that it was a poor investment and apologize to the people of Korea. I promise that Korea Investment Corp. (KIC) will remember the painful lesson from the Merrill Lynch investment and become a global sovereign wealth fund,” KIC chief executive Ahn Hong-chul told reporters in a news conference. KIC has been facing strong backlash from opposition party lawmakers for its US$2 billion investment in Merrill Lynch in 2008 before the financial firm was merged with BoA………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mubadala-owned Healthpoint and Manchester City in three-year deal

Posted on 25 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mubadala-owned medical company Healthpoint has agreed to a three-year deal to become Manchester City’s regional healthcare provider and partner. Healthpoint, which specialises in orthopaedics, sports medicine, and physical therapy, will provide clinical and rehabilitation services to Manchester City footballers.
“This partnership includes traditional giveaways and hospitality rights,” said Healthpoint board member Dr Ihsan Almarzouqi. “But is more than that. We aim to be a partner for clinical excellence and elevate our capabilities in sports medicine.”………………………………..Full Article: Source

QIA building top-end hotel portfolio worldwide

Posted on 24 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), is building a global top-end hotel portfolio. QIA displayed strong interests in global hotels and tourism facilities last year, according to a new report.
“QIA confirmed its appetite for trophy-assets and luxury brands by acquiring via its specialised subsidiary Constellations Hotels Holding nothing less than the InterContinental flagship hotels in London and New York; l’Hotel du Louvre in Paris; and the Four Seasons Hotel in Florence. In a separate 100m pounds deal it also acquired the freehold from the Crown Estate, the property company that controls the assets of the Crown in the UK…………………………………..Full Article: Source

QIA dismisses oil prices effect

Posted on 24 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite this impacting on the finances of the oil-dependent Gulf States, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) will not change its investment strategy, the sovereign wealth fund’s chief executive stated, reported in the Gulf Daily News.
“In QIA, we have a long-term strategy, which accounts for the volatility in the market,” Ahmed Al Sayed told reporters on the side-lines of the industry conference in Doha. “We are adjusted and ready for such a scenario.” Questioned about a short-term adjustment, he answered: “No, I don’t think so. We evaluate the market from time to time.”………………………………….Full Article: Source

Qatar Investment Authority to set up training academy

Posted on 24 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar Investment Authority ( QIA ), the country’s sovereign wealth fund managing billions of dollars in assets, plans to set up a training academy to hone Qatari youth’s financial and business skills and meet the growing demand for qualified business and finance professionals in Qatar which is witnessing economic boom.
Ahmad bin Mohamed Al Sayed, CEO, QIA , told the opening ceremony of the sixth International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF) that the authority is completing procedures for the academy. The Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani opened the forum…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Drop in oil prices takes no toll on sovereign funds - IFSWF chairman

Posted on 21 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are not likely to be influenced by the current fall of oil prices, chairman of the International Forum for Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) Bader Al-Saad said on Thursday. SWFs mostly depend on long-term investments and do not react to a rise or fall of goods prices,, Al-Saad told KUNA on the sidelines of the Sixth IFSWF that kicked off in Doha earlier today.
Many countries are affected by the changes of oil prices, like the Gulf Arab States, just as others are impacted by the fluctuations major goods, Al-Saad said. He noted that Asian countries are hit by the slowdown of the global economy since they export to the US and Europe………………………………….Full Article: Source

Volatile oil prices ‘won’t affect Qatar wealth fund plans’

Posted on 21 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Volatile oil prices will not force the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to change its investment strategy, the sovereign wealth fund’s chief executive said on Thursday. A plunge in prices - benchmark Brent crude fell to more than a four-year low of below $77 per barrel last week - is hitting the finances of Gulf Arab oil exporting countries, which rely on crude and gas sales for most of state revenue.
“In QIA, we have a long-term strategy, which accounts for the volatility in the market,” Ahmed al-Sayed told reporters on the sidelines of the industry conference in Doha. “We are adjusted and ready for such a scenario.” Asked whether there will be a short-term adjustment, he told a news conference: “No, I don’t think so. We evaluate the market from time to time.”…………………………………Full Article: Source

IFSWF members sign “The Doha Agreement” in Qatar

Posted on 21 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Members of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) signed “The Doha Agreement” at their sixth annual meeting in the Qatari capital on Thursday. The Doha Agreement guarantees IFSWF’s independency, legal personality, independent budget, and headquarters in London, UK, after being affiliated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“I am pleased that this year’s event has achieved concrete steps toward delivering on a three-year strategy which we believe will have value for our members and for global markets more broadly,” Bader Al-Saad, IFSWF Chair and CEO of Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) said during the meeting, according to a press release by IFSWF………………………………….Full Article: Source

World Bank underscores SWFs’ role in improving access to risk capita

Posted on 21 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) play a vital role in providing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) improved access to risk capital, which could help contribute to job generation and sustained growth, a World Bank official said.
Michel Noel, manager, Non-Bank Financial Institutions of the World Bank, made the statement during a special luncheon address at the 6th Annual Meeting of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) held yesterday at the Ritz-Carlton Doha………………………………….Full Article: Source

Faraj Guliyev: “SOFAZ should reconsider ruble policy”

Posted on 20 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan should reconsider ruble policy, said the MP Faraj Guliyev in the discussion of budget package for 2015 at the plenary meeting of Azerbaijani Parliament.
He noted that SOFAZ invested in ruble and as the ruble’s value declines, Fund’s assets will also be decreased: “Ruble’s value declines. If it continues, our assets in ruble will decrease. I think the Fund should reconsider ruble policy”. Guliyev also says measures should be taken for reduction of dependence of budget on oil: “There are countries without oil. How do they form the budget?”………………………………Full Article: Source

Kazakhstan’s Alliance Bank says completes debt restructuring

Posted on 20 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan’s Alliance Bank has completed a $1.2 billion debt restructuring and the country’s sovereign wealth fund will put 220 billion tenge ($1.2 billion) of special deposits into the bank to support the deal, Alliance’s chief executive said on Wednesday.
Sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna will support the restructuring through 10-year special term deposits with an aggregate nominal value of 220 billion tenge, CEO Timur Issatayev told Reuters……………………………….Full Article: Source

Kazakhstan SWF to Sponsor Turkish Football Giant?

Posted on 20 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Footballers for Galatasaray, the legendary Turkish club, may soon be wearing the name of Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, across their chests. Kazakhstan’s sovereign-wealth fund, Samruk-Kazyna, is rumored to be close to signing a five-year, $50 million deal to sponsor Galatasaray, Turkish media has reported.
Samruk-Kazyna is the main source of funding for the Astana Presidential Sports Club. Astana was already affiliated with the Istanbul-based team after the two signed a cooperation agreement in April. It is unclear if the jerseys will be marked “Astana” or “Samruk-Kazyna.”………………………………Full Article: Source

FiscalNote snares $7 million in investments from Winklevoss, Singapore wealth fund

Posted on 20 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A District-based start-up that uses artificial intelligence to predict the outcome of legislation has received $7 million in funding, including investments from the Singapore sovereign wealth fund and from the Winklevoss twins, made famous from their lawsuits against Facebook.
FiscalNote, founded by a Potomac entrepreneur, uses data-mining software and artificial intelligence to predict the fate of the bills proposed by state legislatures and by Congress each year. The company claims 94 percent accuracy……………………………….Full Article: Source

Afraid of ‘difficult’ questions? Ahmad Maslan CHICKENS OUT of 1MDB forum

Posted on 18 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said today that he did not receive an invite to Pakatan Rakyat’s forum on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), despite the forum’s promotional poster featuring him as a speaker, and that he will not be attending it.
Ahmad also said the government-owned strategic development company’s CEO Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman, who was also featured as a speaker in the forum’s promotional poster, has told him that he would not be attending the forum billing DAP’s Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua and PKR’s Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli as speakers. “I’ve already answered in Parliament, so there’s no need to attend the forum,” Ahmad said………………………………..Full Article: Source

SNB head says no sovereign fund for gold if referendum passes: paper

Posted on 17 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The chairman of the Swiss central bank ruled out creating a sovereign wealth fund to manage Switzerland’s gold reserves if a referendum on banning the bank from selling them passes, according to a newspaper interview published on Sunday.
The “Save our Swiss gold” proposal, spearheaded by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), will be put to a plebiscite on Nov 30. It aims to ban the central bank from offloading the reserves and oblige it to hold at least 20 percent of its assets in gold………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth fund acquisitions surge as confidence returns

Posted on 17 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds are buying up assets this year at their fastest rate since the financial crisis as these state-run pools of assets regain the confidence lost when big punts on western banks turned sour, Thomson Reuters data shows.
Thomson Reuters data shows sovereign wealth funds, which invest windfall revenues from oil and other exports for future generations, were involved in deals worth $40 billion (25.55 billion pound) in the first nine months of 2014, the highest rate since 2007. The money was spent across 79 transactions - the highest number since 2008 - with real estate and infrastructure dominating the deal flow………………………………….Full Article: Source

Italian, Qatari Funds Make First Investment In Italian Food

Posted on 17 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

State-backed Italian and Qatari investors are to buy a 165 million euro ($205 million) stake in Inalca, expanding the Italian meat producer’s overseas markets in the first such deal by the two investment partners. Under the deal signed on Friday, the IQ Made in Italy joint venture will buy a 28.4 per cent stake in Inalca, currently wholly owned by Italian food producer and caterer Cremonini.
Italian state-backed private equity fund Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI) and Qatar Holding, a fund created by the Qatar Investment Authority, set up the joint venture in March 2013 to invest in a range of Italian companies in the food, fashion and luxury, tourism and leisure sectors………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oman SWF-SBI JV to raise $250M to back ventures under ‘Make in India’ campaign

Posted on 17 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The fund was formed in 2011 with equal equity contribution from SBI and SGRF, one of Oman’s sovereign wealth funds. A joint investment fund set up by SBI and Oman’s sovereign fund will raise its corpus by $250 million for a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to capitalise on the new government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
“The ministerial India-Oman Joint Commission, has accorded a political go-ahead for the second tranche with modalities to be worked out by State Bank of India (SBI) and State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) for its launch at the earliest,” Indian ambassador to Oman, J S Mukul said………………………………….Full Article: Source

CIC, Illinois Teachers eye cross-border deals

Posted on 14 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China Investment Corporation (CIC) and Illinois Teachers’s Retirement System have been talking up the benefits of private equity investors and managers collaborating on cross-border deals. China’s sovereign wealth fund said it was keen on facilitating European deals, while the $46 billion US state pension spoke about its recently agreed partnership with a PE fund-of-funds manager and the types of tie-ups it was seeing.
CIC’s head of private equity, He Linbo, said the sovereign wealth fund is willing to act as a bridge to connect both Chinese companies with overseas investors, and foreign companies with opportunities in the mainland…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil Fund set for shake-up for fairness

Posted on 13 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Energy policymakers will reconsider the role of the state Oil Fund after its burden in subsidising liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices ends, says Energy Minister Narongchai Akrasanee.
“Once the fund turns to black, which should be achieved soon, its role will need to be reviewed. We won’t need to levy a lot of money, as we will not return to heavily subsidising the wrong type of fuel as past governments did,” he said Wednesday. The fund is gradually recovering from a loss of 1 billion baht caused by LPG price subsidies.Mr Narongchai said details of the Oil Fund’s future role and levies had not been finalised………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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