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Bidders line up for $5bn port contest

Posted on 02 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global Infrastructure Partners has teamed up with Queensland Investment Corporation and ­Borealis in the contest to buy the Port of Melbourne, which could sell for as much as $5 billion. The consortium, advised by Credit Suisse and Gresham, will compete with other parties for Australia’s busiest container and cargo port, being sold by advisers Morgan Stanley and Flagstaff.
Other bidders known to be ­preparing to compete in the sales process are IFM, advised by JPMorgan, and Hastings Funds Management together with Wren House, which are advised by Royal Bank of Canada and UBS. Wren House is the infrastructure arm of sovereign wealth fund Kuwait ­Investment Authority………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth funds interested in buying a stake in the merged O2 and Three

Posted on 02 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A group of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds are interesting in acquiring shares in a merged O2 and Three – which is expected to become the largest British mobile phone operator. Hutchison Whampoa, a Hong Kong conglomerate, announced its intention to take over O2 for £10.25 billion and merge it with Three UK, the smallest mobile network that it currently owns.
According to Sky News, investors from China, Singapore and the Middle East have been in talks with Hutchison Whampoa about purchasing shares in the new merged company. The talks are at an early stage, but reports say that there have been approaches from the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore and various Canadian pension funds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatari sovereign wealth fund buys Canary Wharf for $4bn

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A joint venture between Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and Canadian developer Brookfield Property Partners is poised to take control of Canary Wharf for $4bn after the three largest shareholders in the present owner, Songbird Estates, accepted the deal.
Songbird conceded defeat after New York investor Simon Glick, the China Investment Corporation and Morgan Stanley said they would support the deal. As the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is the largest shareholder with 29% of Songbird’s shares, the deal had 86% support………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How China SWF views the state of the global economy

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China isn’t the only one facing a “new normal”, according to the head of China’s sovereign wealth fund, who tips a period of weak growth, divergence and instability for the global economy.
“China says its economy has entered a ‘new normal’. I think the same can be applied to the world economy,” Ding Xuedong, chairman and CEO of China Investment Corporation, the world’s fourth-largest sovereign wealth fund, told CNBC on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shahmar Movsumov: “Low oil price means decline of SOFAZ assets by $3 bln”

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Low oil price means decline of SOFAZ assets by $3 bln, Executive Director of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) Shahmar Movsumov said. According to him, eh raw material prices will probably be stabilized in the second half of 2015: “It’s clear that no one expects rebound of these prices as in 2009-2010, however it will exceed the current level”.
Though economic development weakened due to oil price decline, Azerbaijan could keep its exchange rate: “GDP growth made 2.8% in 2014 in connection with decline of oil production over 2%, while it was 5.8% in 2013. Central Bank spent $1.13 bln from its financial resources to keep exchange rate of manat stable in December”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Rosy outlook for regional M&A, SWF active

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Regional mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity is forecast to remain as buoyant this year as 2014 despite the oil price drop as governments continue to spend, corporates focus on growth and international investor interest in the energy-rich region rises, M&A advisors say.
Sovereign wealth funds, which are mandated to invest the oil dollar surplus for future generations, will continue to be active, as they were in 2014. Last year saw sovereign wealth funds eyeing international investments, which helped outbound M&A activity rise 74 per cent to US$26bn, led by investments from Qatar. The Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, last year led a bid to acquire Songbird Estates, the owner of the Canary Wharf financial district in London for about $4bn. It was the biggest announced M&A deal in the Middle East last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

VTB Bank isn’t letting a bad year get in the way of a good party. Executives at the state-controlled Russian bank, which has cut hundreds of employees following U.S. and European Union sanctions, are betting a little jazz and vodka with the world’s elite will dull the pain.
Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of Russia’s main sovereign-wealth fund, plans to be fully involved with the week’s events. Dmitriev’s Russian Direct Investment Fund is one of the sponsors of a dinner for sovereign-wealth funds. The executive plans to give a speech and use the event to build relationships with “funds from Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Samruk-Kazyna cuts spendings by $1.83 bln in 2015

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Samruk-Kazyna will reduce its spending by 337 billion tenge ($1.83 billion) in 2015, Tengrinews reports citing the press service of the company. The National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna, is a sovereign wealth fund and joint stock company in Kazakhstan which owns, either in whole or in part, many important companies in the country, including the national rail and postal service, the state oil and gas company KazMunayGas, the state uranium company Kazatomprom, Air Astana airlines, and numerous financial groups.
The state is the sole shareholder of the fund. Umirzak Shukeyev is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Samruk-Kazyna. Independent directors are Alexander Mirtchev, Sir Richard Harry Evans and Nigel John Stapleton………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia prepares RUB1.375 trillion anti-crisis plan

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has approved the provisional version of an anti-crisis plan drawn up by the government. According to media reports, the plan involves recapitalisation of banks, provision of state guarantees, support measures for state development bank VEB and diverse sectors, changes to state procurement laws and procurement to facilitate import substitution, support for small business, and tax rebates.
In 2009, the budget deficit ran to 5.9% of GDP, financed from Russia’s sovereign wealth funds. A significant amound of funding for the anti-crisis plan will come from these planned budget cuts, say analysts. Funds will also be drawn down from the National Welfare Fund, a sovereign wealth fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What Nicolas Maduro Should Learn From Africa

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For many years Africa has been susceptible to the volatile nature of the commodities markets, resulting in long periods of economic stagnation, accompanied by reductions in social spending and living standards. To counteract these effects, countries like Botswana have created sovereign wealth funds to better manage the revenue from the extractive industries and invest in long-term development.
Policy instruments like deploying sovereign wealth funds might seem obvious to adopt but many governments often face opposition to their creation, even if they are a proven mechanism to better distribute the surplus of the extractive industries. The creation of a sovereign wealth fund directly affect such elites as the revenues of the national natural resources are more transparently and better distributed amongst the population………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek building icons to pay it forward

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Big-Ticket deals have been the calling card of Temasek Holdings but a shift in strategy could be under way and you only have to go to the zoo to see it. The zoo might not be the most obvious place one can think of to observe the operations of one of the corporate world’s biggest beasts. But, in fact, the investment firm’s latest undertaking illustrates how its game plan is evolving.
The high-profile deal involves Temasek partnering the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to develop the Mandai area, which includes the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, River Safari and Jurong Bird Park. It makes perfect sense on one level: Temasek holds a majority stake in Wildlife Reserves, the entity that owns the attractions, so that alone should give it first dibs on any future development………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The major areas (investment program) for the use of the SOFAZ means in 2015 have been approved by the decree on SOFAZ budget issued by Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan. In accordance with the program, the Fund should pursue the investment policy aimed to get maximum high revenue with minimization of risks from assets loss.
At the same time, the investment portfolio of SOFAZ can be divided into the following components: debt commitments and money market instruments – 80% of funds, stocks – 10%, real estate – 5%, physical gold – 5%. The profitability benchmark for the debt/money component is the rate not lower than LIBOR for 3 months and for the stock component - MSCI World Index………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Alberta has no reason to panic, at least not yet

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A dramatic fall in oil prices, predicted to reduce provincial government resource revenues in Alberta by $7 billion — a drop of at least 16 per cent — has generated intense speculation regarding public expenditure cuts, tax changes and, of course, the introduction of a general sales tax.
This type of precipitous price drop has happened before. And as before, the calls inevitably arise that more resource revenues should be saved in the Heritage Fund and used to stabilize government revenues during these negative commodity price shocks. But the real culprit is the Alberta government’s tendency to use an upturn in resource prices to enrich spending rather than build up a sovereign wealth fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zeti: Malaysia’s fundamentals still intact

Posted on 21 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz did not give away any indication that there is going to be a hike in the current overnight policy rate of 3.25%, as it is still accommodative for the country’s economic growth.
Zeti said short-term investors might have fled from the domestic market but the country had other long-term investors such as pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and other central banks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

President Ilham Aliyev has signed a decree on the budget of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) for 2015.
According to APA-Economics, with the decree, revenues of the budget of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) for 2015 were approved as AZN 10 246 611,9 thousand, and expenditures as AZN 11 813 909,2 thousand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Oil Price Crash and the CBN Response

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Little is there in the Sovereign Wealth Fund (which is a replacement for the Excess Crude Account with three separate funds: stabilization fund, infrastructure fund and future generations fund has only $1 billion as initial take-off capital in 2011) (the Nigerian sovereign wealth fund is the third-largest in sub-Saharan Africa, after the $6.9bn Botswana and $5bn Angola funds, although these are tiny compared to those of oil producers such as Saudi Arabia,
Norway and Abu Dhabi, which each have more than $600bn in assets) to act as reliable and sustainable buffer for the economy – unlike other countries like Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Russia. This is one of the economicides committed by the Nigerian State against itself by the very manner of its budgetary expenditure profile. Nigeria never plans for the future………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ reduces 2015 expenditures up to AZN 500 mln

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) will reduce its 2015 expenditures. APA-Economics reports that SOFAZ will reduce its expenditures AZN 491 mln to AZN 11.814 bln. According to budget package for 2015, Fund’s incomes were amounted to AZN 10.246 bln, expenditures – to AZN 12.305 bln. Fund’a budget deficit was forecasted ay AZN 2.1 bln.
Reduction of expenditures caused decline of deficit to AZN 1.6 bln. 88% or AZN 10.388 bln f expenditures will be transferred to the budget. Moreover, AZN 33.3 mln will be spent to management of the Fund. Remaining AZN 1.393 bln is intended for Fund’s projects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper price fall bad news for Chile, but not disaster

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Public finances remain fairly healthy, key for President Michelle Bachelet’s government, which is pressing forward with a reform drive despite the slowdown and does not want to renege on its promises to increase public spending. Chile’s coffers include $14.8 billion (as of November) stashed away in a sovereign wealth fund.
So the government may be tapping that savings fund soon. “That’s precisely the role of the sovereign wealth fund, you save during the good years to use in years like this one,” said Alberto Ramos, co-head of Latin America economic research at Goldman Sachs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Oil Fund of Azerbaijan is not able to finance the national program “fiber to home”

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan Republic (SOFAZ) is not able to finance implementation of the national program for development of fiber-optic network “fiber to home”. According to Elmir Velizadeh, Deputy Minister of Communications and High Technologies, the Ministry is trying to raise funds from other sources including loans to implement this project.
“We will try to implement the project using loan facilities. Previously we expected that the project would be financed by SOFAZ”, - Velizadeh said. Earlier the SOFAZ budget provided for allocation of AZN 100 million for that project but the financing had never been opened………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aviva share price steady as Norwegian fund backs Friends Life deal

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund has significantly increased its stakes in Aviva Plc and Friends Life Group since the £5.1 merger between the two companies was unveiled at the end of last year, the Financial Times has reported. Norway’s $860 billion oil fund has bought about £100 million worth of shares in the two FTSE 100 insurers.
Aviva’s share price has added about 0.3 percent in London so far today, outperforming the broader market, with the FTSE 100 index having lost just under one percent in morning trading. Friends Life’s share price is also about 0.3 percent up………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah says can turn MAS around despite mounting challenge

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd said today it has a “fair chance” of returning ailing flag carrier MAS to profitability as the restructuring exercise allows it to execute tough but necessary policies. Khazanah chief executive Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said this included the freedom to trim MAS’ bloated workforce and re-negotiate lopsided contracts, both key factors cited for the airline’s poor financial state.
“If you really dissect the 12-point plan, you can see a holistic approach with clear drivers that previous restructuring plans could not do… like the ability to re-size the staff size,” Azman told a press briefing on Khazanah’s 2014 performance overview here………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian wealth fund bolsters Aviva bid

Posted on 14 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund has thrown its weight behind Aviva’s planned acquisition of Friends Life, buying about £100m worth of shares in the two FTSE 100 insurers since the £5.1bn deal was unveiled. Norway’s $860bn oil fund has joined the ranks of Friends Life’s 10 largest shareholders after increasing its stake in the takeover target by 70 per cent, according to regulatory filings.
The institution has also increased its stake in Aviva, which has struck an agreement with Friends to do the biggest deal in the UK insurance sector in 15 years, by more than half………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar Invests in Egypts Tourism Sector

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Diar (QD) is one of the major real estate companies in Qatar, belonging to the Qatari Investment Authority (QIA). The company was founded in 2005 to support the country’s growing economy and to implement real estate development projects inside and outside Qatar.
QIA is a sovereign wealth fund that serves local and foreign investments. It was established by the Qatari Government in 2005 to manage the surpluses of oil and natural gas. QIA’s assets range between 100bn and 200bn. As of January 2012, Qatari Diar is capitalised at 4bn and has more than 49 projects under development or planning in Qatar and in 29 countries around the world, with a combined value of over 35bn………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Odey Says Oil Will Burn Bond And Sovereign Wealth Funds

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

One of Crispin Odey’s long-biased funds made a spectacular return in November of last year. There is however one ray of hope for Odey, as he mentions that 90% of the SWFs are funded by oil, which means that right now money is disappearing fast at these trillion dollar funds. Similarly the oil majors are definitely not as green as before.
The big six of Europe once paid out fat dividends and sat on $550 billion in market cap, but negative cash flow rose to $4 billion in 2013 excluding dividends, and will be close to $45 billion in 2014. Odey comments that now SWFs and HY Bond Funds are being paid a dividend that is coming out of their own capital………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mubadala takes control of Maracana stadium manager IMX

Posted on 12 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi strategic investor Mubadala Development has taken control of the firm that manages Rio’s iconic Maracana stadium, the venue for last year’s World Cup final. According to an emailed statement seen by Bloomberg News, Mubadala has acquired a stake in IMX from the former Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista’s EBX Group making it the majority shareholder in South America’s largest sports and entertainment management company.
IMX was a joint venture between EBX and IMG Worldwide, the talent agency in which Mubadala is already minority shareholder. IMG, based in New York, also manages fashion and sports events such as Wimbledon, as well as the capital’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and Mubadala World Tennis Championship………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Time to politician-proof the Heritage Fund

Posted on 09 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With the price of oil plummeting from more than $90 (U.S.) to less than $50 over the past four months, the Alberta government is suddenly looking at a $6-billion drop in non-renewable resource revenues (NRRR). The consequences seem bleak: a return to either Getty-era deficits, Klein-era budget cuts or some equally unpleasant combination of both.
Most Albertans seem surprised by these events. The implicit, if unspoken, assumption is that until the recent price collapse, everything was just fine. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Government budgeting in Alberta has been an accident-waiting-to-happen ever since then-premier Don Getty stopped depositing 15 per cent of NRRR into the Heritage Savings Fund in 1987………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ata Insurance insured new residence of SOFAZ

Posted on 08 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ata Insurance OJSC won the tender held by the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ). According to the Company, Ata Insurance OJSC has been officially annouced the winner of the open tender on insurance of the SOFAZ new administrative building. The tender with participation of large insurance companies of Azerbaijan was held on the following lots: compulsory insurance of the administrative building, compulsory insurance of civil responcibility and voluntary insurance of SOFAZ property.
The new administrative building of SOFAZ opened on December 29, 2014 is located at Heydar Aliyev avenue. The height of 24-storey building is 140 meters; its interior design includes elements of ten carpet schools of Azerbaijan. All premises are fit with the most advanced equipment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SimCorp selected to support SOFAZ

Posted on 08 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

SimCorp Dimension has signed a licence agreement with the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) to support equities, fixed income and alternative investment management activities from front to back offices.
The agreement means that SimCorp will support portfolio, order and compliance management, post-trade and settlement processing, risk, performance measurement and attribution, as well as accounting and reporting services. This is the latest in a string of mandates for SimCorp. In 2014, it secured agreements with Aegon Assist Management in the Netherlands and French asset manager Federis Gestion d’Actifs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why foreign reserves, Excess Crude Account depleted, by Okonjo-Iweala

Posted on 08 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. (Mrs.) Okonjo-Iweala has offered explanation for the fast depletion in the foreign reserves of Nigeria and also in the Excess Crude Account which have in the past provided strong fiscal buffer to the Nigerian economy and also served as confidence booster to foreign investors.
The foreign reserves which in the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Administration grew up to as much as over $60 billion is today standing at $34.5 billion while the ECA Account has equally depleted to a mere $3.1 billion from a level of $9.43 billion, thus eliciting wide concern by some people in the country including former President Olusegun Obasanjo………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund to disclose voting intentions to illustrate ‘principle’

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund will publish its voting intentions where it feels the intervention can help illustrate an important principle, rather than focusing on the companies in which it has the largest stakes, according to the head of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM).
Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive at NBIM, said the decision to publicise voting intentions was reached independently from a move to double the number of firms in which the NOK6trn (€658bn) Government Pension Fund Global holds a stake larger than 5%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB’s failure to settle debt seen driving down ringgit, says economist

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) failure to settle an RM2 billion loan to local lenders has been a factor behind the extended drop in the ringgit against the dollar, an economist said. The Edge Financial Daily, quoting sources, reported today that the sovereign fund had missed its December 31, 2014, deadline for settlement of the loan, and had received an extension up to January 30, 2015, to settle the outstanding payment.
The RM2 billion amount was part of an RM5.5 billion debt taken through its subsidiary Powertek Investment Holdings Sdn Bhd in May 2014 to refinance an RM6.17 billion bridging loan taken in 2012 to part finance the purchase of power assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sydney’s Westin hotel put up for sale by Singapore’s GIC Private

Posted on 06 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s GIC Private is selling the Westin Sydney on Martin Place, with hopes international interest could push the value of the hotel past $400 million.The sale process follows a flurry of activity in prime hotel space over the past 12 months including the sale of the larger Sheraton on the Park for $463 million. JLL Hotels is handling the sale and declined to comment.
GIC, a sovereign wealth fund formerly known as the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, purchased the famed Sydney hotel in 2002 for $160 million as it looked to build up its Australian property portfolio………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IPO setback for 1MDB? Chief exec replaced

Posted on 06 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) will be welcoming its third chief executive in a space of just over five years since it was established, as the government-sponsored investment fund struggles to complete the submission of the listing of its energy unit.
Malaysian-born, Dubai-based banker, Arul Kanda Kandasamy (pic), will replace 1MDB chief executive Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman, who was appointed to the post in August 2012. 1MDB chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin announced the appointment of Arul Kanda as president and group executive director of 1MDB with immediate effect and described the change as “part of a transition plan”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi-based banker heads troubled 1MDB

Posted on 06 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi-based Malaysian banker Arul Kanda Kandasamy, according to a release, takes over on Monday as group president and executive director of the troubled 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), a sovereign wealth fund, from Chief Executive Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman who was appointed to the post in August 2012.
Arul, 38, has been with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank since July 2008 as executive vice-president, head of Investment Banking Group and head of Corporate Finance Division. He was non-independent non-executive director of Malaysia’s RHB Investment Bank Bhd from July 2009 to May 10, 2011, and director of RHB Islamic Bank Bhd and non-independent non-executive director at RHB Capital Bhd from July 20, 2009 to May 10, 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Top 10 Sovereign Wealth Fund Game-Changers of 2014

Posted on 05 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Smart beta, healthcare investing, private equity, institutional real estate and multi-asset strategies were some popular themes for institutional investors in 2014. Highlighting the importance of sovereign investors, sovereign wealth funds surpassed US$ 7 trillion in assets, being a bigger investor market, in terms of asset under management, compared to U.S. defined-benefit plans.
Year over year, more sovereign wealth funds are engaging in direct transactions and participating in co-investments with private equity funds, pensions and specialist investors. According to SWFI funds like Singapore’s GIC Private Limited and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) have contributed to boosting direct deals in the world of SWFs. Our staff has formed a list of the top ten game-changers that will set the pace for sovereign wealth funds in 2015………………………………………Full Article: Source

President Ilham Aliyev inaugurates new SOFAZ building

Posted on 02 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva have today attended the opening of new administrative building of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan. APA reports that head of state has cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the building.
He was informed that the building includes assembly hall, conference and board rooms, petroleum lounge, library and treasury. All rooms and halls have been supplied with the newest technological equipments. The museum on the second floor includes stands reflecting Azerbaijan’s oil history, oil strategy of nationwide leader Heydar Aliyev, activity of State Oil Fund, projects financed by SOFAZ, investments and gained achievements………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC, Temasek keener on Americas this year

Posted on 02 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The past year was a busy one for Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and investment company Temasek Holdings. Indeed, it was a banner year for deal makers worldwide. With borrowing costs still low, the global economy gradually recovering and corporate valuations at attractive levels, global cross-border merger and acquisition activity hit a six-year high, according to research firm Dealogic.
GIC and Temasek were in the thick of the action, with both making more investments, especially in sectors such as technology, real estate and consumer goods and services………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Centers on 3 Major Infrastructure Deals

Posted on 02 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds are honing in on some major infrastructure deals. The UK government’s stake sale in Eurostar has lured two cash-rich Asian sovereign wealth funds to the table. Eurostar, a high-speed rail operator, connects London and Paris through the Channel Tunnel as well as Brussels. The China Investment Corporation (CIC) and Singapore’s GIC Private Limited are looking to acquire a 40% share in Eurostar.
The UK government hired UBS investment bankers to manage the sales process to find qualified buyers for the government’s 0% stake in Eurostar. The UK Treasury desires to reduce the country’s debt, by privatizing a number of state-owned assets. The last major asset that was privatized by the UK government was Royal Mail, which had sovereign funds such as Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and GIC Private Limited as major backers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB says repatriating funds from Caymans will expose cash to market fluctuation

Posted on 23 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Under fire over its billion ringgit funds parked at the Cayman Islands, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) said repatriating it back to Malaysia would have exposed the money to fluctuations on the foreign exchange market.
This follows the decline of ringgit by 6.5% in the past nine months to RM3.48 against the US dollar. In a statement tonight, its board of directors chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said to maintain a strong liquidity position with a truly diversified global portfolio, the funds were invested in a 1MDB subsidiary that was registered in the Cayman Islands………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Najib met Dr Mahathir over 1MDB, say sources

Posted on 23 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Datuk Seri Najib Razak has met Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to discuss the former PM’s criticisms of national strategic investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), say sources. The prime minister met Dr Mahathir on Saturday but details of the meeting have not been revealed.
“It was cordial. The PM is satisfied with the meeting,” a source told The Malaysian Insider. The meeting comes after the country’s longest serving prime minister had repeatedly raised questions about the heavy debt and usage of funds at 1MDB in his blog and had complained about its operations via his blog as well as at various media conferences………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Confronting the Challenges

Posted on 23 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The nation is not even so badly hit today because we eventually listened the CME’s sustained call for savings at all levels. I recall having attended many meetings as then governor of Anambra, during which she reminded everyone that the price of oil could fall at any time and that we needed to boost national savings, presenting establishment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) as another way of achieving targeted saving and long term investment. But the voice of the majority initially drowned her repeated pleas about saving for the rainy day.
The louder chorus was “Let’s spend now! The rainy day is already here! In fact is already flooding!” Meanwhile, it was only drizzling at the time! Fortunately, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority was set up after a long and has financed the Abuja-Kaduna rail, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge, among other projects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mumtalakat bullish

Posted on 22 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat has appetite and funds available for investment, its top official has said. Chief executive Mahmood Al Kooheji said he expects next year to be positive for the GCC region, Bahrain and the company which will build on continuing good performance of its portfolio companies.
‘We continue to take a prudent approach to new investments and constantly monitor our assets and will consider new investments to expand the portfolio and monetisation initiatives if and when appropriate,’ Mr Al Kooheji said. He said ‘the independent holding company mandated with growing the wealth of Bahrain’ would continue to look into ‘local, regional and international investment opportunities that play to our points of strength……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oman sovereign fund boosts buying of local stocks

Posted on 22 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oman’s State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) has boosted its buying of shares in the local stock market as prices have slid to attractive levels, the fund’s executive president said.
The Muscat Securities Market’s (MSM) main index is down 20 percent from its November peak, hit by concern that the plunge in global oil prices will crimp government spending and therefore corporate profit growth………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah rejects Malaysia Airlines’ assets bid

Posted on 19 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad has poured cold water on a proposal from Malaysian venture capitalists to buy selected assets of the recently delisted Malaysia Airlines (MAS).
Khazanah, which has pledged to invest up to MYR6billion ($980 million) into the company to bring it back to profitability within three years, has said it wants a complete shakeup of work practices, operating processes and asset management for the carrier, but has not so far mentioned an asset sell-off………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah brushes off Jentayu plan

Posted on 19 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd was dismayed with Jentayu Danaraksa Sdn Bhd’s “unprofessionalism” in presenting its proposed complementary plan to rescue ailing Malaysia Airlines (MAS), describing it as “a very unusual way of conducting business in corporate Malaysia”, sources said.
The sources, familiar with Khazanah’s way of doing business, said it was for this and other reasons that it decided to postpone to a later date a meeting scheduled on Tuesday between the two parties to discuss the plan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ahmad Maslan: 1MDB should engage more with the public

Posted on 19 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The management of state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) should increase public engagement to be more transparent and avoid any unclear accusations against the company, said Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Ahmad Maslan.
He was responding to a question on Batu Kawan Umno division vice-head Datuk Seri Paduka Khairuddin Abu Hassan’s move to lodge a police report against 1MDB and its subsidiaries on Dec 12. In the report, the Penang Umno leader had urged the police to conduct a thorough and objective investigation into the “dubious” and “suspicious” nature of the company’s financial transactions and decisions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB should clear the air, says Ahmad Maslan

Posted on 19 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Putrajaya today urged the top management of embattled 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to face the public and clear the air over the company’s finances, theedgemarkets.com reported.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said 1MDB has to clearly explain the dynamics of its operations and financials to the public, as it involves taxpayers’ money. Ahmad said this when asked about the police report against 1MDB by Batu Kawan Umno division deputy chief, Datuk Paduka Khairuddin Abu Hassan, last Friday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ex-Wall Street executive founds community for sovereign women

Posted on 18 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The founder of a new women-focused organization explains its rationale and goals to Opalesque. Sefi Shliselberg worked on Wall Street, at Moody’s and Deutsche, for many years and got to meet many people from the sovereign financial sector; she realized that the few women working there did not know each other, and there were no networking associations in place for them. So she founded Women in Sovereign Entities (WSE), the first women-focused organization for the sovereign financial sector, in 2011.
She recently explained on Opalesque TV that the “sovereign financial sector” includes organizations such as central banks, ministries of finance, sovereign wealth funds, public pension funds, development banks and multilateral financial institutions………………………………………Full Article: Source

Gulf can cope with low oil: IMF

Posted on 18 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Arab energy exporting states of the Gulf can cope comfortably with sliding oil prices, an International Monetary Fund official said on Tuesday, as a plunge in regional stock markets showed some local investors were panicking. Most of the GCC countries have quite significant buffers in the form of foreign assets in sovereign wealth funds or central banks, plus most of these countries have a capacity to borrow, so there is no need now for a very steep and quick reduction of spending, which would not necessarily be desirable.
Abu Dhabi’s largest sovereign wealth fund is believed to have nearly $800 billion of assets, roughly twice the UAE’s entire annual gross domestic product, so it could cover many years of budget deficits………………………………………Full Article: Source

China: CIC’s opaque offshore investment plans

Posted on 17 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In early September, Li Jiange, the vice-chairman of Central Huijin Investment, said something rather puzzling while speaking at a banking conference in Germany. “When we invest in China, efficiency and investment return has gone down,” he said, through a translator. “If we can then expand abroad, then we are highly interested in looking into European banks.”
It may not sound much, but it was an important statement. Central Huijin is a unit of China’s $653bn sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp. CIC is powerful but opaque. Outside asset managers find its inner workings and objectives difficult to fathom…………………………………..Full Article: Source

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