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Russian Minister Calls for Wealth-Fund Boost to Stem Ruble Gains

Posted on 03 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russia should start replenishing its Reserve Fund with proceeds from higher oil prices to stem the ruble’s appreciation, according to Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. The Finance Ministry proposes buying foreign currency for one of its two sovereign wealth funds if oil prices rise higher than $70 per barrel, Siluanov told reporters Thursday.
President Vladimir Putin has backed a weak-ruble policy as a lifeline to Russian producers struggling with a contracting economic amid U.S. and European Union sanctions over Ukraine. A rally in the ruble, the world’s best performer this year after losing almost half of its value in 2014, slowed after the Bank of Russia resumed foreign-currency purchases for its international reserves in mid-May………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mint Asset Management to manage active NZ equities for NZ Super Fund

Posted on 03 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mint Asset Management has been appointed to a $150m active New Zealand equities mandate for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. The appointment was effective July 1st and transition of the mandate to Mint is now complete. Matt Whineray, NZ Super Fund chief investment officer, says the Fund was committed to using a combination of external managers alongside its internal team to manage its $1-billion plus portfolio of New Zealand equities.
The NZ Super Fund also has an active New Zealand equity mandate with Devon Asset Management. A further mandate with Milford Asset Management remains suspended and is being managed by the Guardians until further notice………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Head of State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan remains in Supervisory Board of VTB Bank

Posted on 02 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Executive Director of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) Shahmar Movsumov was elected to the new Supervisory Board of VTB Bank, where he has been serving as an independent member since June 28, 2013.
The message of the bank said that the decision was taken on June 26 at the meeting of shareholders of VTB. During the voting, Movsumov gained 13.3 trillion votes for the inclusion of his candidacy to the new Supervisory Board of the Russian bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Permanent Fund names ‘temporary’ director, boosts her salary

Posted on 02 July 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Valerie Mertz, chief financial officer of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., has been named the temporary executive director following the resignation of long-time executive director Mike Burns. Mertz had been filling in for Burns on an interim basis since June 1, but that interim appointment had been scheduled to expire Tuesday.
The formal appointment means a big pay boost for Mertz, who will receive an annual salary of $275,000 while serving in the temporary appointment, up from her previous salary of $157,000. The salary increase is retroactive to when Mertz began filling in for Burns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China to let NSSF manage $322 billion in local pension funds

Posted on 29 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s cabinet has approved plans for the manager of the country’s biggest pension fund to manage pension funds worth about 2 trillion yuan ($322 billion) for local authorities, two industry sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. China is trying to strengthen its pension system to meet the huge demographic challenge of an already-shrinking working-age population as it looks to turn the economy into one driven by consumption and services rather than investment and exports.
The move for the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to manage and invest more pension funds on behalf of provincial authorities could benefit the stock market, which has fallen 20 percent over the last two weeks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zimbabwe: Huge Task Ahead for SWF Board

Posted on 26 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa last week announced the appointment of a board for the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), managed by the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) which is currently subject of a Parliamentary enquiry on how it handled several indigenisation deals.
NIEEB, established through the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act enacted in April 2008, is a statutory body that should be funded through fiscal support. Besides the SWF, NIEEB also manages the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund (NIEEF), which was reported to be bankrupt about three years ago despite having “a wide array of shares”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

President Aliyev approves SOFAZ budget

Posted on 26 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

President Ilham Aliyev has signed a decree on the budget of Azerbaijan’s state oil fund SOFAZ for 2014. According to the document signed on June 24, the president approved the implementation of the SOFAZ budget with its revenues at over 12.731 billion manats and expenditures at over 10.117 billion manats.
The revenues of the budget were fulfilled at 109.5 percent wile the expenditures at 95.5 percent. SOFAZ, an entity that accumulates and manages Azerbaijan’s oil and gas revenues, was established in 1999 with assets worth $271 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Renzi plans shake-up at Italy’s EUR400bn sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 25 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Matteo Renzi, Italy’s prime minister, is planning to extend his reformist agenda into Italian business and finance as he seeks a more aggressive mandate for the country’s €400bn sovereign wealth fund in an effort to spur growth and create jobs.
The move by Mr Renzi comes as Italy’s economy showed signs of growth in the first quarter after a three-year recession, buoyed by lower oil prices, a weaker euro and an European Central Bank €60bn-a-month quantitative easing programme. There are also signs structural reform and an increase in foreign investment are starting to have an impact………………………………………..Full Article: Source

African central bank governors to discuss sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 25 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Central bank governors drawn mainly from eastern and southern Africa will meet for a workshop to discuss the leveraging of sovereign wealth funds to establish economic stabilization on the continent. Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe John Mangudya will officially open the forum held in Switzerland on June 27, according to the forum’s organizer, the Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI), which operates in 14 African countries.
“We are delighted to be hosting our member countries as well as some visiting countries’ central bank governors to discuss this most important issue which will help to establish long-term prosperity on our continent,” Caleb Fundanga, executive director of the MEFMI, told Xinhua Wednesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigerian Governors : Our problem with ECA, SWF

Posted on 25 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

State governors yesterday said they were opposed to the continued existence of the Excess Crude Account and the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) because both had been abused by the federal government. The chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Zamfara State Governor Abdulazeez Yari, stated this while speaking with reporters after the governors met President Muhammadu Buhari.
Yari said the sum of $10.3 billion was in the Excess Crude Account governors in 2013 when the governor forum became factionalised and sharing of money stopped. However, he said, the governors discovered that the fund, which is being operated by the federal government, declined inexplicably to $2.6 billion last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CFAs thrive in Abu Dhabi as sovereign wealth funds trump Wall Street banks

Posted on 23 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi wealth funds are recruiting and creating more holders of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation than any other employer in the Middle East as they seek greater control over how the emirates’ wealth is managed.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority employs about 130 CFAs, a person with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Abu Dhabi Investment Company has at least 51. That makes them the two largest employers of CFAs in the region, according to rankings provided by the Charlottesville, Virginia-based CFA Institute………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CFAs Dominant in Abu Dhabi as Wealth Funds Trump Banks

Posted on 19 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi wealth funds are recruiting and creating more holders of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation than any other employer in the Middle East as they seek greater control over how the emirate’s wealth is managed.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority employs about 130 CFAs, a person with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Abu Dhabi Investment Company has at least 51. That makes them the two largest employers of CFAs in the region, according to rankings provided by the Charlottesville, Virginia-based CFA Institute………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar SWF Said to Plan Overhaul of $304B Portfolio

Posted on 19 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The opaque sovereign wealth fund is reportedly seeking to introduce asset allocation targets for the first time. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is said to be planning a wide-ranging overhaul of its estimated $304 billion portfolio, according to a report. The QIA will set out target asset allocation levels for the first time and restructure its decision-making processes, Reuters reported, citing several anonymous sources.
An update to the sovereign wealth fund’s website introduced a link labelled “QIA Review—Coming Soon”, but no more information has been made available. The fund is already reviewing some of its mining assets, Reuters’ sources said. One banker working with the QIA said “it makes much more sense to take a more institutionalized approach” as the fund grows in size………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund to restructure, say sources

Posted on 17 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar Investment Authority, one of the world’s most aggressive sovereign wealth funds, will set asset allocation targets for the first time and restructure internal decision-making, sources say, in response to a drop in oil prices that has crimped available funds as competition for assets grows.
In a cryptic reference on QIA’s website, a tab saying ‘QIA Review - Coming Soon’ leads to a page which does not yet exist. The sources, who all either work in Qatar or for foreign institutions which work with the QIA, said the review process was currently ongoing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zim needs effective fiscal policy for SWF

Posted on 16 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Government needs to formulate sound fiscal policy and ensure effective public finance management when investing proceeds from finite natural resources to achieve sustainable economic, a paper from a local research unit noted. The paper details part of initial efforts to interrogate what the Government needs to do when setting up a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) to manage inflows from the country’s natural resources to support future economic growth.
The Government designated mining as the anchor for short to medium-term economic growth, at the same time it needs to create reserves from its exhaustible natural resources income for smooth consumption pattern over time………………………………………..Full Article: Source

PM will solve 1MDB woes by year-end

Posted on 15 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak promises Umno divisions today that he will resolved 1MDB’s problems before the year ends. This promise was made to about 1,500 Umno division information chiefs and NGO representatives, during a closed-door briefing at PWTC this afternoon.
Former Bagan Datoh Umno division vice-chief Hasan Hamzah told reporters that the matter was thoroughly discussed during the meeting. He said the explanation given by the premier was radically different from allegations made in the social media and the opposition………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Alaska Permanent Fund can fill the budget gap if only we’d recognize it’s time

Posted on 15 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

On the heels of Gov. Bill Walker’s three-day “Building a Sustainable Future” shindig in Fairbanks to hash out details of Alaska’s fiscal problems and possible solutions, many of us are wondering when Alaskans will get around to connecting the dots.
As some attendees pointed out, most of those at the gathering were older, politically involved Alaskans or members of Walker’s transition team or kibitzers representing government or education interests. They spent, if the press got it right, much time on taxes — the left calls them “revenue options” — to close Alaska’s budget gap………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s GIC Investment Firm Moves to 280 Park Avenue

Posted on 12 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Singapore-owned investment firm has inked a deal for 49,724 square feet at 280 Park Avenue, The New York Post reported. GIC, the financial firm owned by the Singapore government, will go on the ninth floor of the 28-story building between East 39th and East 40th Streets at the start of next year, according to the Post. The lease is for 15 years. The firm is leaving 335 Madison Avenue between East 43 and East 44th Streets (where its current lease ran through 2022), which is currently slated to be torn down and a new tower put in its place.
Asking rent was $100 per square foot, the Post reported. Frank Doyle, Clark Finney and Barbara Winter of JLL represented the tenant in the deal. Mary Ann Tighe, Peter Turchin, Gregg Rothkin, Eric Deutsch and Sam Seiler of CBRE represented the landlord, a partnership between SL Green Realty and Vornado Realty Trust………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt sovereign investment fund plan approved

Posted on 12 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Egyptian government said it had approved a proposal to set up a sovereign investment fund to support economic development through returns on the state’s assets and resources. The fund, called Amlak, will be state-owned through the National Investment Bank.
It will act as the state’s investment arm and aim to encourage diversification and support sustainable economic and social development, the cabinet said in a statement. The state “would not manage these investments directly,” according to the statement, citing the planning minister………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NBIM Makes the Case Against Bundled Board Votes

Posted on 05 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), manager of Norway’s massive sovereign wealth fund, publicly issued a position paper titled “Individual Vote Count in Board Elections”. The paper thoughtfully presents a case, arguing in favor that corporate board directors “should be elected with an individual vote count at the shareholder meeting, and the vote tally published.”
Globally, the majority of listed company board elections go uncontested, becoming more of a recognized approval process………………………………………..Full Article: Source

It’s all for one, not one for all, at Norway’s sovereign fund

Posted on 04 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign fund, one of the world’s biggest investors, is sick of companies putting all their directors up for a single take-it-or-leave-it approval vote. It wants to be able to pick off any bad apples individually.
While individual director elections are usual practice in markets such as the UK, companies in places like Brazil, Chile, Indonesia and Turkey “routinely” put their entire boards up for shareholder approval in a single vote, according to the Norwegian fund. It is even the norm in developed markets such as Sweden and Finland – and is also common in countries like Greece, Italy, Mexico and South Korea………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Achievements of the sovereign wealth fund of Senegal (Video)

Posted on 04 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Regional growth is projected to remain stable above in 2015, buoyed by rising investment flows. Joining CNBC Africa, on the side lines of WEF Africa, to give some perspective on the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Senegal and what has been achieved in the last two years is Amadou Hott, CEO of Sovereign Wealth Fund of Senegal for Strategic Investments.……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi Wealth Fund Leans Less on Outside Fund Managers

Posted on 03 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The chance for fund managers to help Abu Dhabi invest its oil fortune is getting slimmer by the year. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, said about 65 percent of its assets were managed by external fund managers last year, compared with 75 percent in 2013, according to its annual report. In 2011, outside investors managed about 80 percent of the fund’s assets.
Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates and home to about 6 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, is seeking to diversify from crude exports with investments abroad. The sovereign wealth fund has posted gains of 7.4 percent annually over the past 20 years and is boosting in-house teams in areas such as real estate and private equity to increase returns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi fund ADIA manages more of its billions in-house

Posted on 03 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, managed more of its money in-house last year as it strengthened its capabilities and added staff in some areas, ADIA said on Tuesday. The proportion of its assets managed by external fund managers fell to 65 percent last year from 75 percent in 2013, the authority said in its annual review.
It said this was due to “our efforts over recent years to strengthen the organisation’s in-house investment and analytical expertise”. ADIA has 1,650 employees from 60 nationalities, the review said. ADIA did not disclose its total assets under management but the U.S.-based Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, which tracks the industry, estimates them at $773 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority bolsters internally managed capabilities in 2014

Posted on 03 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority cut the percentage of assets managed by external money managers to 65% from 75% a year earlier, said its 2014 annual report. The move to reduce externally managed assets by the sovereign wealth fund reflected its “efforts over recent years to strengthen the organization’s in-house investment and analytical expertise,” said Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, managing director, in the review. Further details weren’t available.
ADIA does not disclose its assets, but it is estimated by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute to have $773 billion. The sovereign wealth fund said about 55% of its assets are invested in index-replicating strategies, steady from 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s oil fund criticises bundled board member voting

Posted on 03 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s NOK6.9trn (€812bn) sovereign wealth fund has spoken out against shareholder voting practices that stop asset owners from being able to single out individual company directors when they are unhappy with them.
In a paper on the issue, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), warned it may vote against whole boards if the system means it cannot express dissatisfaction with an individual member of that board………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Prime Minister Rasizade reelected chairman of SOFAZ Supervisory Board

Posted on 03 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Prime Minister Artur Rasizade has been reelected as the chairman of the Supervisory Board of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) at its meeting in Baku. The Supervisory Board discussed the Fund’s annual report and audited financial statements for the year of 2014 and a report on execution of the 2014 budget.
It also approved the SOFAZ’s 2014 annual report and Auditor’s (PricewaterhouseCoopers) Report as submitted by the Executive Director of the Fund. While endorsing the Oil Fund’s 2014 budget execution project the Supervisory Board recommended this document for the approval by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China wealth-fund executive’s departure said to be unconnected with stock plunge

Posted on 02 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign-wealth fund China Investment Corp. (CIC) said Friday it had accepted the resignation of its deputy general manager, Xie Zhichun. The announcement said Xie also left his position as president and executive director of Central Huijin Investment Ltd., CIC’s wholly owned subsidiary, which primarily invests in financial institutions.
Xie will teach at a university and help launch an equity-investment fund linked to the central government’s Silk Road initiatives, which refer to the New Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a CIC employee said. He did not elaborate………………………………Full Article: Source

The Man with Pounds 44 Billion Taking on Two Global Banking Giants

Posted on 02 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hassan Bouhadi, the chairman of Libya’s $67bn (pounds 44bn) national wealth fund, the Libyan Investment Authority, doesn’t want his job to be this interesting. Ideally, he would be in Libya’s capital Tripoli, quietly stewarding the country’s wealth, smoothing out the public finances of an economy that is 97pc dependent on volatile oil revenues.
Instead, he is sitting in a London hotel, in between missions to Washington and Tunis. After that, he will return to Malta, where the LIA has been forced to move due to the violence in Tripoli. As well as trying to keep his struggling government and the international community on side, Mr Bouhadi is facing a leadership challenge from the LIA’s former chair. And last but not least, he is attempting to drive forward two multi-billion-dollar lawsuits against Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale, two of the biggest banks in the world………………………………Full Article: Source

Libyan investment chief: ‘Goldman Sachs squandered a nation’s wealth, someone has to answer’

Posted on 01 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Interview: Hassan Bouhadi, the chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority, outlines his role in helping to rebuild the war-torn nation. Hassan Bouhadi, the chairman of Libya’s $67bn (£44bn) national wealth fund, the Libyan Investment Authority, doesn’t want his job to be this interesting.
Ideally, he would be in Libya’s capital Tripoli, quietly stewarding the country’s wealth, smoothing out the public finances of an economy that is 97pc dependent on volatile oil revenues. Instead, he is sitting in a London hotel, in between missions to Washington and Tunis. After that, he will return to Malta, where the LIA has been forced to move due to the violence in Tripoli………………………………….Full Article: Source

Bahrain fund Mumtalakat rejects mismanagement claims as 2014 profit rises

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The head of Bahrain sovereign fund Mumtalakat has rebutted allegations made by some parliamentarians that the fund has been financially mismanaged, pointing on Wednesday to increased earnings as proof of its performance. The fund, which holds stakes in Bahraini companies including Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), Gulf Air and Batelco, posted a 10.8 per cent increase in net profit in 2014 as higher revenue outpaced a rise in impairments.
Gulf sovereign wealth funds are facing growing pressure to prove they are wisely investing national reserves, as lower oil prices force governments to consider cutbacks to infrastructure programmes and generous state subsidies. Earlier this year Bahrain’s parliament launched a probe of Mumtalakat, looking at alleged administrative violations at the fund after an audit report revealed irregularities at Bahraini state companies…………………………………Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi Staffs Up with US Equity Hire

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) has hired its first head of US equities for its internal team, the sovereign wealth fund has announced. John Pandtle joined from Eagle Asset Management where he was a portfolio manager. He spent five years at the Florida-based fund manager, and previously worked at its parent company Raymond James.
At ADIA Pandtle oversees a new team of US equity managers and is responsible for strategy within this sector of ADIA’s internal equities department. He has relocated from Florida to Abu Dhabi, and reports to Greg Eckersley, global head of internal equities. Pandtle’s appointment is the third significant equities hire made by ADIA in two years. Brian Tipple joined the sovereign wealth fund in September to oversee its third-party managers, while Suresh Sadasivan was appointed in August 2013 to run Asian equities……………………………………Full Article: Source

6 steps to good governance and how Africa’s sovereign wealth funds measure up

Posted on 27 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Africans should be asking these questions about their sovereign wealth funds (SWF): 1.Set clear fund objectives: Examples include saving for future generation, stabilizing the budget, earmarking natural resource revenue for development priorities. 2.Establish fiscal rules for deposits and withdrawals that align with the objectives. Botswana avoids such rules. Where funds are allowed to invest domestically, including in social spending, they should work with national budget processes. Angola’s sovereign fund can bypass normal budgetary procedures.
3.Establish investment rules, There have been notorious problems worldwide, one of Africa’s worst examples has been the Libyan Investment Authority under “brother leader” Gadhafi, when his son Saif al-Islam Gadhafi had almost sole discretion to manage approximately $65bn and billions went to close acquaintances…………………………………..Full Article: Source

State fund appoints administrator for Malaysia Airlines restructuring

Posted on 26 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah has appointed Mohammad Faiz Azmi to oversee the restructuring of now delisted Malaysia Airlines into a new company that will be owned by the fund. Azmi will oversee the transfer of the assets and liabilities of MAS, with the new company due to start operating by September.
Khazanah took MAS private last year as part of a MYR6 billion ringgit (USD$1.66 billion) restructuring aimed at returning the troubled carrier to profit………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya power struggle threatens the fund’s Goldman, SocGen suits

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A fight for control of Libya’s $60bn sovereign wealth fund threatens to derail its multibillion dollar lawsuits against Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Societe Generale SA. Since the Libyan Investment Authority’s London law firm quit in April, two competing factions have claimed control, hiring separate lawyers and public relations firms.
There is a “state of chaos” in the litigation, lawyer Andrew Hunter told a London judge on Friday. He represents a potential witness in the Societe Generale case who says confidential files have been mishandled. “It hasn’t been possible to get consent from the LIA” over the documents, Hunter said, “because there is no one at the LIA to get consent from.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Dr M accuses Najib of lying when he said S’pore bank had 1MDB cash

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has accused Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak of lying when he told Parliament that money held by government investment arm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is being kept in Singapore.
“No money was banked into BSI Bank in Singapore. This is his second lie. It is clear from the amendment to his first answer that it was not US$1.103 billion (S$1.47 billion) in cash that was being kept with BSI but in the form of documents. It is unclear what is in the documents, but it is clear it is not cash,” said Dr Mahathir in a blogpost on Sunday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Finance Ministry: Dr M’s claims on 1MDB funds “unfounded, unfair”

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The claim that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak “lied” about 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s funds in Singapore is unfounded and unfair, the Finance Ministry said. Clarifying the matter raised by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in a blog post, the ministry said the written reply by Najib, as Finance Minister, on the finances of 1MDB in BSI Bank, Singapore, was based on information received from 1MDB.
It said the ministry made amendments to the March 10 written reply in Parliament to prevent confusion on 1MDB’s funds in Singapore in line with parliamentary procedures. The action by the ministry in this regard proves it has no intention whatsoever to lie about 1MDB’s finances, the ministry said in a statement Sunday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Restructuring plans for 1MDB to be tabled next week to Cabinet

Posted on 22 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) restructuring report is expected to be tabled to the Cabinet next week, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah said. He said the restructuring of the alleged debt-ridden government investment arm was possible and he had concrete plans on how to do so.
“Whenever you want to do a restructuring, firstly you have to know what their position is, which is very clear.Then you have to look at how to go from there and for that we have concrete plans. I’m completing the report and next week I will table it to the Cabinet. After that maybe we can announce the next part of 1MDB’s restructuring,” Ahmad Husni said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ahmad Husni: 1MDB’s US$1b assets in BSI Bank was ‘mistaken’ as cash

Posted on 22 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad says 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has made a mistake and misinterpreted the nature of its assets kept in BSI Bank in Singapore. “I feel it was a mistake, a mistake in the nature that it was interpreted when 1MDB said that it had redeemed (US$1.1 billion from Cayman Islands) and kept it in a bank in Singapore,” he told reporters at Parliament lobby.
Ahmad Husni explained that it was “assets” and not cash that was redeemed from Cayman Islands as reported before. “It is actually savings (in the form of unit)… that is unit, that it is, unit that is being backed by the sovereign wealth fund,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Cash, then assets, 1MDB funds in Singapore now in ‘units’

Posted on 22 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is experiencing “short term” cashflow problem with the ability to pay its debts, said Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah. He assured that the Government would find a solution for the debt-laden government investment arm.
“The problem is a short term cashflow problem, that is all. We will settle it. In terms of asset quality, they have the assets to pay all. It is only a short term cashflow problem,” he told reporters at Parliament lobby, Thursday. Husni said 1MDB might have misinterpreted the investment of US$1.103bil (RM4bil) in BSI Bank (Singapore) Ltd………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Elementum selected as ILS manager for Future Fund of Australia

Posted on 21 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Future Fund, an Australian sovereign wealth investor, has selected independent insurance-linked securities (ILS) and reinsurance-linked investment manager Elementum Advisors as its first investment manager to be focused on alternative risk premia.
The Future Fund is a AUD$117 billion sovereign wealth fund, designed to support the Australian government’s financial position by providing for unfunded superannuation liabilities. The sovereign wealth fund has been investigating the ILS and reinsurance space, as a potential new asset class to add to its portfolio, for some time………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWFs must grasp ’substantial’ greenfield opportunities

Posted on 20 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pension and sovereign wealth funds will in future play a significantly bigger role in building urban spaces in emerging economies, despite the associated regulatory risk, the head of a leading think tank has predicted.
Sony Kapoor, managing director at Re-Define, pointed towards India’s plans to amend construction regulation and allow industrial corridors as offering “very substantial opportunities” for investors willing to work closely with governments in emerging markets. “We are seeing increasing three-way collaborations between experts in greenfield urban developments, governments and large long-term investors,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakhstan Privatizing Transtelecom

Posted on 19 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Around 49 percent of the shares in Transtelecom, the large Kazakh communications operating firm, have been sold as part of a new privatization program, the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund has said, according to Kazinform.
The sovereign wealth fund noted in its statement that the national railways carrier, NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy JSC was the seller of the stake. Presently, Temir Zholy retains 51 percent of the Transtelecom shares………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya’s split SWF: risks torpedoing challenge against Western banks

Posted on 15 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Rival managements of the $67bn Libyan Investment Authority are set to fight in London courts over claims of Tripoli and Malta. The Libyan Investment Authority’s multi-billion pound claims against Goldman Sachs and Société Générale, both of which underwent pre-trial hearings in late 2014 and are due to go to trial next year, may be undermined by increasingly fractious infighting at the $67bn fund.
This week two separate law firms — neither of them Enyo Law, which had represented the LIA in its litigation until April before stepping away from their client — are due to face off in a London court, each representing a different faction that claims to control the fund………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait fund staff made ‘deliberately bad’ deals

Posted on 14 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kuwait has recalled staff from the London office of its multibillion-pound sovereign wealth fund amid allegations of accounting irregularities and claims that employees deliberately made bad investments.
A committee of MPs in the Gulf state claims that it has uncovered “alarming” evidence that staff at the Kuwait Investment Office, the UK division of the Kuwait Investment Authority, have made “huge, deliberate, bad investments”, according to local reports……………………………….Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi removes Jho Low contact

Posted on 28 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The UK-based website Sarawak Report has learnt that Penangite Jho Low’s key contact at Aabar Investments, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, has been removed from the majority of his posts in the Gulf State.
The contact, identified as Khadem al Qubaisi, has stepped down as Chairman of the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), a major sovereign wealth fund, a few days after losing the Chairmanship of Arabtec. He has also lost the chairmanship of Aabar Properties, a subsidiary of Aabar Investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway to clean up sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 28 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway would bar its state pension fund, the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, from investing in the worst climate-polluting companies. In its annual white book on managing the fund, the right-wing government proposed to “introduce a new criterion to exclude companies whose conduct to an unacceptable degree entail greenhouse gas emissions.”
The proposal did not mention any companies by name. The new rule is in line with experts’ recommendations in a December report, though its conclusions had left environmentalists and the political opposition disappointed. They had wanted to see the fund - which is valued at 835 billion euros ($885 billion), fuelled by Norway’s state oil revenues - divest all of its holdings in companies linked to fossil fuels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah firm on its turnaround plan for MAS

Posted on 24 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the owner of Malaysia Airlines, is firm on its decision to reduce the number of the airline’s employees by 6,000 people, even as it gives more time to incoming chief executive officer (CEO) Christoph Mueller to choose his team. The plan to retrench more than 25% of MAS’ workers is being protested by the airline’s workers’ unions.
“We have done our part in assessing MAS staff and the new company (newco) slated to be officially established on July 1 which will only need 14,000 workers in relation to our own projection of fleet size and operation as planned………………………………….Full Article: Source

MAS job cuts needed to avoid yet another rescue, says Khazanah

Posted on 24 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The downsizing at Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) cannot be avoided if the new national carrier is to be sustainable, controlling shareholder Khazanah Nasional Bhd said today amid complaints by staff unions.
According to Khazanah, MAB must trim 6,000 jobs to reach a more sustainable 14,000 headcount, but has tried its best to do the exercise properly and humanely by offering jobs elsewhere. “The point of NewCo is going to a new ship with a size and business practices that can work and be sustained,” Khazanah managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar told reporters at the sidelines of Invest Malaysia 2015, using another name for MAB………………………………….Full Article: Source

Khazanah says ‘too early to tell’ if MAS revamp will be successful

Posted on 24 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysian state-owned investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said it was still “too early to tell” if loss-making Malaysian Airline System (MAS) would be successfully turned around under its restructuring.
Khazanah had privatised and delisted MAS in December 2014 to restructure the airline within five years. MAS’s revamp follows two aviation mishaps involving the airline last year. These mishaps had resulted in MAS posting a net loss of RM1.33 billion in the nine months ended September 30, 2014 from a net loss of RM830.25 milllion a year earlier………………………………….Full Article: Source

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