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Qatar sets 5% limit for shareholders of listed banks

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors must limit their holdings in publicly-traded banks and financial firms in Qatar to 5 per cent of a company’s capital, or 10 per cent with a central bank waiver, according to regulations published on Monday.
Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, owns stakes including 51.9 per cent of Qatar National Bank SAQ and 17.4 per cent of Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Real estate developer Ezdan Holding Group’s assets include 9.9 per cent of QIB and 21.5 per cent of Qatar International Islamic Bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azerbaijan’s president approves amendments to SOFAZ budget

Posted on 21 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has signed a decree on March 18 to make amendments to the 2016 budget of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ). Under the amendments, SOFAZ revenues and expenditures for 2016 were set at 4,578,474,600 manats and 10,668,933,700 manats, respectively.
Revenues from the sale of Azerbaijan’s profit oil and gas are forecasted at 3,875,682,400 manats, and the revenues from oil and gas transit through Azerbaijan’s territory at 19.278 million manats. In addition, the SOFAZ revenues from placement and management of assets are envisaged at 679,950,200 manats, and the bonuses paid by investors within oil and gas agreements, or in connection with their implementation at 162,000 manats………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ takes corrective measures to return EITI full member status

Posted on 16 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) is taking corrective measures for return of the status of full membership in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
SOFAZ reports that “during the current year it is expected to review progress on corrective measures established by the EITI Board, on the basis of which the EITI Board should decide on the issue of the status of Azerbaijan”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Have the sovereign wealth billions been found?

Posted on 16 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While the debate on Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund debacle raged sometime in December, 2013, available statistics on the spiraling figures did not add up then with reasons adduced in government circles.
A member of the committee then, Senator Ita Enang and former Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had quoted different figures of funds accruing to the Excess Crude Account (ECA) during the Joint Senate Committee of Finance and Appropriations on the 2013 budget and federal revenue-generating agencies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Falcon bank says no business impact from 1MDB probe

Posted on 11 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Falcon Private Bank has not seen an impact on its business following publicity about an investigation into the activities of a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, the Swiss bank’s chief executive said. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that investigators had traced nearly US$700 million from an account at Falcon Private Bank in Singapore to accounts in Malaysia they believed belonged to Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
Falcon, owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund International Petroleum Investment Company, has said it is in contact with Singapore’s central bank and will cooperate with authorities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Falcon Private Bank says no business impact from Malaysia probe

Posted on 10 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Falcon Private Bank has not seen an impact on its business following publicity about an investigation into the activities of a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, the Swiss bank’s chief executive said. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that investigators had traced nearly $700 million from an account at Falcon Private Bank in Singapore to accounts in Malaysia they believed belonged to Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Falcon, owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund International Petroleum Investment Company, has said it is in contact with Singapore’s central bank and will cooperate with authorities. The Malaysian fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, is being investigated by several authorities, including Malaysia, Switzerland and the United States………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chinese investment in Australia needs closer scrutiny

Posted on 09 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The $3 billion purchase of Australia’s Pacific Hydro by China’s State Power Investment Corporation is not mentioned but is ­worthy of scrutiny, as are efforts by Chinese electricity companies to extend their influence over our electricity networks through tenders.
David Irvine’s comment that China already has the cyber capacity to shut down Australia’s electricity network is cited as a basis for no longer needing to care about who owns our strategic ­infrastructure………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia 1MDB Scandal: Former Goldman Sachs Top Banker Tim Leissner Subpoenaed By US Investigators

Posted on 09 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A former senior official at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has been subpoenaed by American authorities investigating a Malaysian government investment fund, according to reports Tuesday. Tim Leissner, the former chairman of the Southeast Asian division of the investment bank, was issued a subpoena after he resigned in February.
Leissner worked on several significant deals for the state-run fund, the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), which together netted hundreds of millions of dollars for the investment bank, Bloomberg reported………………………………………..Full Article: Source

LIA leadership case adjourned, judge says premature to rule

Posted on 09 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A court case over the leadership claims of two rival heads of Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund was adjourned in London’s High Court on Monday, the judge declaring it would be premature to rule while moves were afoot to form a government of national accord.
Both Hassan Bouhadi, appointed by the internationally recognised government based in Tobruk, and AbdulMagid Breish both claim to be rightful chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) - a long-running dispute that mirrors the fragmented nature of the country since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK judge delays battle over leadership of Libya wealth fund

Posted on 08 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A British judge has adjourned a hearing on rival claims to head Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund, saying Monday that he expects Libya to clarify the situation soon. Hassan Bouhadi and Abdulmagid Breish both claim to be chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority.
Libya has splintered since Moammar Gadhafi was deposed in 2011, with two rival governments vying for control and Islamic State group-linked militants gaining in strength amid the chaos. Tripoli-based Breish claims to be the authority’s legitimate head, but Bouhadi says he was appointed by the internationally recognized government based in eastern Libya………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya’s factions squabble over Gaddafi’s sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 08 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The dispute over who controls the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) reached London’s High Court on Monday, with $67 billion in assets at stake. The case has the potential to lay the ground for further lawsuits against Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale over the alleged mismanagement of $3 billion.
Amid the 2011 uprising against the Gaddafi regime, the UN Security Council froze the assets of the LIA and 85% of the fund’s assets remain frozen to this day. However, it is not even clear who holds responsibility for the fund. In 2014, the Council of Deputies replaced AbdulMagid Breish with Hassan Bouhadi, but Mr. Breish was later reinstated by the Libyan Court of Appeal in Tripoli. So the LIA has two chairmen vying for control over the fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Twists and turns as battle for Gaddafi-era sovereign fund billions rumbles on in London courts

Posted on 08 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The two men competing for control of Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund asked a London judge to decide who has the right to oversee lawsuits seeking to recover billions of dollars lost in deals with French transnational bank Societe Generale SA and Goldman Sachs Group Inc in the US.
Abdulmagid Breish, who is based in Tripoli, and Hassan Bouhadi, who wants to lead the Libya Investment Authority (LIA) from Malta, both argue they are the sole chairman of the fund. The LIA, set up in 2006 to manage Libya’s growing oil revenue surplus, is already the largest sovereign wealth fund in Africa. The 2011 overthrow and death of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi left behind a violent power struggle that continues to blight the oil-rich nation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Guyana SWF: Gov’t must get cracking on anti-corruption plans

Posted on 08 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Since Guyana will in the future be an oil producing country with a Sovereign Wealth Fund, former Speaker of the National Assembly Ralph Ramkarran on Saturday urged the APNU+AFC government to swiftly establish anti-corruption mechanisms to prevent dishonest dealings.
“In a few short years we will be joining the club of oil producers. If we allow Guyana to enter that club with an ingrained ethic of corruption still festering, no amount of posturing about the securing and protecting of oil profits in a Sovereign Wealth Fund will prevent the skimming off from the top, before the funds reach the Sovereign Wealth Fund, of a significant portion by corrupt deeds and transactions,” Ramkarran warned………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OSA label to be lifted from 1MDB audit report

Posted on 08 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Public Accounts Committee said the final audit report on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) will no longer be classified as an official secret after being tabled in Parliament. In a statement on Monday, PAC chairman Hasan Arifin said the report will remain under the Official Secrets Act only until it is tabled in Parliament.
“The final audit report on the fund management of 1MDB will no longer remain under the Act. “The decision to classify the final audit report under OSA was made by Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, who is responsible to ensure the credibility of the National Audit Department………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB audit report ‘secret’ until tabled in Parliament

Posted on 08 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The report on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) probe is classified an official secret by Auditor-General Ambrin Buang, and not by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee. This clarification was made by PAC’s chief Hasan Arifin.
He said contrary to popular belief, the final audit report on 1MDB was classified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972 — until the PAC report on the struggling state investment firm’s alleged mismanagement was tabled in Parliament. “This differs from the annual Auditor-General’s Report , which is first tabled in Parliament, making it a public document. This is the usual practice after which the report will then be presented to the PAC by the Auditor-General………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Battle between rival chairmen of Libya’s $67 billion fund reaches UK court

Posted on 07 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A long-running dispute over the leadership of Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund reaches London’s High Court on Monday, potentially paving the way for litigation against two global investment banks to move forward. The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) wants to pursue Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale in the English courts for more than $3 billion it claims was mismanaged. Both banks have rejected the allegations.
The fund, however, is mired in a power struggle between two rival chairmen, Hassan Bouhadi and AbdulMagid Breish. The dispute mirrors the fragmented nature of the country following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Bouhadi was appointed as head of the LIA in October 2014 by the LIA’s board of trustees, populated by leaders of the House of Representatives………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Brother of ex-British PM Blair expected to judge Libyan sovereign fund case

Posted on 07 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

William Blair, brother of ex-British prime minister Tony Blair, is expected to be appointed judge in the long-running dispute over the leadership of Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund, sources on both sides of the case said.
The case is to be heard in London’s High Court from Monday. The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is in a power struggle between two rival chairmen, Hassan Bouhadi and AbdulMagid Breish. The dispute mirrors the fragmented nature of the country following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shafie slams ‘secret’ report on 1MDB

Posted on 07 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Former rural and regional development minister Shafie Apdal has questioned the federal government’s decision to classify as an official secret the final audit report on 1Malaysia Development Bhd. Shafie said: “Why must they use OSA? If there’s nothing to hide, the report should be revealed. Why do they want it to be hidden?”
The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Hasan Arifin, had said on Friday that the Auditor-General had classified the final report of its 1MDB audit under the Official Secrets Act because of leaks of information from an interim report to the committee, submitted last July………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Funds: the Struggle for Accountability

Posted on 04 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds have become some of the largest and most visible investors in international capital markets. Due to public concerns about their virtually unchecked power, a global code of practice (referred to as Santiago Principles or Generally Accepted Principles and Practices - GAPP) was instituted to improve their governance.
A new study takes a look behind the scenes to reveal the processes and actors that drove the creation of this new governance regime, which intends to make sovereign funds more accountable………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB Scandal: Deposits in Malaysian Leader Najib’s Accounts Said to Top $1 Billion

Posted on 01 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Deposits into personal accounts of Malaysia’s prime minister totaled more than $1 billion—hundreds of millions more than previously identified—and global investigators believe much of it originated with a Malaysian state fund, people familiar with the matter say.
Investigators in two other countries, while agreeing most of the $681 million ultimately was returned, believe the money originated with a Malaysian state development fund called 1MDB that the prime minister founded, according to people familiar with the probes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia suspends party official, probes website over criticism of 1MDB scandal

Posted on 29 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia’s ruling party has suspended a senior official who had asked for a deeper investigation into allegations of corruption at the country’s state investment fund and is also investigating a website that reported on the scandal, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO) suspended Muhyiddin Yassin, a deputy party president, citing his failure to support Prime Minister Najib Razak, The WSJ reported. Muhyiddin had previously been fired by Najib from his position as deputy prime minister………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Court date set for Libyan sovereign fund dispute

Posted on 25 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A London court date has been set to resolve a long-running dispute over the leadership of Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund, potentially paving the way for litigation against two investment banks to move forward.
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is mired in a power struggle between two would-be chairmen, Hassan Bouhadi and AbdulMagid Breish. A hearing will be held in the Commercial Court in the week beginning March 7, with the aim of determining which of the LIA’s two rival chairmen has the authority to bring litigation against Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Court date set for Libyan sovereign fund dispute

Posted on 24 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A London court date has been set to resolve a long-running dispute over the leadership of Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund, potentially paving the way for litigation against two investment banks to move forward.
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is mired in a power struggle between two would-be chairmen, Hassan Bouhadi and AbdulMagid Breish. A hearing will be held in the Commercial Court in the week beginning March 7, with the aim of determining which of the LIA’s two rival chairmen has the authority to bring litigation against Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Swiss bank linked to 1MDB sold for US$1.3b

Posted on 24 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

EFG International AG has agreed to pay 1.33 billion Swiss francs (US$1.34 billion) for Grupo BTG Pactual SA’s Swiss private-banking unit BSI Ltd in a deal that could catapult it into the nation’s top-five money managers for the wealthy.
The acquisition, which comes five months after Brazil-based BTG Pactual (BBTG11.SA) sealed a deal to buy BSI for 1.25 billion francs, will be paid for in cash and stock. Under terms of the deal, EFG will incorporate BSI, making BTG Pactual the No 2 partner in the combined firm after Greece’s Latsis family………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysian 1MDB scandal: What you need to know about corruption probe rocking global finance

Posted on 18 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

What does 1MDB stand for and when was it set up? It stands for 1 Malaysia Development Berhad. “Berhad” is a Malay word meaning “private” and is used to describe a limited company in Malaysia.
It was created as a sovereign wealth fund in 2009, not long after Nijib Razak became Malaysia’s prime minister. The government said it was set up to promote economic development, to promote foreign direct investment and to turn Kuala Lumpur into a global financial hub………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Track the missing sovereign wealth billions

Posted on 18 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While the debate on Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund debacle raged sometime in December, 2013, available statistics on the spiraling figures did not add up then with reasons adduced in government circles.
A member of the committee then, Senator Ita Enang and former Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had quoted different figures of funds accruing to the Excess Crude Account (ECA) during the Joint Senate Committee of Finance and Appropriations on the 2013 budget and federal revenue-generating agencies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia: The 1MDB money trail

Posted on 16 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The chief executive of BSI, the Swiss private bank, was jubilant about its foray into Asia. So much so that he wrote to a star employee in Singapore who had helped lead the effort. “I wanted to personally thank you for your immense contribution not only to the growth of our new Asia business, but to BSI Group as a whole,” enthused the December 2011 letter from Alfredo Gysi, who is now BSI’s honorary chairman.
What a difference four years makes. Today that same bank official in Singapore, Yak Yew Chee, is battling a criminal investigation by the city-state’s authorities on suspicion that he benefited “from criminal conduct”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia 1MDB scandal: How is Kimora Lee Simmons linked to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak?

Posted on 16 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It’s the scandal that enraptured Malaysia and attracted the attention of the FBI and celebrity obsessives alike. Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak is accused of syphoning almost $700m (£483m) from state-owned investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The government probed if the leader used the company to turn capital city Kuala Lumpur into one of the world’s financial hubs as his personal slush fund. The company was formed in 2009 – when the economy was booming. Razak denied the claim after the fund caught the attention of authorities when 1MDB amassed eye-watering debts of a reported $11bn. It then missed payments worth to creditors billions of dollars………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Public gets say on sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 09 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Residents soon will have the opportunity to voice their opinions on plans for the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund (SFW). The fund is aimed creating a mechanism for future budgetary surpluses that will ensure future economic prosperity of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
According to Premier Rufus Ewing further consideration, to a draft paper for wider consultation to establish a SWF for the TCI, will commence shortly. The Premier who was speaking at a recent press conference said the public will have the chance to give their comments on the development of the fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Is Unhappy With Volkswagen’s Leadership

Posted on 08 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund criticized Volkswagen AG’s ownership structure, saying it concentrates too much power with the Porsche-Piech family and puts minority shareholders at a disadvantage amid the carmaker’s emissions crisis.
“This cannot be a role model for Germany,” Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive officer of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, said in an interview published Saturday with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Through family holding company Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the Porsche-Piech clan controls 50.73 percent of Volkswagen’s voting shares, while only owning 31.5 percent of the company equity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Attorney General Addresses the Senate on Petroleum and SWF Bill

Posted on 08 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahamas Petroleum told investors that Bahamas Governor General will now receive the bills for signing and they will subsequently be passed into law. Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Senator the Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson said the two bills presently before the Senate will align the Bahamas’ petroleum industry with 21st century international best practices and prepare Bahamians to benefit more from oil exploration, providing commercially viable quantities are discovered.
The new legislation, which provides an upgraded and modernised framework for petroleum operations in the Bahamas, will be known as the Petroleum Act and the Sovereign Wealth Fund Act. BPC said the Sovereign Wealth Fund Act was designed to ensure accrued wealth from exploration success and subsequent development could be optimally invested, managed and conserved………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors Can Sue Foreign Wealth Fund in US, Circuit Rules

Posted on 05 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has clarified the law on sovereign immunity for actions by a foreign nation’s commercial entity that take place outside of the United States but harm investors within the United States. Addressing an issue of first impression, the court held that a sovereign wealth fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan can be sued in the Southern District of New York because it made misrepresentations that had a “direct effect” in the United States.
The case is Atlantica Holdings, Inc. v. Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna JSC, 14-917-cv, where several plaintiffs, including some U.S. investors, say they were misled about the debt and other obligations of BTA Bank, a Kazakhstani corporation owned largely by the Kazakhstan government’s SK Fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. appeals court limits fraud shield for sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 04 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Foreign sovereign wealth funds are not automatically immune from U.S. lawsuits claiming that they defrauded investors into buying securities in the United States by making misleading statements outside the country, the federal appeals court in Manhattan ruled.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the funds are not shielded by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act from securities fraud claims over alleged misrepresentations that cause a “direct effect” in the United States………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore seizes bank accounts linked to Malaysia sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 03 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Singapore Commercial Affairs Department and the Monetary Authority of Singapore said Monday they have seized a “large number” of bank accounts linked to a money laundering investigation involving the Malaysia state investment fund 1MDB.
Their joint statement Monday said, Singapore does not tolerate the use of its financial system as a refuge or conduit for illicit funds. Since the middle of last year, the Commercial Affairs Department and the Monetary Authority of Singapore have been actively investigating possible money-laundering and other offenses carried out in Singapore……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s 1MDB Scandal: Case Not Closed With Ongoing International Probes

Posted on 03 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investigations abroad continue to haunt the nation’s premier despite efforts to downplay the scandal at home. On February 1, the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that they had seized a “large number” of bank accounts over possible money-laundering offenses tied to debt-ridden state investment fund 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The Singapore authorities also confirmed that the city-state was “cooperating closely” with relevant authorities in Malaysia, Switzerland, and the United States in the ongoing investigation of the so-called 1MDB scandal, which has implicated Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore seizes bank accounts as part of 1MDB probe

Posted on 02 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore has seized a large number of bank accounts in recent months as part of an investigation into possible money-laundering linked to Malaysian state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), authorities said on Monday.
Singapore is cooperating with authorities in Malaysia, Switzerland and the United States who are investigating 1MDB, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Commercial Affairs Department, the city-state’s white-collar crime agency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia PM haunted by $4bn wealth fund inquiry

Posted on 01 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The financial scandal engulfing Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, flared up after the Swiss authorities said that they were investigating the alleged embezzlement of $4 billion (£2.8 billion) from a state company he set up.
Michael Lauber, Switzerland’s attorney-general, said that he was investigating former staff of the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, officials of the United Arab Emirates and “persons unknown” for alleged bribery of foreign public officials, misconduct in public office, money laundering and criminal mismanagement. It is the latest twist in a tale that has shaken Malaysia and provoked huge anti-government demonstrations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Switzerland Investigates Into Alleged Violations of Law by Malaysian Fund

Posted on 01 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Switzerland’s chief prosecutor asked Malaysian authorities for legal assistance in its investigation into possible violations of Swiss law by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) wealth fund, prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
According to the statement, the prosecutors are planning to inquire into misappropriation of some $4 billion, with part of this sum transferred to accounts of former Malaysian officials in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Swiss Question Use of Malaysian Sovereign Fund Run by Prime Minister

Posted on 01 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Days after the prime minister of Malaysia was cleared of wrongdoing in an investigation into transfers of money into his bank accounts, the Swiss government announced Friday that it had found serious indications that funds had been misappropriated from Malaysian state-owned companies.
The sovereign wealth fund at the center of the Swiss inquiry, called 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, has been the focus of several investigations around the world as authorities attempt to ascertain whether money vanished in a series of international business deals………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Petrobras in sovereign fund’s spotlight on corruption fears

Posted on 01 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s state pension fund, said Thursday it had placed Brazilian oil group Petrobras “under observation” because of corruption fears following a kickbacks scandal. The move means that the ethics council that advises the Norwegian central bank on the fund’s investments will follow developments closely, which could lead to the fund divesting its holding.
“Should further cases of gross corruption be revealed in Petrobras’ operations in the future and the company cannot satisfy that the anti-corruption programme is being complied with and effectively improved, the condition for exclusion may be met,” the council said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway wealth fund’s ethics watchdog probing 14 corruption cases

Posted on 29 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The ethics watchdog for Norway’s $800 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, is stepping up its scrutiny of companies the fund invests in to make sure they are not involved in corruption, an official at the watchdog told Reuters.
Eli Ane Lund, administrative leader of the ethics council, said the watchdog was currently investigating 14 companies for suspected corruption across nine countries. These include Brazilian oil firm Petrobras, which is currently mired in the country’s biggest ever corruption scandal, she said, while declining to name the other companies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Govt does not monitor Temasek, GIC’s investments in haze-linked firms: MOF

Posted on 29 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mr Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Finance Minister, says that commercial decisions by GIC and Temasek Holdings are made independent of state involvement. The Government only monitors the performance of haze-linked companies that sovereign wealth fund GIC and investment firm Temasek Holdings have investments in, said finance minister Heng Swee Keat, and not their commercial decisions.
Nonetheless, both are fully supportive of zero-burning policies for land clearance, he said. “GIC has also the Government that the palm oil companies in Indonesia that GIC invests in have confirmed that they observe zero-burning policies for their plantations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi royal family gave Najib $681M ‘personal donation’

Posted on 27 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia’s royal family gave Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak a $681 million gift, Malaysia’s attorney general has revealed, ending months of speculation about the source of the huge personal donation.
In addition, the attorney general reportedly said that he was satisfied that no offence had been committed in relation to SRC International, a former subsidiary of heavily indebted state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). SRC had been probed over the alleged misappropriation of fund worth $932 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russian Fund Under Scrutiny for Loan to Company Linked to Kremlin

Posted on 25 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Russian Direct Investment Fund defends the Sibur deal, saying it follows the fund’s investment guidelines. The chief executive, Kirill Dmitriev, in a written statement, characterized the loan as commercially motivated and issued “in line with our established practices.”
Mr. Putin, like many Russian officials, refuses to discuss his family or reveal family business activities. Mr. Shamalov has declined to confirm or deny whether he is married to the younger of Mr. Putin’s two daughters; a representative for Mr. Shamalov did not respond to written questions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway wealth fund to vote for Shell merger

Posted on 21 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $790 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, will vote in favour of the merger of energy companies Royal Dutch Shell and BG , it said on Wednesday. “Norges Bank Investment Management considers that the transaction accelerates value for BG Group PLC shareholders and is in the best long-term interest of Royal Dutch Shell PLC shareholders,” the fund said in two statements to shareholders.
A spokeswoman for the fund said the price of the transaction was fair overall. “In an environment of low oil price, we believe the companies will stand stronger together,” she said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwaiti MP calls for probe into ‘suspicious’ asset sale by sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 21 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The head of Kuwait’s National Assembly’s public funds protection committee has claimed that the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) has refused to cooperate with its investigation into the allegedly suspicious sale of one of its assets.
The Kuwait Times reported that MP Abdullah Al Turaiji said the committee met on Monday to investigate the sale of one of KIA’s real estate assets which it believes “serves the relatives of the KIA director”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

KIA refusing to cooperate in sale probe

Posted on 19 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Head of the National Assembly’s public funds protection committee MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji yesterday accused the state-run Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) of refusing to cooperate with the panel’s investigation. Turaiji said the committee met yesterday to discuss the issue of selling a real estate services company by KIA in a suspicious way that “serves the relatives of the KIA director”.
He said that the director refused to provide the committee with documents of that sale and also refused to provide the documents to the Audit Bureau. The committee intends to write a letter to the Assembly speaker stating that KIA has refused to cooperate with the panel’s investigation and also with the Audit Bureau, and “we have the evidence of that and the cheques of the sale”, the lawmaker said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Use GIC returns as component in CPF OA rate: NUS prof

Posted on 13 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Singapore government can consider partially pegging the interest rate paid by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Ordinary Account (OA) to returns generated by sovereign wealth fund GIC, an academic has suggested.
National University of Singapore (NUS) economics associate professor Chia Ngee Choon acknowledged that GIC returns are already distributed to Singaporeans indirectly through, for example, Budget top-ups to CPF accounts. But linking GIC to the CPF OA interest rate allows for a more direct channel for Singaporeans to enjoy GIC returns should the fund do well, she said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is it okay to include GIC returns when determining CPF interest rate?

Posted on 13 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Experts believe the interest rate for the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Ordinary Account (OA) could be tweaked in the light of rising interest rates in the United States. One option raised at a forum yesterday was to include the returns of the sovereign wealth fund GIC when devising the formula that determines the OA rate.
Interest on OA funds is adjusted quarterly. It is either the legislated minimum 2.5 per cent a year or the average three-month rates at the three local banks, whichever is higher. GIC publishes five-, 10- and 20- year returns for all its investments of government assets, including CPF funds. The annualised 20-year real rate of return for the year ended March 31, 2014, was 4.1 per cent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SNB’s Jordan opposes sovereign Swiss fund

Posted on 12 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan opposes the creation of a sovereign fund with a share of the 560 billion Swiss francs ($559.33 billion) that the central bank has invested, according to an interview he gave to Swiss television station SRF that was published on Monday on its Internet site.
“That’s not a good idea,” Jordan told the Swiss television programme ECO. “I hardly think such a sovereign fund could produce greater returns than those we are already achieving.” For one, Switzerland’s money is already invested, he said. Additionally, Jordan said such a sovereign wealth fund for Switzerland, such as Norway has created with money from its significant oil reserves, would do nothing to weaken the Swiss franc against the euro………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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