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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

Umno leader’s police report against 1MDB proves fund in trouble, says DAP

Posted on 15 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The police report lodged against controversy-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) by an Umno leader yesterday is proof that the company’s finances are in shambles even as it continues the struggle to pay off its burgeoning debts, said DAP’s Tony Pua.
He said the fact that an Umno leader had lodged the report against his own party leaders including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak – who is 1MDB chairman – meant that the complainant either had a “death wish” or had strong evidence of the fund’s RM42 billion debt crisis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Penang Umno leader lodges report against 1MDB

Posted on 15 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Penang Umno division leader today lodged a report against Putrajaya’s controversial sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad over the mismanagement of its finances. Khairuddin Abu Hassan, who is Batu Kawan division leader, lodged the report at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters earlier today.
He said he was “suspicious” and doubted the financial management of 1MDB, which he noted was not transparent. Calling for a “detailed and comprehensive” investigation, Khairuddin urged authorities to interrogate 1MDB’s directors, and representatives of any company that might be implicated………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Cabinet discussed 1MDB issue at this week’s meeting, say sources

Posted on 15 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The controversy-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) was discussed at this week’s Cabinet meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin after a minister brought up the issue, sources confirmed today.
The country’s second sovereign wealth fund has been under the spotlight for its debts and inability to submit accounts on time, attracting criticisms from opposition lawmakers and even former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is away on an official visit to South Korea this week and did not attend the Cabinet meeting………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway oil fund lifts investment ban on Dongfeng

Posted on 11 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $860 billion oil fund has lifted its investment ban on Dongfeng Motor Group Co and will no longer keep Randgold Resources Ltd. on observation for possible exclusion, the finance ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The government regularly reviews the oil fund’s investments and puts companies either on a watch list or excludes them from the fund’s portfolio if the ministry’s ethics council observes ethical violations in the firms’ operations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah has the right to appoint Mueller

Posted on 10 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd has the right to appoint Christoph R. Mueller as chief executive officer-designate to lead the restructured Malaysia Airlines (MAS) as it is injecting the RM6 billion investment to revive the national carrier, says Abdul Wahid Omar.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the 12-point MAS Recovery Plan outlined by the government’s investment holding arm, the carrier’s major investor, clearly indicates the need for talents with the necessary skills to help turn MAS profitable………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Fund Searches For Tailored Benchmark Index

Posted on 01 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Libya sues Goldman Sachs

Posted on 28 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Libyan Investment Authority claims that Goldman Sachs made $350m – and cost the country over $1 billion – by tricking “naïve” staff into paying vastly over the odds for products that proved worthless. The sovereign wealth fund, which was created to maximise oil profits and is worth $66 billion, bought complex derivatives from Goldman Sachs, which then collapsed in value in 2008, losing the Libyan Investment Authority $1 billion in the process.
Nine financial products were purchased in total, all of which were “bets” on the future share price of companies such as Citigroup and EDF. The fund says that its staff thought that they were buying actual shares in the companies and were duped by Goldman Sachs………………………………….Full Article: Source

Goldman Ordered by Judge to Disclose Profits on Libya Trades

Posted on 26 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Legal woes continue to trouble The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The Wall Street banking giant has been ordered by a High Court judge in London to disclose the amount of profit it derived from nine complex derivatives trades associated with the $1 billion lawsuit filed against the bank by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA).
LIA, a sovereign wealth fund, filed a lawsuit in Jan 2014, pertaining to Goldman’s dealings with the LIA in the earlier part of 2008, which led to significant losses for LIA. At a London court hearing on Monday, Judge Vivien Rose asked Goldman to reveal its margin, profit and loss on the trades, starting from the day those were booked as well as a month later. The bank is also ordered to reveal how the profits were calculated and the amount of reserves it set aside for each trade………………………………..Full Article: Source

High court judges orders Goldman Sachs to disclose Libya profits

Posted on 25 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Libyan sovereign wealth fund, which is suing Goldman, estimates the US investment bank made $350m in upfront profit on nine derivatives products. A high court judge has ordered Goldman Sachs to reveal how much profit it made on a deal that lost Libya’s government more than $1bn when financial bets turned sour.
The Libyan Investment Authority, created in 2006 to look after the country’s oil riches, accused the Wall Street bank of duping it into making investments that its “naive” staff didn’t understand. The $66bn sovereign wealth fund is suing Goldman in the high court in London after it lost $1bn from investing in complex derivative investments that collapsed in value during the 2008 financial crisis…………………………………Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs Told to Reveal Libya Transaction Profits

Posted on 25 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A London judge said Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) should reveal how much money it made from transactions with Libya’s sovereign wealth fund at the center of a $1 billion lawsuit. The bank should tell the Libyan Investment Authority what its profits were on the disputed trades, and how it calculated them, Judge Vivien Rose said at a London court hearing.
The LIA is suing Goldman over money lost on 2008 derivative deals that it says weren’t appropriate for the wealth fund. Part of the fund’s case is that Goldman made excessive profits from the trades. “It should be a reasonably straightforward matter for Goldman Sachs to tell everybody what they did,” Judge Rose said…………………………………Full Article: Source

Costello defends Future Fund tax bill

Posted on 14 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Future Fund chairman Peter Costello has defended the amount of tax the sovereign wealth fund pays, saying it has ’sovereign immunity’ when it invests overseas. The government-owned Fund was named along with other Australian companies for using Luxembourg as a base in which to lower global taxes in one of the biggest global tax leaks in history, published last week.
Thousands of leaked documents released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed how Australian and multinational companies used accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to strike deals in Luxembourg to shift profits and avoid tax…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Don’t bend the rules for 1MDB, Anwar tells Putrajaya

Posted on 14 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim warned Putrajaya against manipulating the checks and balances set out by the Treasury in order to counter the allegations against 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), saying that the fund is now “the government’s greatest liability”.
The former deputy prime minister, who also served as finance minister from 1992 up to his sacking in 1998, insisted that there was no difference between a letter of support and a sovereign guarantee as Putrajaya is still liable if the state investment arm fails to service its loan………………………………….Full Article: Source

Libya fund sues France’s SocGen for $1.5 bn

Posted on 13 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Libya’s sovereign wealth fund is suing French bank Societe Generale for $1.5 billion (1.2 billion euros) for allegedly channelling bribes to allies of Moamer Kadhafi’s son, in a case hitting the London courts Wednesday.
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is seeking compensation from the bank and from Walid Giahmi, an alleged associate of Seif al-Islam, for what it says is money that it lost on trades between 2007 and 2009. Libyan dictator Kadhafi was killed in 2011 during a NATO-backed uprising. Seif was long his father’s right-hand man and heir apparent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SocGen denies allegations of funnelling bribes in LIA lawsuit

Posted on 13 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Société Générale and a Libyan businessman have denied “extremely serious” allegations that they helped funnel bribes to influence the Libyan Investment Authority to enter into complex trades, the High Court has been told.
The LIA, now under new management since the fall of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011, has filed a $1.5bn lawsuit against the French bank as well as Libyan businessman Walid Al-Giahmi and a Panamanian company Leinada, which was controlled by Mr Giahmi, in relation to payments relating to five controversial trades………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SocGen Denies Bribing Qaddafi Friend in Libya Fund Case

Posted on 13 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Societe Generale SA denied paying bribes to Libya’s sovereign wealth fund, saying $58 million in payments to a family friend of Muammar Qaddafi were to help the bank “navigate the unfamiliar and difficult” market in the country.
The payments to Walid Giahmi’s company, Leinada Inc., were for “introductory, market intelligence and follow-up services,” the Paris-based bank said in documents at the first U.K. court hearing in the Libyan Investment Authority’s lawsuit against the French lender………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zimbabwe: Sovereign Wealth Fund Act Takes Effect

Posted on 13 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Legislation to establish the Sovereign Wealth Fund is now in place following the gazetting of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Act on Monday, a landmark development which seeks to establish a facility whose objective is to reserve income from the country’s finite mineral resources for the benefit of future generations.
The fund will be driven primarily by 25 percent of all royalties on mineral exports, which will be deposited, along with special dividends on the sales of diamonds, gas, granite and other minerals through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will be the primary custodian of the fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mugabe signs Sovereign Wealth Fund bill

Posted on 13 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Treasury will, with immediate effect, remit a quarter of mining royalties to the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) after President Robert Mugabe on Monday signed into law a bill to set up the fund, which is meant to secure investments for future generations and support economic growth.
A sovereign wealth fund is a state-managed pool of money drawn from the country’s reserves, set aside for investment in strategic areas that benefit the economy and its citizens. Funding for sovereign wealth funds is typically accumulated from revenues generated from the export of a country’s natural resources, such as minerals………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB already audited by a ‘big company’, A-G says

Posted on 13 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Auditor-General’s Department did not audit 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), which is accused of financial irregularities, because it was already audited by “a big international” firm, Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang said.
“As far as their accounts is concerned, there is no need to come back and open their books because they have already been audited by one of the big boys,” Ambrin told a town hall meeting on the third series of the 2013 A-G report held at the Angkasapuri here………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Court Dismisses Gbajabiamila, Others’ Suit on Excess Crude Account

Posted on 12 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and four other members of the House, challenging the legality of the creation of the Excess Crude Account by the federal government.
Justice Abdulkadir Abdulkafarati, in a judgment on Tuesday, held that the suit was an abuse of court process. He said about five similar suits were currently pending before the Supreme Court. The judge upheld the defendants’ objection, noting that the Attorneys-General of Taraba, Abia, Niger, Bauchi and Oyo States had filed similar suits, which are now awaiting the determination of the Supreme Court. As against the argument by the defendants, Justice Abdulkafarati held that the plaintiffs had the locus standi to institute the case………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chua Tee Yong sparks protest in Parliament after refusing to discuss 1MDB

Posted on 12 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A ruckus broke out in Parliament today when Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong refused to answer questions on the controversial state sovereign fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara) had asked Chua about Putrajaya’s letter of support for 1MDB as well as a land deal for the relocation of defence units from land marked for government development project, Bandar Malaysia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Leak reveals Future Fund and multinationals’ secret offshore tax deals

Posted on 07 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Directors of the Australian government’s Future Fund as well as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Macquarie and AMP could be forced to face a Senate inquiry into tax avoidance following a global investigation into secret tax deals in Luxembourg.
Thousands of leaked documents published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on Thursday revealed how Australian and multinational companies used accounting firm PwC to strike deals in Luxembourg to shift profits and avoid tax………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Penang warns 1MDB of tough road to approval for Air Itam project

Posted on 05 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Penang has warned 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) that it will be an uphill task to gain planning approvals for its development project on the 234 acres land if it deviates from its promise to build affordable housing there.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the sovereign wealth fund will also face difficulties due to unresolved squatter issues on the land. “I want to warn 1MDB that we will not allow them to throw out the present land tenants for a project other than affordable homes,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Slow Progress on SWF Governance Standards

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Governance and transparency standards at some of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are still falling below agreed levels, according to a study. Geneva-based political risk consultancy GeoEconomica found that only nine of 31 SWFs surveyed had complied with a “good governance and financial disclosure standards” agreement laid out in 2008, known as the Santiago Principles.
This is up only slightly from the 2013 study, which found six funds in compliance with the principles. Funds run by Gulf countries were particularly criticised in the latest report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway is right to reassess its sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 10 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is large (Ministry of Finance 2013). At $890 billion, it is the largest sovereign wealth fund in existence, holding over 1% of almost every listed stock in the world.
However, as the fund approaches $180,000 for every man, woman, and child in Norway, there have been calls to reassess the way it is managed – from divesting oil and gas stocks to reducing the amount spent each year. Recent research provides some support for these calls, by treating above- and below-ground wealth as two sides of the same coin for the first time (van den Bremer et al. 2014)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway to boost oil revenue spending in 2015 to fund tax cuts

Posted on 09 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway cut its growth forecast on Wednesday, citing lower oil prices and investments, and said it may lift a cap on how much of the country’s $850 billion sovereign wealth fund it can spend each year. In its first budget since taking power last year, the centre-right government of Prime Minister Erna Solberg said it will spend 3 percent of the fund’s value in 2015, up from 2.8 percent in 2014, using the money to pay for tax cuts.
That is still below the 4 percent cap on spending from the fund, into which revenues from oil, Norway’s biggest industry, are routed. But Finance Minister Siv Jensen said she was appointing a commission to examine whether the rule, for long a sacred cow of fiscal policy, needs to be changed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman had ‘inappropriate’ relationship with Libyan fund

Posted on 07 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A lawyer seconded to the Libyan Investment Authority, which is suing Goldman Sachs over $1 billion of trades that ended up worthless, was “shocked” by the bank’s “inappropriate” relationship with the fund, according to court filings.
In a suit filed at London’s High Court, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) claims the Wall Street investment bank exploited a position of trust by encouraging the sovereign wealth fund to invest more than $1 billion in a series of equity derivatives trades that expired as worthless in 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

High Court Rejects Abu Dhabi Fund’s $7.5B Citigroup Dispute

Posted on 07 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by Abu Dhabi’s massive sovereign wealth fund to continue pursuing Citigroup Inc. for funds lost in a $7.5 billion investment deal.
The high court said in a one-line order released Monday morning that it would not review an arbitration panel’s 2011 ruling in favor of Citigroup and against the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Representatives for Abu Dhabi were not immediately available for comment Monday. Citigroup declined to comment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Special Relationship With LIA Fund Ends in Court

Posted on 06 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When the Libyan Investment Authority started out in 2007, it had about $60 billion, office space in Tripoli and a lot to learn. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., keen to do business with the sovereign wealth fund, offered to help.
Goldman Sachs bankers gave LIA staff training at its London office and spent time in Tripoli showing them how to monitor markets. The bank characterized it as a “special trusting type of relationship,” the LIA said in documents in a London lawsuit………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWF: Between constitutional and development imperatives

Posted on 01 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The legality and desirability of the institution of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) in Nigeria are not one and the same thing. While determination of the former is an exclusive preserve of the law court and at the moment sub judice, the latter which is not a subject of dispute before any adjudicating body is, however, the focus of this piece.
SWFs the world over are attaining a position of universal prominence since the 2008 global economic recession when they played critical stabilizing role, and their managers, now widely classified among the new “Movers and Shakers” of the post-crisis world economic order, though may share common prospects; they essentially are faced with divergent challenges across different climes – Nigeria’s experience is a case in point………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Probe into 1MDB financial misconduct now, says anti-graft group

Posted on 01 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) must begin an immediate inquiry into the troubled sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), an anti-corruption watch group said.
The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said today the PAC should call “all actors involved” for the inquiry into the fund’s massive debts, dubious land deals and secrecy over its transactions as 1MDB was a burden to the country’s national debt. It said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is chairman of 1MDB’s advisory board, should provide an answer to the fund’s troubled developments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah hopes govt enacts MAS Act early next year

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd hopes the government will enact the “MAS Act” early next year, before MAS NewCo is set up in the middle of next year. According to the RM6 billion recovery plan for MAS, its shares will be delisted from Bursa Malaysia by year-end and a new company (Newco) will be created to carry on the airline’s business.
To facilitate the restructuring of the national carrier in a comprehensive, timely and holistic manner, the government will table a new law in Parliament called the MAS Act. Managing Director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said the act is an important enabling act, which the Prime Minister is expected to table in Parliament next week……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Suit On Sovereign Fund Adjourned Till Jan 26

Posted on 26 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the legal tussle over the creation of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) was not ready for hearing. The case has been fixed for January 26, 2015. Presiding judge, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, said the case was not ripe for hearing because vital documents were not in the case file.
“In order to hear the case, it is necessary for counsels to go to the registry and make sure that all necessary processes were in the file,” Mahmud said. The sovereign wealth fund manages the surplus income produced from Nigeria’s excess oil reserves on behalf of the states and federal governments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman denies duping Gaddafi

Posted on 23 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Goldman Sachs responds to accusations that Libya’s sovereign wealth fund was cheated out of more than $1bn during the Gaddafi era. The Telegraph reports that Goldman Sachs has hit back at allegations that the Wall Street giant duped Libya’s $60bn sovereign wealth fund into trades that lost the country vast sums of money while making the bank hundreds of millions in profits.
In court documents, Goldman denied that the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) had been ‘financially illiterate’ when entering into trades that proved worthless, and rejected claims that its bankers had cosied up to LIA officials. It is also claiming unspecified damages against the LIA………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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