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Malaysia Facing Bankruptcy Due to 1MDB Scandal, Warns Ex-PM

Posted on 06 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warned Thursday the country faces bankruptcy because of an ongoing scandal with the state-owned 1MDB fund. “The government will have financial deficits which may lead to bankruptcy if the (1MDB) loans are not serviced and the principal paid,” Mahathir stated in an online article and social media posts.
The former prime minister said any defaults by the government-owned company would affect Malaysia’s credit worthiness “and the government may not be able to borrow any more in the market.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Temasek in talks to buy stake in Aster DM Healthcare

Posted on 06 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

US-based private equity firm General Atlantic Llc and Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd are in separate discussions to acquire a minority stake in Dubai-based Aster DM Healthcare, said two persons close to the development. The new investors will buy about 10-15% stake in DM, they said.
The company, which has been planning an initial public offering (IPO), will do a pre-IPO round of funding to allow existing investors to exit. As such, Olympus Capital Asia Investments Ltd and India Value Fund Advisors, which own equity in DM Healthcare will dilute part of their stake along with the promoters. Existing investors hold about 40% stake in DM Healthcare………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund eyes Saudi investments

Posted on 05 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat Holding Co. is looking to invest in Saudi Arabia as the country prepares to privatize state-owned entities under the Saudi Vision 2030 plan, MEED reported, citing the fund’s chief executive Mahmood Hashim Alkooheji.
“I think yes. It is a very important market to us,” Alkooheji said during the Euromoney Saudi Arabia conference in Riyadh. “The region offers a lot of opportunities. We have made investments in the UAE, the US and we invested in Spain and hopefully, we will be able to invest with our bothers in the Saudi Arabia as well.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

RDIF impressed by Saudi Arabia’s plan to reduce dependence on oil by 2020

Posted on 05 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russian and worldwide investors are impressed with the transformational plan proposed by Saudi Arabia to reduce its oil dependency, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev told TASS.
“In this way, we will have a public investment fund with the size of more than a trillion, almost $3 trillion”. According to “Vision 2030″, the plan will create a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund by selling a five percent stake in state-owned oil giant Aramco………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Free Lunch: The rearguard of the proletariat

Posted on 05 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $870bn sovereign wealth fund, which owns on average 1.3 per cent of every listed company in the world, has told my colleague Richard Milne that it is launching a crackdown on executive pay.
As I have described before, the fund is already making demands on the companies in which it invests that go well beyond short-term and narrowly commercial considerations. And that is a good thing for the fund’s returns and society at large as the interests of both are more aligned than with the incentives of company management left to its own devices. Extending its interest to outsize executive pay comes not a moment too soon………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chinese regulators learning to manage market: CIC head

Posted on 05 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Securities regulators are learning how to manage the market, China Investment Corp.’s Larry Zhang, told a US audience on Tuesday. Zhang, who heads public equities at the nation’s sovereign wealth fund, said regulators managed to wipe out $5 trillion worth of market value through their incompetent and mistake-ridden handling of last summer’s market rout.
“It was a disaster how they managed public equity, it created turbulence,” Zhang said during a panel at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Tuesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CIC executive says China regulator mismanaged market crash

Posted on 05 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s securities regulators mismanaged the country’s stock market crash and are learning how to better manage the market, the head of public equities at China’s sovereign wealth fund said on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported.
“It was a disaster how they managed public equity, it created turbulence,” Bloomberg quoted Larry Zhang of China Investment Corp. (CIC) saying at the Milken Institute Global Conference in California. China’s benchmark stock indexes fell over 40 percent from June to January, with regulators widely blamed for mishandling the crisis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Here Are 4 Ways to Invest Like the Pros at Sovereign-Wealth Funds

Posted on 05 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the world of investing, there are the small players, big players and then the biggest players of all: sovereign-wealth funds, which are state-owned investment funds. The world’s SWFs manage trillions of dollars’ worth of investments on behalf of the governments that raised these funds through different forms of taxes, most frequently, by taxing natural-resource extraction.
The funds are usually set aside for when they are needed but in the meantime are allocated in a wide array of investments. The largest SWF is Norway’s, Norway Government Pension Fund Global, which as of last June controlled $873 billion, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shares underperform region as 1MDB worries dominate sentiment

Posted on 04 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysian shares slumped to a two-and-a-half month low, lagging behind regional markets, and the ringgit tumbled to its lowest in a month Tuesday, as lingering concerns about state fund 1Malaysia Development’s default continued to weigh on sentiment.
The nation’s benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI fell for the seventh consecutive session, slipping 1.27% to 1,651.44 points, its lowest level since February 15. The index has slipped nearly 4% since 1MDB announced its missed interest payment last week. Malaysia markets were closed yesterday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s biggest fund will use its power to end boardroom greed

Posted on 03 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s biggest fund is to use its huge influence to vote against fat cat pay and boardroom bad behaviour. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund - which has £595bn ($NZ1,240 billion) invested around the globe - will break its silence on excessive salaries at major companies and plans to shame the top payers.
It is a highly important move as the fund holds a stake in most of the world’s biggest firms. Last week the fund took the first steps towards a more active role on pay when it voted against a bonus plan at mining firm Weir that would have seen directors get a huge pay-off regardless how the company performed. It also voted against the £7.2m pay of Anglo American boss Mark Cutifani………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ assets help cushion low oil prices’ negative effect on Azerbaijani economy

Posted on 02 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The international ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has confirmed Azerbaijan’s long-term issuer ratings and senior unsecured debt ratings at Ba1. Moody’s also confirms that Azerbaijan’s large stock of foreign currency assets held in the State Oil Fund (SOFAZ), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, helps cushion the economy and government balance sheet, and gives Azerbaijan time to adjust to lower oil prices.
“The government retains sizeable fiscal buffers that could help it absorb shocks, specifically SOFAZ’s significant foreign currency assets,” said the report. SOFAZ’s foreign currency assets remain very large, despite declining by 9.5 percent to $33.6 billion in 2015, Moody’s said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi fund ‘paid interest on bonds’ after 1MDB default

Posted on 02 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi fund International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) said yesterday that it had paid interest due on bonds issued by a unit of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) after the troubled Malaysian state investor defaulted on payments.
IPIC said in a statement that the payment of US$50.3 million (S$67.5 million) interest on the bond for 1MDB Energy (Langat) was done to fulfil its obligation as guarantor under the bond’s terms. The Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund said that it would now demand indemnity for paying the interest, Reuters reported yesterday. The coupon on the US$1.75 billion bond was due on April 18………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign funds remain positive on India

Posted on 02 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Concerns that falling oil prices would trigger a sell-off by sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) in the domestic market seem to have been unfounded. SWF assets in the equities market have risen 14 per cent to Rs 1.76 lakh crore during 2015-16, despite a nine per cent decline in the Sensex.
Overall foreign portfolio investor (FPI) equity assets fell by 6.3 per cent to Rs 18.9 lakh crore during this period, latest data by depository firm NSDL shows. SWFs, investment vehicles set up by countries with budget surpluses, invest in various liquid asset classes across the globe. Over half of global SWFs are from countries rich in natural resources, particularly oil………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Central Bank again becomes a buyer of Oil Fund’s currency, but not key buyer

Posted on 29 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) has appeared today at the foreign exchange auction of the Central Bank as a seller. According to SOFAZ, today it has applied for sale of $50 million and sold $42.4 million through the auction.
“14 commercial banks ($32.4 million) and the Central Bank ($10 million) became the buyers,” the Fund said. At the previous auction on 26 April the Fund sold $34.9 million to the nine banks through auction. The Fund promises to continue selling currency through CBA auctions. In its turn, the Central Bank announced earlier the start of manat interventions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB insists debt reduction plan still on course

Posted on 29 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is still on track to pay off its RM51 billion (S$17.6 billion) debt pile despite being locked in a dispute with an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, the state investor’s president Arul Kanda Kandasamy said.
1MDB signed a deal with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) in May last year, with the Emirati firm involved in reducing the Malaysian fund’s debts by RM17 billion in return for financial assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Who will prevail in standoff between IPIC and 1MDB?

Posted on 29 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1MDB was directed in writing by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) then managing director and Aabar Investment PJS chairperson - Khadem al Qubaisi and Mohamed Al Husseiny respectively - to transfer the money into Aabar Investment Ltd BVI.
The two men had the power to legally bind Aabar Investment PJS and the parent company, IPIC, to the transaction. 1MDB can claim to have made the payment in good faith based on the written instructions from the two most senior officers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

State funds Temasek, GIC revamping leadership to navigate volatile markets

Posted on 28 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s top state investment firms are shuffling senior management to help navigate choppy global markets. Investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte said on Tuesday that its Americas President Boon Sim is leaving as it appointed two new presidents in the latest management reorganization to help it navigate “challenging global times.”
GIC said last week it gave Group Chief Investment Officer Lim Chow Kiat the additional title of deputy group president as part of a leadership shuffle appointing seven managers to new roles……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Moody’s: 1MDB default raises contingent liability risks to sovereign

Posted on 28 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

State-owned fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) default has increased the probability that contingent liabilities, particularly through cross-defaults and an associated indemnity, will crystallise on Malaysia’s government balance sheet, a credit negative for the sovereign, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
In an issuer comment note today, Moody’s said the recent developments have increased the likelihood of the Malaysian government expending fiscal resources to pay the indemnity to Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), but the risk remains contingent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB scandal: Malaysian government ultimately to pay for all of state fund’s obligations

Posted on 28 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Malaysian government, and eventually taxpayers, will have to foot all of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) financial obligations, even though some of them have been guaranteed by Abu Dhabi sovereign fund International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC). This is because the government had provided a back-to-back guarantee on IPIC’s guarantee.
Lawmaker Tony Pua who also sits on the multi-party parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, noted that the government’s debt-asset swap arrangement with IPIC indicated that the Ministry of Finance would indemnify IPIC of all its obligations including advances and interest payments on behalf of 1MDB………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Alibaba’s Ant Financial raises $5.8bn in largest private tech funding

Posted on 28 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ant Financial Services Group, the financial services affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, closed the world’s largest private fundraising round for an internet company at $US4.5 billion ($5.8bn), valuing it at about $US60bn. It raised its latest funding round from a clutch of investors, including a Chinese sovereign wealth fund and the country’s biggest insurers.
Ant Financial has courted powerful Chinese state-owned firms in its outside fundraisings. In this round, it brought in new investors including $US740bn sovereign wealth fund China Investment’s CIC Capital and a subsidiary of state-owned China Construction Bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya fund accuses Goldman Sachs of breaching its own rules

Posted on 28 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The brother of a top Libyan official who secured an internship at Goldman Sachs was paid a pro-rata salary of £36,000 plus a housing allowance — soon after the US bank carried out lossmaking trades on behalf of Libya’s sovereign wealth fund.
New details of the internship undertaken by Haitem Zarti, brother of Mustafa Zarti, the Libyan Investment Authority’s former deputy head, have been revealed in court documents as part of a $1bn legal battle between the Libyan Investment Authority and Goldman………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC scoops up buys amid global downturn

Posted on 27 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds are having a tough time finding good investments amid the difficult economic environment, and Singapore’s GIC is no different. Stock market volatility and low yields across various other asset classes amid flagging global growth have combined to create a challenging environment for state investors.
But GIC is no stranger to buying when the outlook appears bleak, and its recent investments point to a willingness and ability to ride out short-term volatility with a view to potential long-term payoffs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek revamps leadership ranks amid volatile markets

Posted on 27 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s sovereign wealth funds are shuffling senior management to help navigate choppy global markets. Temasek Holdings said Tuesday that Boon Sim, its Americas president, is leaving as it appointed two new presidents in the latest management reorganization to help it navigate “challenging global times.”
GIC said last week it gave Lim Chow Kiat, group chief investment officer, the additional title of deputy group president as part of a leadership shuffle appointing seven managers to new roles………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek Restructures, Loses Americas Chief

Posted on 27 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore sovereign fund Temasek International is reorganizing its management structure to prepare for “challenging global times,” the fund announced Tuesday. The S$266 billion (US$197 billion) fund said it has appointed Chia Song Hwee and Dilhan Pillay—current joint heads of investments—as presidents.
Dilhan will also take over as head of Americas from Boon Sim, who will be leaving May 1 after four years, Temasek confirmed. Boon—who previously led Credit Suisse’s global mergers and acquisition team—will continue as an advisor, mainly helping to build the fund’s US presence………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s 1MDB in default as Abu Dhabi dispute escalates

Posted on 27 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia’s 1MDB defaulted on a $1.75bn bond on Tuesday, triggering cross defaults on two other notes totalling $1.9bn and raising the stakes in a dispute between the troubled state investment fund and an Abu Dhabi counterpart.
The fund’s announcement that it had failed to make an interest payment of $50m on 5.75 per cent bonds prompted a fall of as much as 1.2 per cent in the ringgit and dented investor confidence in Malaysian sovereign debt, with the cost of insuring against default with credit-default swaps rising 4 basis points to 167bp………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s 1MDB Scandal Confirmed Investment Funds Defaults on US $1.75 Billion Bond

Posted on 27 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) confirmed on Tuesday, April 26 that the non-payment of US$ 50.3 million (S $ 68.1 million) in interest over a now defaulted US $ 1.75 billion bond had resulted in cross-defaults for RM 7.4 billion (S $ 2.6 billion) in other bonds.
The failure to pay interest that is due on Monday, April 25 arose due to a dispute with International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), an Abu Dhabi state-owned sovereign wealth fund, which had guaranteed two US $ 1.75 billion 1MDB funds due in 2022………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia Can’t Quit Oil

Posted on 27 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia announced the seemingly impossible. The world’s largest oil producer and owner of an oil company reportedly worth more than $2 trillion, is going to kick its fossil fuel habit, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.
“We have developed a case of oil addiction in Saudi Arabia,” he told al-Arabiya television news channel, after officially unveiling a plan whose key parts had already been carefully released. Forty percent of the kingdom’s GDP and a whopping 90 percent of the government’s revenue comes from oil………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia’s growth plan: 0% income tax and a giant wealth fund

Posted on 26 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia has no plans to introduce income tax any time soon, despite the damage done to its finances by the oil price crash. The kingdom made clear Monday that taxes on income or basic goods are not part of its 15-year strategy for breaking the economy’s dependence on oil.
Riyadh’s has outlined an ambitious plan to create a huge sovereign wealth fund, which will invest at home and abroad to diversify the economy and create new revenue streams for the government. It says the fund will be worth 7 trillion riyals ($1.9 trillion) by 2030. That’s more than double the size of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Everything in play for Saudi wealth fund

Posted on 26 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia’s cabinet has approved a sweeping package of reforms aimed at modernising the kingdom’s economy while cutting its heavy dependency on oil. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 31, set out the plans in Vision 2030, a blueprint for the nation’s future published.
It proposed the creation of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund by floating a stake of less than 5 per cent in Saudi Aramco, the state oil producer, plus a string of tax rises and spending cuts designed to boost efficiency and trim government waste………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s GIC to acquire stake in transmission utility ITC for $1.23B

Posted on 26 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund GIC has signed an agreement with North American electric and gas utility Fortis to acquire 19.9% of independent transmission utility ITC for $1.23 billion. The agreement follows a deal signed by Fortis in February to acquire all of ITC for roughly $11.3 billion, Kallanish Energy reports.
“Given the high quality transmission platform ITC offers, the strength of the Fortis management team, and GIC’s long-term approach to infrastructure investing, we look forward to a successful transaction and partnership,” said Rhys Evenden, head of North American Infrastructure for GIC………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWFs ‘Not to Blame for Equity Crash’

Posted on 26 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Market commentators that have blamed sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) for driving the recent equity market sell-off may be wide of the mark, according to advisory firm GeoEconomica.
The majority of drawdowns from SWFs last year were smaller than their annual investment returns, wrote GeoEconomica Managing Director Sven Behrendt in a note published by the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds. This is despite a series of commentaries claiming large withdrawals from SWFs have led to price falls across stock markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi’s $2 trillion megafund is a sign of changing times

Posted on 25 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In an interview with US news outlet at the end of last month, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman announced that Saudi Arabia is planning a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund to wean the country off its dependency on oil. Currently around 80 percent of Saudi’s budget revenues come from the petroleum sector, and a priority of the government is to diversify its income.
According to the prince, if the plan succeeds, investments could be the primary source of Saudi government revenue within two decades. The fund would also be the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, dwarfing Norway’s government pension fund, which currently has $825 billion worth of assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Five Questions About The New Saudi Economic Plan

Posted on 25 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Kingdom will introduce its plan for an economic and financial restructuring of its sovereign wealth fund. On the scale of $2 trillion, this new Public Investment Fund (PIF) would be the largest in the world and would include a compelling IPO of a small portion of Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, Saudi Aramco.
The country relies almost exclusively on oil profits to fund the government. No one outside of the government knows the exact numbers, but some estimates say 90% of the Kingdom’s budget comes from Aramco………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund puts Doncasters up for auction

Posted on 25 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

One of Britain’s oldest engineering manufacturers, Doncasters, has been put up for auction for around £1.2bn by Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund after the business suffered a sharp downturn.
Private equity firms and turnaround funds have been invited to bid for the 238-year-old business by Dubai International Capital (DIC), as the Gulf state unwinds its debt-fuelled buying spree in the run up to the financial crisis. An attempted DIC management buyout collapsed when financial sponsors Goldman Sachs, Carlyle and Blackstone took fright at Doncasters’ trading problems and sought to renegotiate the deal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar Investment Authority’s lack of transparency goes against standards for sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 25 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Questions about how sovereign wealth funds work practically and what happens when they are not handled in a transparent way loom large especially when it comes to the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). Sovereign wealth funds act on behalf of the nations they serve to help with pursuing capital opportunities that are intended to lift economies and create symbiotic international business partnerships.
The sovereign wealth fund, functioning on behalf of an oil-rich Gulf state of Qatar, is considered by some to be the only sovereign wealth fund not compliant with a set of global standards called the Santiago Principles. For example, the Wall Street Journal reports that the QIA does not disclose the total amount of capital that it manages or publish an annual report as stipulated by the standards………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia’s Future Fund in $1bn blow

Posted on 25 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia’s sovereign wealth fund has swung into ­reverse, shedding $1 billion in three months as volatile market conditions exact a toll. The Federal Government’s Future Fund shrank 0.9 per cent in the March quarter, dragging the return so far this financial year to a anaemic 0.2 per cent.
It is the first time in four years the fund — set up a decade ago to pay for superannuation liabilities in the public sector — has gone backwards in a quarter. The slide came after a bruising opening to 2016 on the stockmarket. The benchmark ASX 200 index fell almost 8 per cent across January and February and only pared back half of those losses in March………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australian Sovereign Wealth Fund Lifts Cash Levels Close to 25%

Posted on 25 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia’s sovereign wealth fund increased the amount of cash it holds to almost one quarter of its A$117.4 billion ($91 billion) portfolio as it says global central banks have less firepower to respond to economic weakness.
The so-called Future Fund raised its holdings in cash to 22.9 percent as of the end of March, citing the prospect for lower future returns, according to a statement Friday. Since being formed in 2006, its assets have almost doubled from A$60.5 billion, with the fund returning 7.4 percent per year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s 1MDB and IPIC in dispute over coming bond payment

Posted on 25 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Troubled Malaysian government investment fund 1Malaysia ­Development Bhd must make a $US50 million ($64m) debt payment today as it faces the possibility of a default that could trigger defaults on billions more of its debt.
The overdue payment is on a $US1.75 billion bond issued by 1MDB in late 2012. If the bond is ultimately declared in default, the subsequent fallout could hurt the outstanding debt and the currency of Malaysia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australian Sovereign Wealth Fund Lifts Cash Levels Close to 25%

Posted on 22 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia’s sovereign wealth fund increased the amount of cash it holds to almost one quarter of its A$117.4 billion ($91 billion) portfolio as it says global central banks have less firepower to respond to economic weakness.
The so-called Future Fund raised its holdings in cash to 22.9 percent as of the end of March, citing the prospect for lower future returns, according to a statement Friday. Since being formed in 2006, its assets have almost doubled from A$60.5 billion, with the fund returning 7.4 percent per year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC Rounds Off Portfolio With Biggest Stock Buy in Eight Years

Posted on 22 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

GIC Pte’s biggest stock transaction in eight years helps it expand holdings in an industry that it has lagged behind in: Utilities. GIC on Wednesday said it agreed to pay $1.23 billion in cash to buy 19.9 percent of U.S. power line operator ITC Holdings Corp. from Canada’s largest utility owner Fortis Inc.
The transaction is the Singapore sovereign wealth fund’s biggest as the sole buyer of equities since it spent $6.88 billion on Citigroup Inc. securities in January 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The state fund, over the last 12 months, bought real estate assets as well as interests in the retail, hospital and health-care industries………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Weak trading ‘unrelated’ to rescue fund exit

Posted on 22 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The finance minister on Thursday rejected criticism that the exit of the National Stabilization Fund put downward pressure on Taiwan shares earlier this week. Taiwan shares had closed down 119.24 points, or 1.38 percent, at 8,514.48 on Wednesday on turnover of NT$95.45 billion to extend a week of decline.
Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford said yesterday that the main index’s retreat was unrelated to the exit of the National Stabilization Fund. The administration under President-elect Tsai Ing-wen, who takes office on May 20, is considering establishing a sovereign wealth fund to finance emerging industries such as biotechnology………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia Mulls Dual Listing, Traded Fund for Aramco IPO

Posted on 22 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia is considering a dual listing as a way to reach investors beyond the local stock market for the sale of shares in state-owned oil giant Aramco, which could be the world’s largest initial public offering, the kingdom’s deputy crown prince said.
Prince Mohammed is leading the planning for the sale of less than 5 percent in Aramco, which is targeted for 2017-2018. It could raise as much as $106 billion, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, making the company the largest publicly traded one in the world, with a market capitalization over $2 trillion. The remaining Aramco stake not sold in the IPO, which is now held directly by the government, will be transferred to the country’s sovereign-wealth fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sultanate of Oman sovereign wealth fund signs with Nasdaq BWise

Posted on 20 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nasdaq BWise, a global leader in enterprise Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC), announced that it has been selected by State General Reserve Fund (SGRF), the largest sovereign wealth fund in the Sultanate of Oman, to support their enterprise risk management (ERM) processes based on the principles of the COSO ERM methodology.
SGRF was looking for a software solution to enhance its risk and control management practices based on the COSO ERM principles that could be embedded across the organization providing one, holistic view on the companies’ risks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China sovereign fund to seek majority control of Yum unit

Posted on 19 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China Investment Corp, China’s state-owned sovereign wealth fund, is backing a group of investors who have expressed interest in buying a majority stake in Yum Brands Inc’s China unit, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
A deal could value Yum’s China unit at $7 billion to $8 billion, Bloomberg said, citing sources. The investor group also includes KKR & Co LP and Baring Private Equity Asia, the report said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi Fund Calls 1MDB in Default After Missed Payment

Posted on 19 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

International Petroleum Investment Company says debt deal with Malaysian fund has been terminated. A key Middle Eastern business partner of 1Malaysia Development Bhd. said the Malaysian state development fund has failed to make a $1.1 billion payment as part of a debt-restructuring agreement and that as a result a debt deal between the two entities has been terminated.
The announcement, made in a London Stock Exchange filing by the International Petroleum Investment Company, an Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund, marks a deterioration in relations between the two funds and signals fresh complications for 1MDB as it tries to work its way out from under billions of dollars of debt………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Meet the Norwegian Currency’s Oil Buffer

Posted on 19 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
After this Sunday’s summit in Doha failed to secure an agreement among oil-producers to curb crude supply, the oil price fell and the currencies of the big crude exporters fell with it. When crude later rebounded, these currencies followed suit………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar and CVC drop £6bn Sainsbury takeover bid

Posted on 18 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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 takeover bid for the grocer, according to Sky News Business.
The plans received formal approval from the City’s Takeover Panel in a sign of how close the consortium got to going public with the offer. It is understood that city grandee Archie Norman, who is currently chairman of ITV and made his reputation as chairman of Asda, was identified as a potential chairman of Sainsbury’s………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

Posted on 18 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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 country.
But in a statement issued on Friday, Paul Nwabuikwu, media aide of the two-time minister, said Okonjo-Iweala was referring to the opposition of some governors to the efforts of the immediate past administration to save in the excess crude account (ECA) and in sovereign wealth fund (SWF)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

Posted on 18 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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.
Its partnership with GIC will see them firms develop a portfolio of quality logistics warehouses of up to 500,000 square metres of net leasable area (NLA) in Indonesia over the next three years, with a focus in the Greater Jakarta region and Greater Surabaya………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Plunge Into Equities Shows Azeri Wealth Fund Playing Catchup

Posted on 15 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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 to 15 percent from 10 percent.
That compares with a 60 percent weight allotted to stocks by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest. Sofaz had 6.5 percent of its assets invested in equities at end-2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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