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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

Najib misled the people on 1MDB promise, says Tony Pua

Posted on 12 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s statement that the RM42 billion 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal will be resolved soon and without using the people’s money are clear attempts at “misleading” the people, says DAP lawmaker Tony Pua.
Any Malaysian who is financially literate would know that the prime minister “lied” during his monthly address to the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya yesterday, Pua, the MP for Petaling Jaya Utara, claimed in a statement. The first point, he said, is the reality that 1MDB’s financial troubles are still far from being resolved………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth funds: What is Santiago for?

Posted on 07 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite signing up to the Santiago Principles, most sovereign wealth funds don’t observe them, nor do they have to. Isn’t it time the markets lost patience with their ‘I signed, therefore I am transparent’ approach?
Peter Costello faced a challenging gig. The chairman of the Australian Government Future Fund, better known to many as the country’s longest-serving treasurer, under John Howard’s government, was presenting a keynote speech at a sovereign wealth funds conference in Milan, but found himself addressing a room full of people milling around a buffet table………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB explains why Bandar Malaysia buyer listed different deal price

Posted on 07 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Whether in the form of an all-cash or a part cash-part assumption of debt deal, the total price tag for the 60 per cent stake in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd is RM7.41 billion (S$2.4 billion). Questions arose on the RM2.13 billion variance after China Railway Group Ltd (CRG) put the acquisition cost at RM5.28 billion in a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange on Monday.
Four days earlier, Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corp (M) Sdn Bhd - a unit of CRG - inked an agreement with 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd to purchase the 60 per cent stake for RM7.41 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB and the Money Network of Malaysian Politics

Posted on 30 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was fighting for his political life this summer after revelations that almost $700 million from an undisclosed source had entered his personal bank accounts. Under pressure within his party to resign, he called together a group of senior leaders in July to remind them everyone had benefited from the money.
The funds, Mr. Najib said, weren’t used for his personal enrichment. Instead, they were channeled to politicians or into spending on projects aimed at helping the ruling party win elections in 2013, he said, according to a cabinet minister who was present………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ADIA, Portuguese insurer garner bulk of QFII quota awards for December

Posted on 29 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange extended another $1 billion in quota capacity to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority on Dec. 25, lifting the sovereign wealth fund’s total under the state’s qualified foreign institutional investor program to $2.5 billion, according to SAFE’s latest monthly listing of QFII quotas Monday.
The Christmas top-up leaves ADIA on par with Norges Bank and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority as the QFII participants with the biggest quotas, $2.5 billion apiece………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Brazil Withdraw R$855 Million from Sovereign Wealth Fund to Boost Public Coffers

Posted on 28 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In order to strengthen the reserves of the National Treasury, the Brazilian government withdrew US $213 million (R$ 855 million) from the Sovereign Wealth Fund on Tuesday (22), a fund created with what was leftover from the tax collection of 2008 and which has been expended in the last few years.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the bailout had been predicted since May, when the government divulged the second evaluation report of income and expenses, and refers to money that was invested in government bonds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Peru govt given key to sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 28 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Peru’s government said it may resort to the country’s sovereign wealth fund for the first time to help President Ollanta Humala finance infrastructure spending in his final year in office.
The board of directors in charge of the fund, which includes finance minister Alonso Segura, central bank president Julio Velarde and a representative of the cabinet chief’s office, authorized the “temporary” use of up to 4.29bn soles (US$1.28bn). This is to prevent a drop in public spending in the face of dwindling tax revenues, the finance ministry said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libyan Investment Authority assets should remain frozen says chairman

Posted on 28 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Responding to calls by breakaway factions to unfreeze Libya’s assets, Mr AbdulMagid Breish, chairman and CEO of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), says:“While important negotiations on a National Unity Government continue, it is imperative that the Libyan Investment Authority’s assets remain frozen to safeguard them against the continued threat of misappropriation and corruption”.
“Rogue parallel institutions outside the country have been appealing to the international community to loosen the sanction regime on the LIA’s assets in order to gain access to these funds.It would be dangerous, and deeply counter-productive, to let the prospect of peace provide an excuse for unfreezing any of the LIA’s assets,” says Breish………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB scandal rocks Malaysian politics

Posted on 21 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The year in Malaysia started with the debt struggles of state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and how it got into the mess in the first place. And the same questions remain as the year draws to a close.
The 1MDB, which is owned by the Finance Ministry, was set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 and he heads its board of advisers. In July, Datuk Seri Najib was confronted with another scandal when some US$680 million (S$961 million) in cash was discovered in his bank accounts by investigators probing 1MDB. The Malaysian government says it is working hard to erase 1MDB’s debts………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Tabling of A-G’s final 1MDB report tomorrow postponed, says PAC head

Posted on 17 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The final report of the Auditor-General on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) which is expected to be tabled to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) tomorrow has been postponed to include the latest updates.
“The final report was postponed as it has to be updated,” said PAC chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin when contacted by Bernama. He however did not mention any new dates for the tabling of the report. Earlier, Hasan was reported as saying the Auditor-General’s final report on 1MDB was expected to be tabled to PAC on December 17………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sarawak BN will reconsider loyalty if Najib found guilty in 1MDB imbroglio

Posted on 17 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem and the state Barisan Nasional (BN) will reconsider their loyalty to Datuk Seri Najib Razak if the prime minister is found guilty of any offences related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
“I might consider that. (But) until then, he is innocent and has done no wrong. “Our loyalty to him right now is because he is the prime minister of Malaysia and head of the BN,” he said in his winding-up speech at the state assembly in capital Kuching………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Court shuts Avestra schemes linked to 1MDB crisis

Posted on 15 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Federal Court has ordered the shutdown of five investment schemes run by Avestra Asset Management, a Gold Coast fin­ancial services group drawn into Malaysia’s 1MDB crisis. Judge Jonathan Beach made the orders after reading a report from provisional liquidators that found undisclosed related-party transactions, 13 potential breaches of corporate law and failure to invest according to the fund’s individual mandates.
The report, compiled by Simon Wallace-Smith and Richard Hughes of Deloitte and released to The Australian by the court, also reveals that a Cayman Islands vehicle linked to the 1MDB scandal is the owner of the Avestra Credit Fund, which backed a takeover bid against Malaysian company Harvest Court Industries………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Sovereign Wealth Fund: Supreme Court to hear suit March 8

Posted on 09 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Supreme Court yes­terday adjourned till March 8, 2016, the suit filed by 36 states of the fed­eration against the Federal Government over a dispute arising from the mainte­nance of Excess Crude Ac­count and the transfer of one billion dollars from the account to the Sovereign Wealth Fund, SWF.
The 36 states are praying the court to decide whether the states had a share in the SWF. The Supreme Court had earlier granted a re­quest by the parties to settle the matter out of court and to explore an amicable reso­lution of the disagreement. When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, the Federal Government through its counsel from Wole Olanipekun and Aus­tin Alegeh’s chambers informed the court that a new Attorney General of the Federation had just re­sumed office and will need time to study the case file for necessary action………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWF dictates ‘violated’

Posted on 04 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Government might have violated dictates of standard practice across the world in setting up sovereign wealth funds, research findings by a local economic think tank have revealed.The findings are contained in the Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis and Research Unit’s study titled Global Best Practice in Establishing and Managing SWF in Zimbabwe.
According to the findings presented in Harare at a validation workshop, setting up of the SWF was against normal and best practice, as Zimbabwe is battling unsustainable external debts………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Prince Alwaleed Endorses France’s Sovereign Wealth Fund

Posted on 04 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), endorses the historic investment in KHC by CDCIC (the French sovereign fund) and France’s leading companies that acquired 29.9 million shares priced at SR18.8 with a total amount of SR563 million ($150 million). The transaction was closed on Thursday 3rd December 2015.
Prince Alwaleed, who will be retaining his full ownership stake in KHC, welcomed this important and strategic milestone deal pursuant to the Saudi Arabian Capital Market Authority opening to foreign investors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Economists highlight success of SAMA financing strategy

Posted on 04 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bank holdings of Saudi government bonds rose in October by SR4.5 billion, month-on-month, according to the latest edition of the monthly chartbook from Jadwa Investment. In October, the net monthly change in government accounts with Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) came out positive for the first time in 11 months.
“We think this improvement reflects the lower spending by the government compared to earlier in the year,” said the Jadwa economists. The net monthly change to government accounts rose by $4.6 billion. The increase was mainly due to a $5.6 billion net monthly addition to current deposits, the December chartbook added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BTG Pactual partners take control from jailed founder Esteves

Posted on 03 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Founding partners in Grupo BTG Pactual SA took control of the Brazilian investment bank from jailed financier André Esteves on Wednesday in an attempt to distance the firm from the most sweeping corruption investigation in the country’s history.
The bank announced the sale of a 12 percent stake in Rede D’Or Sao Luiz SA, Brazil’s largest hospital chain, to Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd for about 2.4 billion reais ($619 million), confirming a Reuters report last week. GIC had bought a 16 percent stake in Rede D’Or in May………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chinese buyers running rule over FTSE 100 InterContinental

Posted on 01 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Chinese buyers are running a rule over FTSE 100 hotels group IHG, according to weekend reports, sending its shares higher in early morning trade today.The sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp, along with Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels Group and airline owner HNA Group are cited as possible suitors.
In opening deals, IHG shares topped the FTSE 100 leader board, up 28p, or 1.1 per cent, to 2,517p. IHG, which owns the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands, is thought to be exposed after rival Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide recently agreed to a takeover by Marriott………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWFs can lend to Indian cos; small ECBs’ limit hiked to $50 mn

Posted on 01 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Reserve Bank of India on Monday revamped the external commercial borrowing (ECB) regime and long-term foreign currency borrowing with “a more liberal approach, fewer restrictions on end uses and higher all-in-cost ceiling.” The RBI will allow offshore insurance companies, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) to lend to Indian companies for the long term in a bid to attract more inflows.
The central bank raised the limit for small value ECBs with minimum average maturity (MAM) of three years to $50 million from the existing $20 million and alignment of the list of infrastructure entities eligible for ECB with the harmonised list of the government………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth fund legislation by end of 2016 – Trotman

Posted on 30 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Before the end of next year, government hopes to lay legislation in the National Assembly to set up a sovereign wealth fund, Minister of Governance Raphael Trotman has said.
“Government envisions that before the end of 2016, model legislation will be laid in the National Assembly for scrutiny and debate and…nationwide consultations will (ensue) before, and during, the process of finalizing this policy through necessary legislation,” he told a workshop focused on the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) for Guyana………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Guyana crafting Sovereign Wealth Fund legislation

Posted on 26 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Guyana will next year table legislation in the National Assembly to create a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), ahead of commercial drilling for oil by American oil giant, Exxon Mobil, Minister of Governance Raphael Trotman announced Wednesday.
Addressing the opening of a workshop on the SWF’s creation at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), he said the Bill would be laid in the House before the end of 2016 for scrutiny and debate as well as inputs from the wider Guyanese public. “Nationwide consultations will be held both before and during the process of finalizing this policy through necessary legislation,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Fund consultation commences

Posted on 26 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Government of Guyana, in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission and the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, today began a two-day workshop on the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) for the country. The event is being held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC).
During the course of the next two days, the facilitating team will undertake a study of current legislative policies to see how best they can be improved to suit the Oil and Natural resources sectors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Administration will introduce bill to convert Fund earnings

Posted on 23 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The slide in crude oil prices is continuing, and transforming Alaska’s state finances to revenue sources more predictable and sustainable than oil income has taken on more urgency. Year-to-date prices for North Slope crude oil were at an average of $49.98 per barrel as of Nov. 17. That’s since July 1, the start the current fiscal year, and it is $16 per barrel less than the price of $66.03 per barrel predicted by the state last March and used as the basis for budget planning.
Year-over-year production numbers are better, with an increase of about 3.7 percent since the start of the fiscal year through Nov. 15. Daily production in November is averaging about 555,000 barrels per day compared to about 537,000 barrels per day in November 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bahrain’s SWF signs Indian JV to build aluminium factory

Posted on 19 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mumtalakat and India’s Synergies Castings will build a $150 million downstream aluminium facility in Bahrain, the chief executive of the kingdom’s sovereign fund said on Wednesday. The aluminium casting and specialty alloy wheel manufacturing plant, will take around 18 months to build and is expected to open in late-2017, Mahmood al-Kooheji told Reuters.
“There is a secure channel for the products as they have the customer demand, which will make it very easy to make profits,” said Kooheji, adding that the joint venture was the first outside India for Synergies Castings, which supplies alloy wheels to car companies including General Motors, Ford and Toyota……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azerbaijan Oil Fund’s budget for 2016 offered with deficit of 19% of costs

Posted on 19 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Supervisory Board of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) held a meeting on 30 October 2015. The meeting chaired by Artur Rasizadeh, Prime Minister of Azerbaijan and Chairman of the Supervisory Board endorsed the SOFAZ’s draft budget for 2016. The SOFAZ press release says that Fund’s 2016 budget revenues were offered at the level of AZN 6.7 bn and expenditures at AZN 8.26 bn.
“The Supervisory Board recommended the Fund’s 2016 draft budget, including the major directions of its investment policy and projects for the approval by the President of Azerbaijan,” it was informed. The Supervisory Board approved a transition of the Oil Fund’s accounting system from International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)……………………………………..Full Article: Source

PKR MP risks censure for naming wrong person in 1MDB question

Posted on 19 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

PKR’s Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen might be hauled up to the rights and privileges committee for naming the wrong individual in a parliamentary question related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said.
Wong had named Deutsche Bank country manager Yusof Annuar Yaacob as one of five individuals sought by authorities in connection with investigations into 1MDB, but later admitted making a mistake. He said he had meant to name SRC International director Datuk Suboh Md Yassin instead of Yusof. …………………………………….Full Article: Source

Police unable to trace key individuals in 1MDB case, says ministry

Posted on 18 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The police are unable to determine the whereabouts of several individuals allegedly involved in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal. They are businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, Mr Casey Tang, Ms Jasmine Loo, Mr Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and Mr Yusof Annuar Yaacob.
“The police cannot trace and determine the whereabouts of these individuals. At the same time, no application has been received from any parties seeking Interpol’s help to trace these individuals,” said the Home Ministry in a written reply to opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat MP Wong Chen………………………………………..Full Article: Source

DLF gets Competition Commission’s nod for Rs.1,990 crore deal with GIC

Posted on 17 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Indian realty major DLF Ltd on Monday said it has received approval from the Competition Commission of India for a joint-venture with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, which is investing close to Rs.1,990 crore in two projects in Delhi. “DLF Home Developers Ltd (DHDL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of DLF Ltd and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, have signed an agreement to enter into a joint venture to invest in two upcoming projects located in central Delhi,” the company said in a regulatory filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange.
The statement said GIC would invest a sum of approximately Rs.1,990 crore in the two projects, subject to meeting all statutory requirements and conditions precedents which are customary, prior to the closing……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Why can’t any minister explain 1MDB to Parliament?

Posted on 17 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the past two days, the Umno/BN owned or controlled media and their legion of cybertroopers have been carrying glowing reports about what a superb performance the 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy gave at the briefing for Umno divisional leaders at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) on Saturday about the 1MDB scandal, and that the participants, which included representatives from NGOs and government agencies, were satisfied with Arul’s explanations which gave “a better picture of the real situation”.
The immediate question that comes to mind is whether the cabinet of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is so intellectually-challenged that none of the Ministers could explain the intricacies and complexities of the 1MDB scandal to Parliament for the past month, when Arul could so easily explain away the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal at the Umno briefing to its divisional leaders and pliable NGOs at PWTC last Saturday - as if Arul is such a superb performer that he is capable of getting birds to eat food from his hands?………………………………………Full Article: Source

1MDB’s Latest Act: Two Obama Fundraisers, One Fugee and $69 Million

Posted on 16 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The sprawling web of investments by a Malaysian government fund at the center of a corruption probe now includes two former fundraisers for President Barack Obama and a hip-hop superstar. The fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., paid private-equity group DuSable Capital Management LLC $69 million to buy its stake in a joint venture to develop solar power plants in the Southeast Asian country, the two sides said Wednesday.
The parties had signed an agreement in April 2014 giving DuSable a 49% stake, but 1MDB agreed to buy out the firm six months later, before construction had begun on any project, they said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bank Negara validating 1MDB’s explanation on US$1.83 billion funds

Posted on 16 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bank Negara Malaysia is still “validating” 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) explanation on its inability to repatriate US$1.83 billion in funds ordered by the central bank. Stressing that “the matter is not straight forward” and related to 1MDB’s rationalisation plan, Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz did not commit a timeline for the completion of its evaluation process.
“It’s premature to say anything more, we’ll make assessments once we’ve received all information that we’ve requested,” she said during a press conference on Friday announcing the country’s gross domestic product growth figures for the third quarter of the year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A-G should charge 1MDB with cheating, says Amanah

Posted on 12 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There is grounds for a charge against 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) for cheating the central bank, Parti Amanah Negara’s legal bureau chief Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said today, urging the Attorney-General (A-G) to reconsider the case against the state investment firm.
The Sepang MP said that the A-G’s clearance of 1MDB from any offence was only in the context of the Exchange Control Act 1953 (ECA) in relation to non-disclosure or incomplete disclosure of information to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) for permissions to make overseas transfers of money. But this did not mean that 1MDB was innocent of the crime of cheating which made the state firm liable to be charged under the Penal Code, Hanipa said………………………………………Full Article: Source

Kayveas: Don’t scapegoat Najib for 1MDB’s financial woes

Posted on 11 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should not be made the scapegoat for the problems faced by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), as they are the responsibility of the fund’s management, says PPP president Tan Sri M Kayveas. “If I have a company and my company is not doing well, you can say what you want but that is for the management of the company. Why make Datuk Seri Najib the scapegoat?” Kayveas told reporters when met at his party’s Deepavali open house.
He was asked to respond to the view held by some that the Prime Minister should be ultimately responsible for the financial issues faced by 1MDB as well as the RM2.6bil donation. “1MDB is just like any other company. If for example I have RM52bil in assets in my company along with debts of RM42bil, I have no problem,” Kayveas said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Monetary policy: A panacea Swiss SWFs?

Posted on 02 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In regularity the topic “Swiss SWFs” always comes back to the media agenda. Mostly this is the case, when the Franks again by massive capital inflows threatens upgrade. This could soon be possible again if the ECB should decide to expand their securities purchases. You would then have more liquidity shoot in the markets from which a
Removing part of the euro and could accrue in the franc area. This often results in the suggestion that Switzerland could still use their inflowing foreign currency to build up a sovereign wealth fund. The capital inflow would not revalue the franc further, since the currency again would be used for the purchase of foreign shares, bonds or alternative investments. This could be used for an in Notlangen and would on the other hand a higher current ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Omani sovereign wealth fund calls in Freshfields to sue Bulgaria

Posted on 30 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oman’s largest sovereign wealth fund has hired Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to take Bulgaria to arbitration over its role in the collapse in Balkan bank KTB, while the Bulgarian government has instructed Arnold & Porter to defend the claim ahead of preferred law firm White & Case.
Freshfields partners Boris Kasolowsky in Frankfurt and Willibald Plesser in Vienna have been handed the task of recouping losses suffered by the State General Reserve Fund of Oman after KTB closed in June 2014. The arbitration claim, understood to be valued at more than $100m including interest, has been filed at the World Bank’s arbitration court, the International Centre for Settlement of Investor Disputes (ICSID)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

AK Attorney general presents proposal leveraging Permanent Fund to pay for budget

Posted on 30 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gov. Bill Walker’s administration says it wants to leverage the Permanent Fund to help balance the state budget in the long-term. His office says it isn’t a final proposal, but an idea it wants to present to the Legislature. Attorney General Craig Richards gave a presentation on the concept to lawmakers Tuesday afternoon.
The administration said it wants to create a new fund, called a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). Under the plan, the amount of royalty oil revenue flowing into the permanent fund would be doubled. That money would be combined with other revenues to create a steady stream of money for the budget, regardless of oil prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Seeks Explanation From VW Over Emissions Scandal

Posted on 29 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund, the world’s biggest by assets, said Wednesday it would seek explanations from Volkswagen AG over an emissions cheating crisis that nearly halved the value of its interest in the German car market and hit its overall performance in the third quarter.
The fund, which held 1.22% of VW—worth 9.6 billion Norwegian kroner ($1.13 billion) at the end of 2014—said its stake lost 4.9 billion kroner in the third quarter. “Volkswagen was clearly the biggest negative contributor in the third quarter,” said Norges Bank Investment Management’s deputy chief executive, Trond Grande………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oman Fund Claims against Bulgaria ‘Unfounded’ - FinMin

Posted on 28 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Legal action taken against Bulgaria by the State General Reserve Fund of Oman is based on ill-founded claims, the country’s Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said on Tuesday. He asserted Bulgaria was “prepared to fight this battle” and had already hired a team of lawyers.
His comments follow reports (later confirmed by the government) that the sovereign wealth fund was seeking to recover the book value of its investment in collapsed Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank or KTB)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Omani wealth fund takes $165m legal action against Bulgaria over bank collapse

Posted on 28 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oman’s biggest sovereign wealth fund has filed an arbitration claim against Bulgaria over the collapse of Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank), the online database of Washington-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes showed.
Oman’s State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) fund owned a 30 percent stake in Corpbank, which was Bulgaria’s fourth-largest lender before collapsing last year following a bank run. The bank collapse triggered the Balkan country’s biggest financial crisis since the 1990s, prompting Sofia to pay over 3.6 billion levs ($2.03 billion) to guaranteed depositors and boosting the country’s fiscal deficit for 2014 to 5.8 percent of economic output………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia considers cutting energy subsidies to manage budget deficit

Posted on 28 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The kingdom has financial reserves of about 100 per cent of GDP, but has sold foreign reserves and tapped local bond markets, while its sovereign wealth fund has sold assets in a bid to generate enough cash to plug the deficit.
Sama Foreign Holdings, the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, has sold up to $70 billion of assets as it seeks to plug the gap in spending, the Financial Times reported last month, while Nasdaq estimates that it has sold a further $1.8bn of its European equity holdings. Saudi Arabia is scheduled to offer $27bn in debt to local markets by the end of the year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oman fund takes Bulgaria to arbitration over bank collapse

Posted on 27 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oman’s biggest sovereign wealth fund has filed an arbitration claim against Bulgaria over the collapse of Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank), the online database of Washington-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes showed.
Oman’s State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) fund owned a 30 percent stake in Corpbank, which was Bulgaria’s fourth-largest lender before collapsing last year following a bank run. The bank collapse triggered the Balkan country’s biggest financial crisis since the 1990s, prompting Sofia to pay over 3.6 billion levs ($2.03 billion) to guaranteed depositors and boosting the country’s fiscal deficit for 2014 to 5.8 percent of economic output……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Omani Sovereign Fund Said to Be Seeking EUR 720 M from Bulgaria over KTB Collapse

Posted on 27 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State General Reserve Fund of Oman has taken legal action against Bulgaria, seeking to recover the book value of its investment in collapsed Corporate Commercial Bank, Sofia-based 24 Chasa daily reported on Monday. The Omani sovereign wealth fund was also reportedly seeking interest payments for the period from the putting of the bank under the Bulgarian central bank’s control to the date when it was declared insolvent, 24 Chasa said.
The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) put the country’s fourth-largest lender under direct administration on June 20, 2014 following a run on deposits, suspending shareholders’ rights. In April, Corporate Commercial Bank, known by its Bulgarian acronym KTB, was declared insolvent as of November 6, 2014 – the date when the BNB suspended its banking licence………………………………………..Full Article: Source

In Malaysia, 1MDB Scandal Hinders Economic Growth

Posted on 26 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

This week, with Malaysia’s parliament back in session, the opposition is renewing its efforts to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak through a no-confidence vote. The effort follows the prime minister’s involvement earlier this year in a scandal surrounding the heavily indebted 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) sovereign wealth fund. Among other points of controversy, Najib is struggling to explain the source of nearly $700 million deposited to his personal account.
Even without the political crisis, Malaysia is already facing economic headwinds because of low commodity prices and a looming interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve. But the scandal may be worsening the situation. Malaysia’s once globally esteemed financial institutions are now in question, and 1MDB is involved in nearly every part of the Malaysian economy, including energy, agriculture, tourism and real estate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB boss looks forward to being questioned by PAC

Posted on 26 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy has reiterated that he “looks forward” to being questioned by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). “Yes. We have confirmed to this publicly many times. We look forward to the PAC hearing in order to provide answers to the lawful authorities of the country,” said Arul.
He was present at Malaysia’s Economic Outlook Seminar to give a briefing on 1MDB’s history as well as to hold a question-and-answer session for MCA members. Applause could be heard from the seminar room when Arul concluded his session………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s biggest wealth fund calls for rules to fight ETF risks

Posted on 23 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund says there’s a need for new rules to limit the risks spreading from the growth in exchange-traded funds. The $860-billion fund is concerned over the growing impact ETFs have on the underlying securities they are connected to, said Oeyvind Schanke, chief investment officer for allocation strategies at Norges Bank Investment Management, the department in the central bank in Oslo that runs the fund.
A good step has been imposing circuit breakers on exchanges, “but the interaction between ETFs and underlying securities is also important,” he said in an interview after participating at a conference in Qatar. The interaction between futures and the ETFs underlying securities is increasing “so we probably need some set of rules that take care of that inter- connectivity.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norway Fund Sets Tougher Water-Use Requirements on Companies

Posted on 23 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund, the world’s largest by assets, has decided to impose tougher requirements on how businesses it invests in manage water resources. The fund, which is run by Norges Bank Investment Management, an arm of Norway’s central bank, will ask companies to come up with clear strategies and risk-management plans for water resources.
Until now, the fund only required companies to report on their water use. “We want our expectations to be very clear,” William Ambrose, a senior manager at NBIM told The Wall Street Journal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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