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What the BNY Mellon Forex Settlement Really Means for SWFs

Posted on 24 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Regulators and law enforcement extracted a hefty fine for fraud at one of America’s most respected financial institutions. Have sovereign wealth funds learned their lesson?
To be sure, despite the size of the settlement, the numbers involved may not seem big by sovereign wealth standards. “One question here, is it material?” asks Patrick Schena, Adjunct Assistant Professor and Co-Head of the Fletcher Network for Sovereign Wealth and Global Capital at the Fletcher School of Tufts University outside Boston, who advises on custodial issues………………………………….Full Article: Source

KIC faces state auditor’s inspection

Posted on 22 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) is facing an inspection by the Board of Audit and Inspection over a planned investment in the Los Angeles Dodgers. The National Assembly Strategy and Finance Committee held a meeting, Tuesday, and approved a request for an audit of the KIC.
According to lawmakers, the country’s sovereign fund is planning to invest $400 million to gain a 19 percent stake in the Major League Baseball (MLB) team from Guggenheim Partners, its largest shareholder. However, there has been concern that it might result in huge losses because the team has been in deficit for some few years. Analysts also point out that the KIC won’t be participating on the board either even if it becomes a co-owner of the team according to the deal…………………………………..Full Article: Source

KIC breaks rules in bid to invest in LA Dodgers: lawmaker

Posted on 21 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

South Korea’s sovereign wealth fund has violated its own rules in its move to buy into the Los Angeles Dodgers, a lawmaker said Tuesday. The Korea Investment Corporation (KIC), which manages assets entrusted by South Korea’s central bank, has reportedly been in talks to buy a 19 percent stake in the baseball club from U.S.-based investment firm Guggenheim Partners, a deal estimated at 400 billion won (US$369 million).
Rep. Park Won-suk said KIC chief Ahn Hong-chul’s meeting with executives of Guggenheim Partners, an investment firm that owns the team, on Jan. 12 violated internal guidelines limiting the chairman’s role. The KIC rules stipulate that the chairman can only take part in the investment process at the very last moment when a committee is formed to make a final decision…………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWFs Selling Out

Posted on 20 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

On Tuesday the China Investment Corp. (CIC) disclosed that it had sold more than 375.6 million shares in Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) in a series of transactions over the first three months of 2015, lowering its stake to 10.5 percent of SMIC’s shareholder capital.
CIC had subscribed to purchase some HK$161.1 million ($20.6 million) in the company’s Hong Kong-listed shares in August 2014. However, SMIC’s share price has risen since then — its shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange have gained nearly 41 percent over the past 12 months — and the fund appears to have moved to cash in on the excess return…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norway oil fund to disclose voting

Posted on 16 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $US880 billion oil fund will this week usher in a new era in corporate governance when it begins to disclose in advance how it will vote at companies’ shareholder meetings, in a bid to become a more active investor.
As part of its initiative, the sovereign wealth fund, which is the world’s largest, will also reveal that it is backing shareholder resolutions at BP and Royal Dutch Shell to force the oil companies to reveal more about how they are tackling climate change. This year, the fund is aiming to give notice of its voting intentions at the annual meetings of up to 10 companies it backs, with the “clear ambition” to expand the practice to more of the 9,000 companies in which it holds stakes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway oil fund begins policy of revealing how it votes

Posted on 15 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $880bn oil fund will on Wednesday usher in a new era in corporate governance when it begins to disclose in advance how it will vote at companies’ shareholder meetings, in a bid to become a more active investor.
As part of its initiative, the sovereign wealth fund – which is the world’s largest – will also reveal that it is backing shareholder resolutions at BP and Royal Dutch Shell to force the oil companies to reveal more about how they are tackling climate change. This year, the fund is aiming to give notice of its voting intentions at the annual meetings of up to 10 companies it backs, with the “clear ambition” to expand the practice to more of the 9,000 companies in which it holds stakes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NZSF Files Portuguese Legal Proceedings Regarding Oak Finance Investment

Posted on 14 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZSF) announced it has filed legal proceedings in Portuguese courts against the Bank of Portugal – the country’s central bank. The sovereign fund is trying to recover US$ 150 million. According to a press release, the proceedings “challenge the validity of a Bank of Portugal decision which purported to ‘clarify’ that the Oak Finance loan had not been transferred from Banco Espirito Santo to Novo Banco, with retroactive effect.”
In addition, the NZSF had issued proceedings with regard to the English debt recovery action launched in February against Novo Banco. Oak Finance investors are being represented in London by Akin Gump LLP and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Aviation Commission must report to Parliament, not PM, says PKR

Posted on 13 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The newly created Aviation Commission must report to Parliament for scrutiny and public safety, and not the prime minister who is already tainted by his links to debt-laden sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), PKR said today.
Party vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar also said that a commission board which reports to the prime minister would only open up another “wormhole” of conflicting interests and could be abused. She said an independent commission was crucial given that previous appointments by the Prime Minister’s Office have proven to further centralise responsibility and escape accountability………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Accounts Chamber to inspect Oil Fund

Posted on 09 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Accounts Chamber has approved the plan of control measures for the nearest future. According to the Chamber, its Board has sanctioned inspections in a number of state organizations. The State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) will be inspected for budget execution, the State Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Patient – for budgetary and extra-budgetary funds.
The Chamber will also conduct inspections in the executive authorities of Agjabedi and Khachmaz regions, as well as in the Azerbaijan Agency for Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Areas (water supply and sanitation projects)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Future Fund refuses to appear before Senate tax avoidance inquiry

Posted on 07 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The $100bn Future Fund has refused to give evidence to a Senate inquiry into corporate tax avoidance despite being named in leaked documents last year among scores of companies using secret Luxembourg deals to reduce tax by routing profits through tax havens.
The fund has declined to appear before the inquiry run by the Senate economics references committee, according to a committee spokesman. Executives from Google, Microsoft, Apple, News Corp Australia, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals, BHP Billiton and Glencore will all give evidence, along with corporate tax experts from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst and Young and KPMG………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Social-security fund allowed to invest in local government bonds

Posted on 02 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s State Council, or cabinet, announced measures on Wednesday to boost returns at the nation’s social-security fund, expanding its investment scope to include local-government bonds and other financial instruments.
The new rules allow the fund to invest up to 20% of its portfolio in local-government debt and corporate bonds, according to a statement on the main government website. Previously, the fund was allowed to invest up to 10% of its portfolio in corporate debt, but not in local-government debt………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sack MAS, Khazanah bosses instead of staff, unions say

Posted on 25 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Six worker unions demanded that top officials of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and owner Khazanah Nasional be removed in place of the 6,000 workers that will be made redundant in the flag carrier’s restructuring.
According to local business paper The Edge Financial Daily, the unions led by Tan Sri Zainal Rampak and representing up to 13,000 MAS employees said “mismanagement” on the part of MAS and Khazanah as well as their “failure to turn around the airline on numerous occasions” were reason enough for the officials to go rather than workers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Twin ghosts haunt Malaysia’s sovereign fund

Posted on 13 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia’s 1MDB faces a daunting task. The six year-old sovereign fund was set up to finance big national projects but expanded too fast, took on heavy debts and is now at the centre of a growing controversy. An ambitious restructuring brings both political and financial risks. The fund which counts Prime Minister Najib Razak as chairman of its board of advisors has pledged to dismantle itself following a strategic review led by new chief executive Arul Kanda.
It plans to stop making new investments and raise cash through an initial public offering of Malaysia’s second largest independent power producer. Selling unused land and finding equity partners for real estate projects that include a new financial centre in Kuala Lumpur and a development built around the terminus for a planned high-speed rail link with Singapore should bring in additional funds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kadir backs calls for forensic audit of 1MDB

Posted on 09 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Former NSTP chief editor A Kadir Jasin has backed deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s call for the Public Accounts Committee to investigate the financial affairs of the troubled 1Malaysia Development Bhd, saying a true forensic audit would reveal the true story behind the figures.
1Malaysia Bhd, a government-owned investment company, also described as a sovereign wealth fund, has accumulated debts of about RM42 billion and has been criticised for its opaque financial transactions. Kadir, writing in his blog, said a forensic audit into 1MDB since its inception was the correct approach………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Transparency International joins calls for probe of Malaysia fund 1MDB

Posted on 04 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Anti-graft watchdog Transparency International on Tuesday (Mar 3) joined mounting calls for Malaysia’s prime minister to launch an investigation into a sovereign wealth fund hit by reports of murky deals and missing millions. The state-backed fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), has quickly emerged as a major liability for premier Najib Razak, who championed its launch in 2009 and chairs its board of advisors. 1MDB is widely reported to be struggling to pay off more than US$11 billion in debt, raising fears it could collapse and wreak havoc on Malaysia’s financial system.
Transparency International Malaysia called for a “full investigation into the numerous allegations of massive… financial and commercial crime” involving 1MDB, the anti-graft organisation said in a statement. It made specific mention of a report this past weekend alleging US$700 million were diverted from a shadowy 2009 deal between 1MDB and a little-known Saudi energy firm, PetroSaudi……………………………………….Full Article: Source

NZ Super Fund challenges European senior bank debt precedent

Posted on 02 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund is concerned its loss of US$150 million in the collapse of Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo has set a precedent endangering protections for holders of senior bank debt under Europe’s new bank resolution laws.
The sovereign wealth fund with NZ$28 billion under management launched legal action last week to recover funds it lent to BES in July last year through a vehicle called Oak Finance. The deal was arranged by Goldman Sachs and protected by credit default swap insurance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Of Najib, 1MDB & the DISAPPEARANCE of Malaysia’s public funds

Posted on 02 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The statements given by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin pertaining to the funding and the status of the 1MDB, and whether it involves public funds or not, are rather confusing for the people to grasp.
While Najib stated that, “I wish to stress here that 1MDB is a strategic investment fund owned by the Malaysian government and I will not allow anyone to use or misappropriate public funds for personal interest or gain,”… in the official 1MDB website Lodin wrote,”… whereas a sovereign wealth fund is directly funded by the government and invests on its behalf, 1MDB raises and invests its own capital………………………………………..Full Article: Source

PAC wants AG to audit 1MDB immediately

Posted on 27 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) wants the Auditor General’s Department to immediately carry out an audit of the government-owned 1MDB’s deals before it calls up the company.
PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the immediate audit should be of the source of the RM2 billion used to settle 1MDB’s loans with local banks, the RM3 billion injection of government funds into the debt-laden company, its dealings with PetroSaudi International (PSI), and whether the money parked in Cayman Islands has been brought back………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Standard Chartered Overhaul Gets Temasek Stamp of Approval

Posted on 27 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd., the Singapore state investment company, which is the biggest shareholder of Standard Chartered PLC, said Thursday it welcomed Bill Winters as the new chief executive of the emerging markets bank. Mr. Winters, a former co-chief executive of the investment bank at J.P. Morgan Chase, was named as the group chief executive of Standard Chartered, replacing Peter Sands.
Temasek, which owns around 18% in Standard Chartered but doesn’t have a board seat, has expressed frustration with the bank in the past. The state investment firm wasn’t involved in the hiring process at the lender, which is grappling with slowing economies in its core Asian markets that have taken a toll on results………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Super Fund confirms Portugal bank legal case

Posted on 27 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has confirmed this morning that it has filed debt recovery proceedings in the English courts against the Portugese bank Novo Banco. It added that Oak Finance investors “would also shortly be filing public law proceedings in Portugal against the Bank of Portugal, challenging the validity of the Bank’s decision purporting to retransfer the Oak Finance loan, with retroactive effect, from Novo Banco to Banco Espirito Santo.”
Its litigation against the Portuguese central bank, the Bank of Portugal, could end up before the European Court of Justice, said the fund’s chief executive, Adrian Orr………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Projected earnings of Temasek Holdings to be part of Govt’s Net Investment Returns Framework

Posted on 24 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With government spending set to increase, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said that it is necessary to take steps to strengthen future revenues, with the first step being to include the projected earnings of Temasek Holdings in the Net Investment Returns (NIR) framework. Under this framework, the Government is allowed to spend up to 50 per cent of the expected long-term real returns on net assets managed by the investment entities of Monetary Authority of Singapore and GIC.
The portolios of GIC and MAS are already part of the NIR framework. The inclusion of Temasek Holdings was deferred as there was no established methodology for projecting the long term expected real returns on its portfolio, as well as its still evolving investment strategy, said Mr Tharman, who delivered the Budget Statement in Parliament today (Feb 23)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek to contribute more to govt coffers

Posted on 24 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In a surprise move, Temasek Holdings from 2017 will be contributing more to the government’s coffers as it gets included in the Net Investment Returns (NIR) framework. It has been contributing about S$2 billion of dividends on average in the last five years. Singapore will include the total expected returns from Temasek Holdings in its NIR framework, said Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, on Monday.
The current NIR framework - implemented in 2009 - permitted the government to spend up to 50 per cent of the expected long-term real returns on its net assets managed by GIC, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

PNG wealth fund bill passes first reading

Posted on 23 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Prime Minister Peter O’Neill introduced the bill, reportedly designed to safeguard the nation’s wealth generated from its petroleum and mineral resources.The Post Courier reports that Parliament voted 82-0 for the bill on its first reading - it is expected to become law by April after a third reading.
Mr O’Neill said it was urgent to pass the law because the first revenue from PNG’s landmark LNG gas project will be paid in late March, as advised by operator ExxonMobil. Mr O’Neill said there are two components to the overall Fund, one a “future’s fund” and the other a “stabilisation fund”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New Zealand Fund to Sue Over Loss on Espírito Santo Loan

Posted on 20 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Fallout from Banco Espírito Santo SA’s August collapse hit New Zealand on Thursday, as the country’s state retirement fund said it lost $150 million and is suing Portugal’s central bank over an investment linked to the Portuguese lender. The New Zealand Superannuation Fund in July invested $150 million in notes issued by Oak Finance Luxembourg SA, a vehicle arranged by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to make an $835 million loan to Banco Espírito Santo.
When Banco Espírito Santo failed a month later, the Oak Finance loan was placed in a successor bank, called Novo Banco, that kept the collapsed lender’s good assets and continues to operate. But in December, the loan was moved by the Bank of Portugal to the “bad bank” of the lender, which holds assets to be liquidated and where the loan has virtually no chance of being repaid………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

Posted on 19 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Online news portal Sarawak Report has published a 26-page document, revealing sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had paid US$1 billion of public funds into a shady venture with Petrosaudi International, despite its lack of a tangible track record.
“What the document reveals is that the prime minister and his advisors at 1MDB paid USD1 billion of borrowed public money into a venture that already carried a USD700 million debt in the form of a loan from PetroSaudi’s parent company to the subsidiary that was entering into the joint venture, PetroSaudi Holdings (Caymans) Limited,” it said in its report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

Posted on 16 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s securities regulator has handed out a renminbi qualified foreign institutional investor (RFQII) licence to Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd, AsianInvestor reported on Friday. It was among 10 new licences announced late Thursday by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), five of which went to Korean asset managers and two more to Singapore-incorporated entities, CSAM Asset Management and Neuberger Berman Singapore.
Previously, there were 10 Singapore holders of RQFII permits including Fullerton Fund Management, a unit of Singapore state investment company, Temasek Holdings. Beijing introduced the RQFII programme in 2011 to provide another way for foreign investors to participate in inest in mainland securities, as part of its efforts to speed up the liberalisation of of its currency and financual markets……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norway’s Pension Fund Discloses Divestment Practices

Posted on 10 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global revealed those companies it divested from in 2014, judging “there to be high levels of uncertainty about the sustainability” of these companies’ business models. Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, the Norwegian bank which manages the country’s Government Pension Fund Global, commented on its decisions in a press release announcing a report investigating responsible investment in 2014:
“Our aim with this report is to provide a full overview of the many different areas we are working on and so increase transparency on the management of the fund. We recognise that there is still much to be done, and that we will encounter a number of challenges in the years ahead. Our role is to think long-term and protect value for future generations.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Libya fund tries to unmask ‘Person B’ in SocGen bribery case

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Five people with links to an alleged bribery plot involving Societe Generale and Libya’s $60bn sovereign wealth fund were allowed to have their names kept secret in a London lawsuit. The Libyan Investment Authority is suing SocGen for at least $1.5bn, saying the French lender paid kickbacks to a family friend of then-Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi to win investment deals. Societe Generale and the Gadaffi associate, Walid Giahmi, have both denied wrongdoing.
In a London court hearing on Friday, Giahmi’s lawyer Paul Girolami asked a judge to include five individuals in a “confidentiality club,” meaning their names won’t be revealed to anyone other than legal advisers because of safety fears. Giahmi is concerned about “brutal violence” and kidnappings in the country, LIA lawyer Roger Masefield told the court………………………………………..Full Article: Source

FG denies operating excess crude account, dare States to provide proof

Posted on 05 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Federal Government on Tuesday at the Supreme Court denied operating Excess Crude Account (ECA). It therefore challenged the 36 states challenging the legality of the alleged account to prove otherwise. The case came up on Tuesday after several failed attempts for an out-of-court settlement between the warring parties. Federating states are also challenging the transfer of $1 billion from the account to the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).
The court, presided by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmoud Mohammed, adjourned proceedings to March 19, 2015 after the court could not locate some of the processes filed by counsel to the 36 states of the federation, Yusuf Alli………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWF: State govs accuse FG of frustrating moves to settle out of court

Posted on 05 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The 36 states of the Federation, on Tuesday, told the Supreme Court that the Federal Government has been frustrating every move to settle the disputes on the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) out of court. The court, however, fixed March 19 to hear the suit after all attempts to make the parties settle out court failed.
The panel of Supreme Court justices, headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, had earlier insisted that the parties should go and settle out of court, as there was nothing to adjudicate over by the court. “If lawyers and parties are sincere, then go and settle this matter out of court. The matter is straightforward, there is nothing this court will adjudicate upon,” CJN held………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWF: State govs accuse FG of frustrating moves to settle out of court

Posted on 04 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The 36 states of the Federation, on Tuesday, told the Supreme Court that the Federal Government has been frustrating every move to settle the disputes on the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) out of court. The court, however, fixed March 19 to hear the suit after all attempts to make the parties settle out court failed.
The panel of Supreme Court justices, headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, had earlier insisted that the parties should go and settle out of court, as there was nothing to adjudicate over by the court. “If lawyers and parties are sincere, then go and settle this matter out of court. The matter is straightforward, there is nothing this court will adjudicate upon,” CJN held………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWF: Supreme Court Fixes March 19 For Hearing Suit

Posted on 04 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has fixed March ‎19 for hearing of the Sovereign Wealth Fund suit before it to enable the parties – the Federal Government and the 36 State Governors – file all relevant documents.
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, counsel to the 36 states, Mr Yusuf Ali, accused the Federal Government of frustrating all attempts to settle the matter out of court. The representative of the Federal Government, Ahmed Abdulmalik, told the court that there is no money called excess crude fund in the account of the states………………………………………..Full Article: Source

2015: The Year of FCPA Liability for Financial Institutions?

Posted on 03 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For years, we have all heard about the coming wave of FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) enforcement against financial institutions, investment banks, private equity firms and others who interact with sovereign wealth funds overseas.
Just to remind everyone, back in 2010-2011, the SEC launched an industry investigation by issuing document requests to major banks, and investment bankers seeking information on their compliance programs and interactions with foreign officials, focusing primarily on sovereign wealth funds. After a number of articles, webinars and warnings, the issue seemed to die down………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bank Negara urged to act on 1MDB funds in Cayman Islands

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli urged Bank Negara Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, in a statement on Wednesday, to invoke the Anti Money Laundering Act and ensure that a reported RM7 billion kept in the Cayman Islands by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had indeed returned to Malaysia as claimed by the sovereign wealth fund and entered the local financial system.
“The Governor should probe which financial institutions are holding the reported RM7 billion,” said Rafizi in the statement which also called on the Governor to give some time to the Opposition MPs to hear their views on the issue. “She should also ensure that 1MDB has sufficient funds to repay the RM2 billion owing to Maybank and RHB Bank, since the repayment has been twice postponed.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

BNY Mellon Faces SEC Probe over SWF Interns

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recommended disciplinary action against one of the world’s largest custodian banks and asset managers for alleged violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
BNY Mellon noted in an 8-K filing to the government agency this month that it had received a Wells notice “in connection with the provision of a limited number of internships to relatives of sovereign wealth fund officials” in the third quarter of last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BNY Mellon may face bribery charges over sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bank of New York Mellon Corp has disclosed in a filing that U.S. regulators are considering charging it with violating U.S. foreign bribery laws after an investigation into internships it gave to relatives of sovereign wealth fund officials.
In a regulatory filing on Friday, BNY Mellon said that U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission staff had notified it that they would recommend the SEC charge the bank over alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. A case from the SEC would be the first to come from a long-running investigation into banks’ dealings with sovereign wealth funds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Auckland property deal with Singapore’s GIC gets OK

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Singaporean sovereign wealth fund has been given permission to buy a 49 per cent stake in a $313 million portfolio of Auckland Viaduct properties. The Overseas Investment Office has agreed to let Singapore-based GIC invest in a joint venture with Goodman Property Trust.
The trust owns a portfolio of Viaduct properties including the Air New Zealand building, the Fonterra building which is still under construction, and a half share in the Viaduct Corporate Centre.The joint venture can now go unconditional and settlement is expected in February………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs profit on disputed LIA trades back in focus

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Goldman Sachs is estimated to have made $82m profit on nine disputed trades which are at the heart of a $1bn lawsuit brought against it by the Libyan Investment Authority — rather than the $350m which has been previously claimed, according to people familiar with the case.
The Libyan Investment Authority is suing the US investment bank in London’s High Court over nine financial trades which it entered into with Goldman in early 2008 in a lawsuit which is expected to come to trial next year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oiling the wheels! Goldman Sachs faces lawsuit for allegedly duping Colonel Gadaffi’s officials

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In oil-rich North Africa, the Libyan Investment Authority brings this to mind once again in the form of a claim that global investment bank Goldman Sachs abused the financial illiteracy of Libyan officials during Colonel Gadaffi’s regime in order to attract investment of almost £800 million.
As a result of this claim, Libya’s vast sovereign wealth fund which was established in 2006 in order to invest oil revenues after sanctions on the nation were lifted, has commenced a High Court battle in Britain against Goldman Sachs, alleging that Libyan officials were provided with luxurious parties, girls and luxury trips in order to encourage them to invest a sum close to £800 million with the bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Citigroup Can’t Block Arbitration in Court

Posted on 21 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A federal judge properly refused to enjoin arbitration over Abu Dhabi’s $7.5 billion loss during the 2008 financial crisis, despite Citigroup’s claims of redundancy, the 2nd Circuit ruled. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), a sovereign wealth fund, had made its investment back in 2007, taking a 4.9 percent stake in Citigroup, at the time the biggest bank in the United States.
When the financial crisis hit just one year later, American taxpayers bailed Citigroup out three times at a cost of more than $300 billion. As the bank issued preferred shares to other investors after its financial rescue, however, The ADIA’s investment was rendered nearly worthless in the process………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Citigroup loses appeal over Abu Dhabi fund’s arbitration

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Citigroup Inc on Wednesday lost an appeal aiming to block Abu Dhabi Investment Authority from pursuing a second arbitration over the sovereign wealth fund’s $7.5 billion investment in late 2007 to shore up the then-struggling bank.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that Citigroup had not demonstrated a basis for an injunction based on its argument that the case was precluded after a federal court confirmed the results of an earlier arbitration it won………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia: SWFs plead to OECD for tax rule exemption

Posted on 14 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia’s and New Zealand’s largest superannuation funds and sovereign wealth funds, including the $70 billion Queensland Investment Corporation and $26bn New Zealand Superannuation Fund, have urged the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to exclude them from new rules that clamp down on profit shifting and base erosion.
The proposed global tax rule could have profound ramifications on Australia’s and New Zealand’s largest super funds and sovereign wealth funds, with KPMG senior tax partner Steven Economides telling The Australian the proposed rules would be “a disaster” for local super funds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Lawmaker’s bill aims to guard Alaska Permanent Fund benefit

Posted on 12 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An Anchorage lawmaker is proposing a constitutional amendment to further protect the Alaska Permanent Fund and the dividend that most Alaskans receiving simply for living here. The proposal, from Democratic Sen. Bill Wielechowski, was among the first wave of bills and resolutions filed ahead of the upcoming legislative session and released on Friday. The legislative session begins Jan. 20.
Other proposals include another attempt to change the makeup of the Alaska Judicial Council, a bill to bar political parties from having ad space in state election pamphlets and measures that would prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Did 1MDB mislead auditors over Cayman funds, asks DAP

Posted on 09 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is in for questioning again, over US$1.23 billion of its funds in the Cayman Islands which have not yet been repatriated despite a directive to do so.
DAP lawmaker Tony Pua today asked whether the scandal-ridden fund had also misled auditing firm Deloitte Malaysia into thinking that the amount would be repatriated by the end of November, in order to have its March 2014 financial statements signed off………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Wealth fund bill limits investments, withdrawals

Posted on 08 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The tabling of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill 2014 and Petroleum Bill 2014 in December 2014 have brought a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) one step closer to becoming a reality in The Bahamas.
The 2014 SWF bill lays the foundation for restrictions on investments and withdrawals from the fund, with measures to minimize opportunities for corruption through insider investment. Under the bill, up to 10 percent of the SWF may be invested in any international debt security of the government, which must be “highly rated by at least two international credit ratings agencies.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

HK Monetary Authority continues conservative policy

Posted on 05 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Monetary Authority is sticking to its cautious approach in investing for the fiscal reserve, as evidenced by the return rate of 1.19 per cent recorded at the end of September. The Monetary Authority of Macau says that the local inflation rate as a benchmark for gauging the returns on the city’s fiscal reserve investment is not “suitable”, as the reserve is more a “stabilisation fund” than a sovereign wealth fund that has a longer investment period and a bigger risk appetite.
The Authority’s statement, dated from early December, was in response to legislator Si Ka Lon’s written enquiry doubting the returns rate for the city’s fiscal reserve at 1.19 per cent registered at the end of September last year as being much lower than the inflation rate at the time. For the 12 months ended November last year, the average composite consumer price index increased by 6.06 per cent from the previous period………………………………………Full Article: Source

Norway Central Bank to Decide Oil Fund Exclusions

Posted on 19 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s government said Thursday that from Jan. 1 the central bank will take over deciding which companies to exclude from the portfolio of the country’s sovereign-wealth fund and that it would no longer have the final word. “The changes in the governing documents are a result of a long-term effort to strengthen the work on responsible investment management in the fund,” Finance Minister Siv Jensen said.
Ms. Jensen said the government wanted “better interaction” between the $845 billion fund’s use of ownership power and the exclusion mechanism. The government has previously said it wants to avoid speculation that the fund is used for political means………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why table hudud bill now, PKR asks Kelantan PAS

Posted on 17 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

PKR today questioned the timing of a special state assembly meeting to discuss the implementation of hudud in Kelantan, just as Umno and Barisan Nasional were thrust firmly under the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) spotlight.
Its central committee member, Latheefa Koya, asked why the issue was brought up at the same time when the controversial sovereign wealth fund was dominating the headlines in the country…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emperador OKs issuance of shares to GIC affiliate

Posted on 16 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Andrew Tan-led Emperador Inc. has approved the issuance of shares of up to P22 billion to Arran Investment Private Limited, an affiliate of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday, Emperador said its stockholders ratified the issuance of common shares and equity linked securities convertible to common shares, which will be taken from the unissued shares of the Emperador, under the terms and conditions approved by the Board of Directors……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Despite probe, Najib must answer questions on 1MDB, says DAP leader

Posted on 15 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak cannot turn his back on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) just because police have begun their investigations into the alleged improprieties in the management of the sovereign wealth fund, said Lim Kit Siang.
The Gelang Patah MP, who was in Subang Jaya today to address DAP Johor members attending a two-day retreat, also questioned if the police investigation was just for show. “Are the police serious in carrying out investigations into the alleged improprieties or are they just putting on a show for the public?” Lim asked………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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