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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

Abu Dhabi’s IPIC announces major board revamp

Posted on 24 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The UAE energy minister has been appointed the new managing director of Abu Dhabi investment fund International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) in a reshuffle of the board.
Suhail Mohammed al-Mazrouei has been named managing director of IPIC, the Emirates news agency WAM reported citing an emiri decree by Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan. Mazrouei replaces Khadem al-Qubaisi, whose name is not listed in the decree. Qubaisi’s omission from the IPIC board comes days after he was excluded from board nominees at Arabtec Holding, where he had been serving as chairman………………………………….Full Article: Source

Samruk Kazyna Plans to Open Subsidiary in Silicon Valley

Posted on 24 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund plans to establish a subsidiary in Silicon Valley, California. A working group consisting of the heads of a number of Samruk Kazyna companies, led by Chairman of the organisation Umirzak Shukeyev, visited companies of Silicon Valley on April 9-10, where they were acquainted with the work of Stanford University, Berkeley, as well as such well-known innovative companies as Tesla Motors, SolarCity and other start-up companies.
“The sides discussed the possibility of cooperation in the development of clean energy, gas chemistry, transport, medicine, agriculture, education and IT. In particular, they considered the possibility of creating Samruk Innovation, a company based in Silicon Valley,” said a Samruk Kazyna press release………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norway’s SWF flexes its muscles

Posted on 23 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $890bn fund is flexing its muscles in corporate governance matters by revealing it will vote against US power company AES over proxy access. It marks only the second time that the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund has revealed its voting intention ahead of a company’s annual meeting, a tactic that the Norwegian investor is hoping to use more and more in the future writes the FT’s Richard Milne in Oslo.
Proxy access – the ability of minority shareholders to nominate their own board directors – is one of the fund’s main focus areas. It agreed to back two shareholder proposals on proxy access at AES and vote against two management proposals in its voting intention published on Tuesday, two days before the US company’s annual meeting……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Angers Investors in Pipeline Network

Posted on 21 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

One risk the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board didn’t see coming was that the government of Norway, which prides itself on being one of the world’s safest corners for investors, would slash the rates the pipeline can charge for carrying natural gas.
The fund, along with another Canadian pension plan and some of the world’s largest institutional investors, is now suing the Norwegian government, whose action will cut the amount of revenue they are paid. The investors say they may only get half of the return they had expected, leading to multibillion-dollar losses. The plaintiffs haven’t said what damages they are seeking…………………………………..Full Article: Source

IPIC Governance in the Spotlight

Posted on 21 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign Wealth Center View: It’s been a turbulent week for the International Petroleum Investment Corp. and its chief executive, Khadem al-Qubaisi. On a sunny afternoon in October 2014, the Real Madrid football team strode out onto the pristine turf of the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, its historic home ground. But this was a commercial occasion, not a sporting one — the players were wearing smart suits in place of their usual gleaming white kit.
Striding among the group and posing for photographs with Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates were several of the club’s top executives, including Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez. Also present: Khadem al-Qubaisi, chief executive of International Petroleum Investment Corp (IPIC), the $68 billion Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund. The occasion marked the announcement of a lucrative sponsorship agreement…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway manages its oil wealth better than Alberta

Posted on 20 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice has stated the worst is yet to hit his province. He is warning that in two years their $16 billion Heritage Oil Fund, that was started around 1976, could be gone. With Alberta’s bubble burst, there is much to learn from the major petroleum producer Norway.
Norwegians did things right with their oil money. The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund was started around 1990 and to about $800 billion today. One big difference between Alberta and Norway is that Alberta’s oil industry is privately owned whereas the oil industry in Norway is publicly owned. Under Alberta’s free-market approach the market is allowed to determine the pace and scope of development……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway oil fund to disclose voting

Posted on 16 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Norway oil fund begins policy of revealing how it votes

Posted on 15 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Govt appoints Future Fund board members

Posted on 15 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The federal government has appointed Carolyn Kay and Jane Wilson as new board members of Australia’s $100 billion sovereign wealth fund. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said today that Ms Kay and Dr Wilson had been made members of the Future Fund Board of Guardians for the next five years.
“Both have extensive investment and board experience,” Senator Cormann said in a statement. “Their respective backgrounds will be great assets for the Future Fund board, bringing considerable financial acumen and business expertise to complement the board’s existing skills.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Deals raise oversight concerns at Abu Dhabi wealth fund

Posted on 14 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The managing director of one of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth funds used his private shell companies to secure deals with businesses closely connected to the fund, raising concerns about corporate governance. Khadem al-Qubaisi, managing director of state-owned International Petroleum Investment Company, used a Luxembourg-based company to take out a lease in Spain’s tallest building, according to documents seen by the Financial Times.
The building, owned by Bankia, the Spanish bank, became the headquarters of Cepsa, a Spanish energy group and subsidiary of Ipic, in July 2014, nine months after Mr Qubaisi closed the deal on the lease………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SGRF joins sovereign wealth fund forum

Posted on 13 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) has joined the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) with full membership, after being a permanent observer since the forum’s inception. Founded in 2009, IFSWF is a voluntary group of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) which meets to exchange views on issues of common interest and to facilitate adoption by members and a greater understanding of the Santiago Principles and SWF activities internationally.
The forum operates in an inclusive manner and facilitates communication among SWFs as well as with recipient country officials and representatives of multilateral organisations and the private sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Accounts Chamber to inspect Oil Fund

Posted on 09 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Outlook for the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund

Posted on 08 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Our mandate on the Heritage Fund is purely economic, to get the highest return we can on investable assets, and that continues. Our biggest client is quite flexible in how we invest those assets and has continued to relax constraints. We can invest [the Heritage Fund] globally in whatever assets we see fit and we’ll continue to do that.
Under the stewardship of CEO and CIO Leo de Bever, the Alberta Investment Management Corp. (AIMCo) built a reputation as one of the world’s pre-eminent and savviest institutional investors, returning an annualized 8.8 percent since inception. AIMCo now manages some C$80 billion ($62.5 billion) for 27 pension and endowment funds in the Canadian province, including the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund, a sovereign wealth vehicle………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Future Fund refuses to appear before Senate tax avoidance inquiry

Posted on 07 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Future Fund board’s double withdrawal

Posted on 02 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The $100 billion Future Fund is down two members of its board of guardians today, with former Suncorp CEO John Mulcahy and funds management veteran Susan Doyle finishing their terms without replacements being announced.
Margin Call is told Finance Minister Mathias Cormann will make new appointments very soon, but whether that means today, this week, this month or this year isn’t clear. Both Mulcahy and Doyle were originally appointed in 2006 by Liberal treasurer Peter Costello — who these days is chairman of the fund — and re-appointed by Labor………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NZ Superfund CIO Whineray on Change and Risk

Posted on 25 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

New Zealand Superannuation Fund(NZ Super) was founded in 2001 as a means to help smooth the tax burden associated with rising universal pension costs among the island nation’s generations. Later, it helped pioneer an innovative portfolio management policy to “tilt” toward better prospects within its allocation strategy. With $21.5 billion in assets under management, the fund is viewed as an exemplar of governance and investment acumen among sovereign wealth funds.
We’ve changed that quite a lot in the last few years. We were much more traditional. Five years ago we would allocate $50 million and hope that we’d get it back plus a little bit more in 10 or 12 years. Then we changed our focus to becoming a little more opportunity-driven, we want to be able to change the amount of risk we’re allocating to an opportunity if that opportunity changes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sack MAS, Khazanah bosses instead of staff, unions say

Posted on 25 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Future Fund Names Infrastructure Chief

Posted on 23 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia’s sovereign wealth fund has promoted an internal candidate to lead its growing infrastructure and timberland portfolio. Wendy Norris, who joined the Future Fund in 2010, has replaced Raphael Arndt at the helm of the $8 billion portfolio, the institution has announced. Arndt was promoted to CIO in September last year.
“[Wendy] combines infrastructure portfolio management, asset management and transaction expertise with the ability to contribute to investment thinking across all asset classes,” said Arndt, who was tasked with creating an infrastructure portfolio when the fund was launched in 2008. He also thanked Barry Brakey, the fund’s head of property, who had been looking after that section of the portfolio while a replacement was found………………………………………..Full Article: Source

LIA Board of directors convene first 2015 meeting regarding Libyan investments around the world

Posted on 20 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Board of Directors of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) convened their first 2015 meeting in Malta early this week to discuss Libyan investments around the world. The Libyan Investment Authority was established in August 2006 after the Libyan government decided to consolidate six extra-budgetary funds financed by its oil revenues under one sovereign wealth fund. The value of the investment fund is estimated by the LIA at US$ 67 billion.
The LIA states that its main aim is to diversify public revenue away from natural resources, attain prime financial returns on investments to support the Libyan treasury and future generations. The LIA was made responsible for the following organizations: The Long-Term Investment Portfolio, the Libyan African Investment Portfolio, the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Co., and the Libyan Local Investment & Development Fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NZ Super underlines long-term views amid criticism

Posted on 20 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The chief executive of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Adrian Orr, has reiterated his ‘unshakeable belief’ in taking a long-term view for investment. It comes after - although not in response to - media criticism of losses the fund suffered in a loan investment to a Portuguese bank.
The NZ$27 billion ($20.1 billion) fund, which late last year won one of AsianInvestor inaugural awards for institutional excellence in the field of governance, has been under fire at home for an unusual blemish on its record of investing, which it reported on February 19. NZ Super is widely recognised for having one of the most robust and respected investment processes among sovereign funds in Asia Pacific, with a reference portfolio for low-cost passive global exposure and a risk-allocation process for active investment decision-making………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ghana to use part of $600m sovereign wealth fund to manage shortfall in crude revenue

Posted on 19 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper says the country would use part of its sovereign wealth fund, which has accumulated $600 million to manage current economic challenges brought about by the shortfall in projected oil revenue. Speaking at the opening of the Financing the Future Conference in Accra, Ghana, March 17, 2015, he said the stabilisation fund has accumulated $600 million so far.
Mr. Terkper noted that since the country attained its middle income status, access to concessional financing has decreased significantly. “Inflows from our development partners are highly volatile showing a cyclical effect (especially in election year when DPs adopt a wait-and-see approach to aid delivery)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

An alternative home for super

Posted on 19 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saving for retirement is all about saving for the long term, so it is continually surprising to see the extent to which individual investors and advisers favour short-term, highly liquid assets in their portfolios. Large allocations to equities and cash are typical of self-managed funds and much higher than across the managed funds industry in general.
The country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Future Fund, attributes much of its outperformance of listed markets since inception to its high allocation to alternatives, which now stands at 37 per cent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Everyone in Norway is a millionaire… on paper at least

Posted on 16 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If you are dreaming of becoming a millionaire, getting the Norwegian nationality might be a good step. The Norwegian public pension fund, the largest sovereign fund in the world, posted last year a 7.6% yield, almost doubling its value in three years, announced Friday the Bank of Norway, which manages the fund.
Invested in stocks, bonds and real estate around the world, the fund weighed about $780 billion in late 2014, making each of the 5.2 million Norwegians a millionaire, at least on paper. In late 2011, the fund was worth about 350 billion dollars………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Twin ghosts haunt Malaysia’s sovereign fund

Posted on 13 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

We do not pay foreigners for nothing: Samruk Kazyna CEO

Posted on 11 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Chief Executive Officer of Samruk Kazyna National Welfare Fund Umirzak Shukeyev has spoken about the wages of the foreigners employed at the Fund, Tengrinews reports. Samruk-Kazyna National Wealth Fund is a sovereign wealth fund and joint stock company in Kazakhstan which owns, either in whole or in part, many important companies in the country, including the national rail and postal service, the state oil and gas company KazMunayGas, the state uranium company Kazatomprom, Air Astana airlines, and numerous financial groups.
The state is the sole shareholder of the fund that controls $78 billion in assets, which is more than 50% of the country’s GDP. Kazakhstan’s government expects the assets held by its sovereign wealth fund to reach $100 billion in 2015………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kadir backs calls for forensic audit of 1MDB

Posted on 09 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Exec reveals how Brookfield, Qatar conquered Canary Wharf

Posted on 05 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Brookfield Property Partners’ chief executive has lifted the lid on the three-month long battle for Canary Wharf, which culminated in the largest UK property deal for a decade. Canada’s Brookfield and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the state’s sovereign wealth fund, first launched their £2.6bn bid for Songbird, the estate’s owner, in November.
But, if it was be successful, the pair would need to get one of Songbird’s three major shareholders on board. This meant they needed China Investment Corporation, Morgan Stanley or New York billionaire Simon Glick. “Going into this, we knew China Investment Corporation and Morgan Stanley would be sellers. Simon Glick was a bit of an unknown,” Ric Clark, chief executive of Brookfield, told the Wall Street Journal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Polye Queries LNG Revenue Commitments Outside Of Sovereign Wealth Fund

Posted on 05 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Opposition Leader Don Polye is concerned about the government’s prior usage of the LNG revenues without the establishment of Sovereign Wealth Fund. “When the work on the set-up of SWF was still in progress, advance payments were made to purchase oil search shares and CUE Energy purchase.
“Such undermines the initial purpose of the fund,” said Mr Polye.He reiterated that the funds from the SWF would have been accessed only through the budgetary process upon Parliament’s approval. Polye said it was regretful to know that funds were used via abnormal processes without any sound economic justifications………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK Pensions Told to Copy Canada, SWFs

Posted on 04 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

UK pensions should be able to compete on the international stage, and can draw inspiration from major overseas investors, London’s pensions body believes. The UK’s public sector pensions should be competing for infrastructure assets alongside sovereign wealth funds and other major international investors, the deputy chairman of the London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA) has said.
Sir Merrick Cockell, former chair of the UK’s Local Government Association, made an impassioned plea for public funds to embrace active management and alternative assets, in a speech last week to other council pension fund staff……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oil Price Slump: NSIA Rules Out Withdrawal from SWF

Posted on 04 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The federal government is unlikely to make withdrawals from Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), even as the price of crude oil declines. The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), set up in 2012, isn’t yet large enough to make withdrawals worthwhile, the organisation’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Uche Orji, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television at the Global Financial Markets Forum in Abu Dhabi. Withdrawals will be an option in future years once the fund is larger, Orji said.
The Nigerian government had proposed cutting the oil-price benchmark to $52 a barrel from $65 a barrel suggested in December as a result of the drop in oil prices. The plan, supported by the Nigerian senate, must be approved by lawmakers in the House of Representatives. Nigeria relies on oil exports for more than 90 per cent of foreign exchange income and 70 per cent of government revenue. Revenue raised from oil sold for more than the budgeted benchmark is saved in the Excess Crude Account……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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