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Future Fund focuses on finding the best people

Posted on 17 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, the A$101 billion Future Fund, has just upped the stakes in not only attracting the best co-investment deals from fund managers, but in its bid to attract the world’s best investment professionals. Two months ago the fund’s long serving chief investment officer, David Neal, become chief executive in name (following the resignation of the previous CEO Mark Burgess, who held the role for nearly three years), but he might more accurately be described as the fund’s chief big picture strategist.
Frustrated at the lack of time he had to think strategically as chief investment officer, in his new role he now largely focuses on this alone, while former head of infrastructure and timberland Raphael Arndt has been promoted to chief investment officer where he designs, implements and oversees the investments and Steve Gilmore, as head of investment strategy, focuses on the overall risk exposure of the portfolio. The latter two tasks were both formerly led by Neal when he was chief investment officer………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB on PAC’s radar but no scheduled interview yet, chief says

Posted on 15 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is now on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) “radar” but the influential panel has no plan to haul up executives from the sovereign fund despite opposition claims of financial improprieties. Committee chief Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said today that PAC’s priority was to investigate issues raised by the Auditor General and said it cannot haul up government agencies or state-linked companies based on individual allegations.
“Our job is to go through the audit report first… just because someone is saying there is something wrong with something doesn’t mean there is anything wrong,” Nur Jazlan said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Transparency key to Zim’s wealth fund

Posted on 14 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Zimbabwe must be transparent and accountable to its citizens with the newly established Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), a leading South African banker has said. Nesbert Ruwo, an investment banker said the country needs to engage its people first before it rushes to create the wealth fund.
“The key ingredients to a successful SWF include transparency and accountability. Citizens, who are the ultimate beneficiaries, need to be appraised continuously before and after a SWF is set up. Public awareness and support is of paramount importance,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway is right to reassess its sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 13 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is large (Ministry of Finance 2013). At $890 billion, it is the largest sovereign wealth fund in existence, holding over 1% of almost every listed stock in the world. However, as the fund approaches $180,000 for every man, woman, and child in Norway, there have been calls to reassess the way it is managed – from divesting oil and gas stocks to reducing the amount spent each year.
Recent research provides some support for these calls, by treating above- and below-ground wealth as two sides of the same coin for the first time (van den Bremer et al. 2014). At present, Norway has designed its fund according to the principles of modern portfolio theory. These principles would see Norway construct a highly diversified equity portfolio, choose the size of that portfolio based on its risk preferences, and consume a fixed proportion of the fund’s assets each year (Merton 1971)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Officials Unveil Details of Samruk Kazyna Transformation

Posted on 13 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund officially unveiled its transformation programme Oct. 6. The programme is designed to help modernise Kazakhstan’s economy and bring an additional $11 billion to the country’s gross domestic product by 2020 through the reorganised fund.
The programme was announced during what was billed as a Transformation Forum that took place in Astana with the presentation of a programme to modernise the fund by optimising business practices, increasing outside investment and establishing an improved system of corporate management. The programme, elaborated by the fund in conjunction with international consultants, was approved by the Samruk Kazyna board of directors Sept. 5 during a session chaired by Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign fund chaired by PM Najib, yet 1MDB cannot furnish its accounts in time!

Posted on 10 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)’s lengthy delay in submitting its financial statements, its subsidiaries are now in the spotlight for still failing to submit their own financial statements since 2012.
Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said the two subsidiaries, 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd and 1MDB (Energy) Langat Sdn Bhd, failed to submit their financial statements since Dec 28, 2012 and Sept 21, 2012 respectively. Pua told a press conference at the Parliament lobby today that the accounts are important as it will reveal controversial dealings by the two key subsidiaries of 1MDB………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Doing God’s Work With The Devil: Goldman Sachs’ Business With Gadhafi’s Sovereign Wealth Fund

Posted on 10 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Minutes after the death of Colonel Muammar al-Gadhafi, Libya’s brutal dictator for more than four decades, images depicting his opulence surfaced on television stations across the world. A young rebel with a gold-plated pistol, reputedly Gadhafi’s, celebrated the death of the despot.
Along with tales of Gadhafi’s extravagant, bacchanal, and wasteful lifestyle, a darker, more complex tale emerged, of how Western financial institutions flocked to the beleaguered nation after the raising of sanctions, intensely courting the officials of the nascent sovereign wealth fund, equipped with at least $40 billion to invest across the globe as world financial markets crumbled around them………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway to Spend More Oil Wealth, Cut Taxes

Posted on 09 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s right-wing minority government on Wednesday proposed cutting taxes and spending more “oil cash” from the country’s sovereign-wealth fund to counter a slowdown in economic growth.
The government said it would reduce taxes by 8.3 billion Norwegian kroner ($1.28 billion), including a reduction in the wealth tax to 0.75% from 1%. The tax would now only affect those with assets exceeding 1.2 million kroner, from 1 million kroner previously………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dutch Failure to Copy Norway on EU265 Billion Gas Gains Queried

Posted on 09 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Netherlands got about 265 billion euros ($334 billion) in over half a century in proceeds from Slochteren and other gas fields, and has little to show for it. Had the Netherlands followed the Norwegian example of a sovereign wealth fund, about 350 billion euros would have been available as of January 2014, the court said. The Netherlands can still have 150 billion euros by 2035 if it starts putting money aside now and invests like the Norwegians, the Court said.
The report comes Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government works on creating a “Future Fund” with which it wants to make up for lower gas proceeds through other investments. The government is being forced to cut gas output by 21 percent this year to 42.5 billion cubic meters in 2014 and 2015………………………………………..Full Article: Source

“Get Out Of My Country” Libyan Sovereign Wealth Fund “Screwed” By Goldman

Posted on 08 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

You can mess with Greece with only modest repercussions, but, as Bloomberg reports, mess with Libya and trouble comes fast. In a strangely familiar case of deja vu, Libya’s sovereign wealth fund (LIA) sued Goldman Sachs over money-losing investments made in 2008, saying the bank exploited the LIA’s inexperience to sell risky derivatives.
An LIA executive cursed at the Goldman bankers that they had “screwed” him and threatened “get out of my country,” according to witness statements, adding that “he would come after their families.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Goldman Bankers Threatened by LIA Executive in ‘Tirade’

Posted on 07 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Libya Investment Authority executive threatened two Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bankers at a 2008 meeting in Tripoli, telling them the lender had “screwed” the sovereign wealth fund, according to the LIA’s evidence at a London court hearing.
Former LIA executive Mustafa Zarti was so angry about bad investments that he cursed at the two bankers, Youssef Kabbaj and Nick Pentreath, in English and Arabic after questioning some of the fund’s 2008 trades with Goldman, according to Catherine McDougall, a lawyer at a London law firm who was temporarily assigned to the LIA at the time………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya’s $1bn hangover – fund’s losses after drinks with Goldman

Posted on 07 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Goldman Sachs bankers took Libyan sovereign wealth fund bosses on a boozy weekend to Marrakesh – befriending them before selling them financial products the clients did not understand, the High Court heard.
Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) said it lost $1bn (£622m) on the deals from January to April 2008, and told the court it believes Goldman Sachs made around $350m. It is suing Goldman, arguing it was misled by the bank. Goldman Sachs is fighting the claims, arguing “the LIA’s …executives included highly experienced banking professionals.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Nazarbayev speaks of Samruk Kazyna transformation

Posted on 07 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

President Nursultan Nazarbayev has spoken at Samruk Kazyna Transformation forum, Tengrinews correspondent reports. Samruk Kazyna welfare fund owns largest strategic national companies of Kazakhstan totally worth around $100 billion. They include KazMunayGas oil and gas company, Kazatomprom nuclear company and Air Astana airlines. It also owns a number of financial groups.
Now the country’s leaders decided it was time to transform the Fund. The Transformation Forum took place on October 6 and gathered famous experts from all over the world, such as Nouriel Roubini and Ichak Adizes, and representatives of international financial institutions, such as the EBRD and OECD, the press service of the Fund informed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai SWF chief urges merger of UAE bourses

Posted on 06 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The head of Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF) has called for the creation of one stock exchange in the UAE, a merger that officials have unsuccessfully been trying to engineer in the past few years.
The merger of Dubai Financial Market and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange has been on the cards for years as the authorities hope to create a financial market with more depth that could accommodate larger listings and stimulate trade and investment flows. Despite the consensus that such a move would make sense, merger attempts so far have failed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

State to pay $70 million toward Alabama Trust Fund debt as fiscal year ends

Posted on 03 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The state has taken another step toward repaying money it borrowed to prop up the education budget during the recession. Gov. Robert Bentley announced today the state will repay $70 million to the Alabama Trust Fund out of funds from fiscal year 2014, which ended Tuesday.
That includes $35 million that was required under the budget passed by the Legislature, plus another $35 million that was conditional on the funds being available. The state borrowed $437 million from the Alabama Trust Fund in fiscal year 2009 to support the education budget and must finish repaying the money next year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigeria’s Opposition Wants to Scrap Sovereign, Oil Funds

Posted on 01 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nigeria’s main opposition party said it will scrap the country’s sovereign wealth fund and a separate excess crude account if it wins elections in February. “We’re going to put a stop to them,” Lai Mohammed, a spokesman for the All Progressives Congress, or APC, said in an interview in London yesterday. “The sovereign wealth fund and the excess crude account are illegal.”
The $1.5 billion sovereign wealth fund, called the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, was started in 2011, with the ruling People’s Democratic Party saying the country needed to save money for future generations. The Excess Crude Account, which stands at $4.11 billion, is used by the government to cover shortfalls in its budget and give foreign investors comfort the state can guard against a fall in the value of the currency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWF: Between constitutional and development imperatives

Posted on 01 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Reformed Irish SWF could still be used to pre-fund pension liabilities

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Using the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund’s (ISIF) assets to pre-fund the country’s pension liabilities should not be ruled out, the head of the Irish debt management office has said.
John Corrigan, outgoing chief executive at the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), said pension provision remained on the government agenda, despite last year’s decision to transform the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) into the ISIF, severing its ties with the pre-funding of state pension liabilities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Angola: Sovereign Fund President Checks Projects in Bungo

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The CEO of the Angola Sovereign Fund (FSDEA), José Filomeno dos Santos, assessed the implementation of agricultural projects funded by his institution in the municipality of Bungo, northern Uige province.
Accompanied by Uíge governor, Paulo Pombolo, and Sovereign Fund officials, Filomeno dos Santos visited two Bungo’s peasant associations with 200 members each. During the visit to the peasant associations, the FSDEA chief was briefed on the production process and the constraints faced by the growers in flowing out their crops into the consumer markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Linklaters and Freshfields advise as GIC takes co-ownership of RAC with Carlyle

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Linklaters and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have taken on key roles as Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC prepares to become co-owner of RAC, the UK’s second largest roadside assistance provider.
Following the investment, which is due to be completed by the end of the year, GIC and private equity house The Carlyle Group will jointly own a majority stake in the business with RAC management holding the remaining shares. The deal was run as a dual-track offering, with the initial public offering (IPO) mooted earlier in the summer abandoned after GIC was identified as a buyer………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB land issue in Penang: Guan Eng demands answers

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As more questions surface about the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) and its lack of transparency, the Penang government is pushing for answers to the sovereign fund’s purchase of land in the state. With debts reportedly amounting to around RM38 billion after operating for five years, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the people have the right to know how IMDB, which is the federal government investment arm, used its funds.
In Penang, he said the board purchased 234 acres of freehold land in Air Itam in two deals on April 29, 2013, just six days before the May 5, 2013 general election; and in a third and final deal on September 23, 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

KIC to double its research staff

Posted on 26 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Korea Investment Corp., the country’s $76 billion sovereign wealth fund, plans to almost double its research staff to pick stocks for two new funds that may eventually comprise 30 percent of its equity holdings.
KIC will probably increase the research unit to about 60 people by 2017 from the current level of 32, said Rhee Keehong, the fund’s deputy chief investment officer and research head. KIC, which only invests overseas, had about $35 billion in stocks and $25 billion in bonds last year, with the remainder in alternative assets and other investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zimbabwe: Senate rejects Mugabe as trustee of Sovereign Wealth Fund

Posted on 26 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Senate passed the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) of Zimbabwe Bill with some Senators demanding the removal of a clause which said President Robert Mugabe should be a trustee of the fund. The Bill, which creates a fund to be set aside for use during crises, was brought before Senate by Finance deputy minister Samuel Undenge.
According to Undenge, other African countries like Angola and Botswana already had a SWF from their natural resources like diamonds, which they would fall back on to pay for pension obligations, provide capital injections in the event of crises or to ensure that future generations benefitted from the extraction of finite resources………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Korea’s Wealth Fund Doubling Staff to Pick Buffett-Style Stocks

Posted on 25 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Korea Investment Corp., the country’s $76 billion sovereign wealth fund, plans to almost double its research staff to pick stocks for two new funds that may eventually comprise 30 percent of its equity holdings.
KIC will probably increase the research unit to about 60 people by 2017 from the current level of 32, said Rhee Keehong, the fund’s deputy chief investment officer and research head. KIC, which only invests overseas, had about $35 billion in stocks and $25 billion in bonds last year, with the remainder in alternative assets and other investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s opposition wants wealth fund to invest in infrastructure

Posted on 24 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $870-billion sovereign wealth fund should be allowed to directly invest in infrastructure such as wind farms and solar plants, the country’s opposition Labour party will propose, a plan gaining the support of the majority of parties.
The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, which owns on average 1.3 percent of all listed companies worldwide, is currently mandated to invest in stocks, bonds and property abroad. But if the fund, set up to invest Norway’s oil and gas revenue, was allowed to expand the scope of its portfolio to include infrastructure projects, starting with renewables, it may greatly increase capital into the sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund to Shift Away From Standard Indexing

Posted on 23 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $880 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, said traditional global indexes are no longer an appropriate model on which to base its investments. “A new framework for the management of the fund may facilitate a development where we as the management take greater responsibility by defining a tailor-made reference portfolio,” Yngve Slyngstad, the fund’s chief executive officer, said.
The global indexes the investor currently follows don’t “represent the best starting point,” he said. The fund, which gets its capital from Norway’s oil and gas wealth, is seeking to boost returns and expand into new asset classes. After getting its first capital infusion 18 years ago, the investor has steadily added risk, expanding into stocks in 1998, emerging markets in 2000 and real estate in 2011 to safeguard the wealth of western Europe’s largest oil exporter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

“A company like no other”: President Tony Tan lauds Temasek Holdings as it celebrates 40th anniversary

Posted on 23 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From humble beginnings, the value of assets held and grown by Temasek Holdings has contributed to the wealth of the nation, and supports present and future generations, said President Tony Tan Keng Yam. He spoke at the 40th-anniversary celebration dinner held for the investment firm at the Istana on Monday (Sep 22). The full text of his speech is presented below:
Established within the first decade of Singapore’s independence, Temasek was a company like no other. It was an experiment, born out of necessity. In its first decade, the Singapore Government had pushed hard to industrialise, and to find a living for its people. It provided loans to some companies, and co-invested in others, in order to encourage investors to create jobs in Singapore. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Russia’s sovereign fund head struggles to stay above politics

Posted on 22 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kirill Dmitriev, the 39-year-old, boyish-looking head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, was supposed to change the face of Russian capitalism. Mr Dmitriev was going to overcome western funds’ reluctance to invest in a country many viewed as corrupt, prone to state meddling and plagued by a law-of-the-jungle legal system. In return, Russia’s economy would become more vibrant and less reliant on oil and gas.
At least that was the plan three years ago when President Dmitry Medvedev entrusted the Harvard and Stanford-educated former Goldman Sachs banker with $10bn of government cash to start the Russian Direct Investment Fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Sovereign Wealth Fund: Between Legality and Desirability

Posted on 22 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nigeria’s Supreme Court will be entertaining a suit filed by the 36 states of the federation against the federal government on the legality of the Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). But the legality and desirability of the institution of a SWF in Nigeria are not one and the same thing.
The legality and desirability of the institution of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) in Nigeria are not one and the same thing. While determination of the former is an exclusive preserve of the law court and at the moment sub judice, the latter which is not a subject of dispute before any adjudicating body is, however, the focus of this piece………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SEC probing Goldman Sachs internship for brother of Libyan ex-official: WSJ

Posted on 22 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

U.S. regulators are investigating a Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) internship for the brother of a former official at Libya’s sovereign wealth fund and perks allegedly offered by the bank to the fund, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
As part of an ongoing investigation into Goldman’s ties to Libya’s sovereign wealth fund, the Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing the company’s decision in June 2008 to hire the brother of Mustafa Zarti, then deputy chief of the Libyan Investment Authority, as an intern, the WSJ report said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

An SWF’s SWF

Posted on 22 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From a place quite opposite of the sun-dappled Polish terrace, the young staff of New Zealand’s first sovereign fund approach the US$22 billion portfolio innocent of institutional legacy and with clear-eyed discipline to its vision.
“First, diversification.” CEO Adrian Orr illustrates the fund’s investment beliefs on his whiteboard, channeling the energy and legibility of an abstract expressionist. Luckily, Orr narrates as well. “Next, market mispricing, then asset mispricing, and last comes skill.” To some, “investment beliefs” suggests mere bureaucratic protocol—the sort of document drafted once and never glanced at again………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah to set up outplacement centre for redundant MAS

Posted on 19 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd is to set up a special centre to provide “outplacement support” to some 6,000 Malaysia Airlines (MAS) staff to be made redundant as part of its restructuring process. A source familiar with the restructuring said the focus of the outplacement centre (OPC) would be to extend all relevant and required support to the various groups of employees leaving the national airline. This would include professional, emotional and financial support to assist them as they transition out to the next stage of their career.
Khazanah had, at the end of August, announced its 12-point plan to resuscitate the national airline which would see 6,000 jobs cut across the board and result in the emergence of a ‘new’ and leaner MAS come July 1, 2015 from its existing workforce of 20,000 employees……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Look at Norway’s independence example

Posted on 18 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s oil discovery happened at much the same time, but there was a significant difference in the way the Norwegians dealt with the wealth that came with the striking of black gold. The state has retained control of the Norwegian oil industry, and set up a sovereign wealth fund to use its oil income to best effect.
The fund, set up in 1990, was valued at NOK1,234bn (£119bn) on 1 January 2014 and is expected to be worth around $1 trillion by 2020. The capital itself, however, is never touched to cover state spending……………………………………Full Article: Source

1MDB pioneering a new sovereign investment model

Posted on 15 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Recent reports of state investment body 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) suggest the business model being pioneered by this outfit could mark a new direction that may be adopted by similar sovereign bodies worldwide.
The biggest shift is the focus on value creation underpinned by commercial gain, somewhat similar to the operations of a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) like Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd. Such a model envisions raising funds and then looking for potentially lucrative investments targets which can later be floated on the stock market for handsome gains, as noted by a recent report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch………………………………………..Full Article: Source

State funds give mixed views on managers

Posted on 15 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Appetite for alternative investments is only set to increase among institutional investors globally, with long-term contrarian external managers very hard to find. But while the evolution of institutional investment models falls into a similar pattern, starting with traditional public market exposures before expansion by geography and asset class, state funds’ views on the use of external managers varies markedly, speakers revealed at our China Investment Forum.
Addressing the audience during a panel discussion on best practices in international investing, Tomas Franzen, chief investment strategist for the second Swedish national pension fund (AP2), outlined how it plans to insource all its investments bar alternatives within the next two years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

No energy $$ deposited in Heritage Fund for 2014

Posted on 12 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

No money from the energy sector was deposited in the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund during fiscal 2014 because oil revenues fell, Finance Minister Larry Howai has said. In 2013, $271 million was transferred to the Fund which was established as a “rainy day” financial relief mechanism if the country becomes economically constrained.
The net asset value of the Fund as at June 30, 2014 stands at US$5.56 billion, up from US$5.15 billion in 2013. The positive performance of the Fund was due solely to gains from the investment portfolio of the Fund as no deposits were recorded for the period, the Review of the Economy 2014 budget document states………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ghana’s Sovereign Wealth Fund management hailed internationally

Posted on 11 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Alongside giants like Norway, arrangements put in place by the Government and People of Ghana, for the management of Oil and Gas Revenues has received international commendation at a public discussion event on Sovereign Wealth Funds organised by Chatham house (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) in London.
Speaking at the forum Deputy Minister Of Finance, Mrs Mona Quartey outlined the comprehensive systems and procedures, including the checks and oversight management of Ghana’s Sovereign Wealth Funds, made up of the Heritage, Stability and Infrastructure &!investment funds, which was acknowledged as comparable to Norway’s, the best managed in the world………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Close down MAS and overhaul Khazanah, says veteran newsman

Posted on 09 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A veteran journalist today suggested that Malaysia’s sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd should be restructured while Malaysia Airlines (MAS) should be closed down. In his latest blog posting, Datuk A. Kadir Jasin questioned Khazanah’s ability to manage Malaysia Airlines and revive the fortunes of the ailing national carrier.
Kadir wrote that the recent proposed privatisation of Malaysia Airlines has resulted in Khazanah having to come up with RM6 billion. “Prior to this, Khazanah has sunk RM7 billion into Malaysia Airlines which came to naught as various restructurings failed to turn the company around.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Super fund governance overdue for overhaul

Posted on 09 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When the Coalition came to power a year ago it promised a big shake-up in the corporate governance standards of the country’s $1.6 trillion superannuation. Fast forward to today and the Abbott government has made haste to dilute the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms after some heavy lobbying by the big financial institutions.
But issues of corporate governance seem to have ground to a halt. These include the composition of superannuation fund boards and the role of default funds in the modern award system - areas which have rightly attracted a lot of heated debate in the past few years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakhstan approves program of Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund

Posted on 09 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The board of directors approved a program to transform the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, the press service of the fund said Sept.8. The Board of Directors of Samruk-Kazyna JSC at a meeting under the chairmanship of the prime minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov in Astana endorsed the program of transformation.
The program involves the implementation of the three main objectives: increase of the value of existing assets, portfolio optimization, and improvement of corporate governance,” the statement said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Fed Is Looking Like a Sovereign Wealth Fund

Posted on 08 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Federal Reserve recently made clear it is planning to maintain its enormous balance sheet—roughly $4.5 trillion in Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities—for many years, while keeping interest rates near zero at least into 2015. Far from being neutral or stimulative, these policies have caused huge distortions in financial markets, contributing to slow growth and falling median incomes.
Given the tendency of government programs to expand and become permanent, the risk now is that the Fed’s large pool of assets and liabilities evolves into a semi-permanent government-controlled investment fund, a U.S. version of the sovereign-wealth funds created by other governments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Future Fund names CIO, mulls staff additions

Posted on 02 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia’s $94 billion sovereign wealth fund has promoted internally to fill the role of chief investment officer vacated by David Neal when he became managing director on August 4. The Future Fund is also likely to add two investment posts to its 40-strong team in the next few months.
New CIO Raphael Arndt was previously head of infrastructure and timberlands. He has responsibility for leading the investment team in developing the research, due diligence and selection and monitoring processes for assets and investment managers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New GPIF investment manager drawn to cheap Japan mid-caps

Posted on 01 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A new investment manager responsible for a small chunk of the $1.2 trillion portfolio held by Japan’s giant public pension fund says it expects to buy stocks in midsize companies that appear cheap relative to the broader market and have decades of steady profits.
Appointed in April to manage 100.4 billion yen ($967 million) of the Government Pension Investment Fund’s (GPIF) 20.8 trillion yen in Japanese equities, Eastspring Investments’ approach offers an insight into how the world’s biggest institutional investor’s money will be used………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mumtalakat training push for executives

Posted on 01 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the investment arm of Bahrain, has launched the Mumtalakat-INSEAD International Directors Programme, in partnership with international business school INSEAD. It is a corporate governance training initiative for its nominee directors appointed to the boards of its portfolio companies.
The senior executive training progamme was held under the patronage of Deputy Prime Minister and Mumtalakat chairman Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, and INSEAD has designed the customised executive development and training programme to provide Mumtalakat’s existing and newly appointed directors with an overview of practical and tested frameworks as well as tools to refine judgment, sharpen decision making and augment their oversight abilities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway oil fund to double number of top executives

Posted on 21 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $885bn oil fund is doubling the number of its senior executives in the latest sign it is restructuring itself to tackle its ever-increasing size and its shifting responsibilities as an investor. Norges Bank Investment Management, the arm of the Norwegian central bank that manages the fund, is creating a number of new positions to help manage its nascent property portfolio, as well as appointing three chief investment officers.
These three officers will be responsible for different investment strategies rather than specific asset classes as the oil fund merges its equities and corporate credit analysis functions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libyan sovereign wealth fund expected to hire new chief

Posted on 21 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Libyan Investment Authority, the violence-hit North African nation’s $60bn sovereign wealth fund, is likely to name senior World Bank executive Ahmed Ali Attiga as its new chairman by the end of the year, The Daily Telegraph gathers. Attiga, who is currently representing the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation unit in Jordan, hails from a high-profile Libyan family associated with King Idris, the ruler before the late Muammar Gaddafi.
Separately, it emerged on Tuesday that Goldman Sachs had withdrawn a summary judgment application it filed in April at the UK High Court, requesting the quashing of a lawsuit filed against the investment bank by the LIA. The state-backed investment fund had charged Goldman Sachs with mis-selling it second-rate investment products that cost the LIA billions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway SWF Urged to Upgrade Oversight Before Diversifying

Posted on 19 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Labor Party in Norway has called for the $880 billion Government Pension Fund—Global to up its governance game before moving into private equity and infrastructure. Norway’s biggest political party has challenged the country’s $880 billion sovereign wealth fund to improve its governance before hiking exposure to riskier assets.
The Labor Party’s concerns centre on the fund’s purchase of a stake in Formula One prior to its planned IPO, initially planned for 2012. However, the listing was subsequently cancelled, leaving the Norway Government Pension Fund—Global with a private equity holding that its investment rules do not permit it to own………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Tanzania sets up special unit to scrutinise gas revenues and wealth fund

Posted on 15 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tanzania’s government is forming a special unit to monitor its natural resource revenues from major gas discoveries that promise to lift the country from poverty and free it from dependency on foreign aid in the coming decades.
The east African nation has enough natural gas, more than 50.5 trillion cubic feet discovered so far, to provide energy independence and bring significant export revenues. But Tanzania lacks experience in exploiting oil and gas, so relies on contracts with foreign companies such as Statoil of Norway and ExxonMobile to develop its immense offshore finds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway defends how its wealth fund is run

Posted on 14 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway Finance Minister Siv Jensen has said that a probe into the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund’s purchase of Formula One shares shouldn’t be used as an excuse to tighten oversight of the investor. “We do have control mechanisms to oversee that everything is done in a proper manner - the control board is doing their job,” Ms Jensen said. “Governing of the bank and of the fund has served us very well.”
The US$890 billion fund, which is managed by the central bank, had to defend itself earlier this year after lawmakers asked if it had exceeded its investment remit when it bought a stake in the car racing group ahead of a planned initial public offering………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CIC Set to be ‘Picky’ and ‘Stingy’ with Asset Managers, Says Consultant

Posted on 14 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Asset managers shouldn’t expect ‘easy money’ from China Investment Corp., even though the world’s fourth largest sovereign wealth fund last week reported a rise in net profit and a healthy increase in its top-line assets that grew to $652 billion in 2013 from $575 billion.
The giant sovereign wealth fund, which owns private equity firm Citic Capital, said its net profit increased to $86.9 million in 2013 from $77.7 billion a year before; it also reported a 9.3% return on its overseas investments in 2013, a decline from 10.6% in 2012. But China-based consulting firm Z-Ben Advisors cautions that the general “good news…may not be felt by asset managers attempting to win their mandates.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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