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RDIF Funneling More Chinese, Middle Eastern Money Into Russia

Posted on 21 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The $10 billionRussian Direct Investment Fund is funneling more Chinese and Middle Eastern money into Russia’s ailing economy, partly compensating for a decline in Western-led activity in the face of geopolitical tensions.
Since its formation four years ago, the Russian state investment fund has invested $7.3 billion in Russia’s economy. It plans to continue at a similar pace with total annual investments of around $2 billion, of which up to a fifth will be marked for transactions abroad, Chief Executive Kirill Dmitriev said in an interview………………………………….Full Article: Source

1MDB managed competently

Posted on 19 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Overly leveraged is the oft repeated criticism of detractors of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the nation’s strategic development company. Other accusations include the issue of the company’s lack of transparency, a fair demand on a state-owned investment arm. Once the Terengganu Investment Company, a sovereign wealth fund for the state, it was renamed 1MDB in 2009.
When the prime minister announced the name change, he declared that the expansion was meant to benefit all of the population instead of merely the people of Terengganu. And this the country’s investment vehicle will achieve by boosting Malaysia’s economic transformation agenda, the avenue by which the country will become high-income and fully developed by year 2020, at the latest………………………………….Full Article: Source

Dr. Mahathir:Malaysia can do without 1MDB

Posted on 13 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia does not need a sovereign fund like the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), especially if it results in losses for the country. The former prime minister (PM) said Malaysia could do without the 1MDB, which has been criticised for its lack of transparency as well as for racking up big debts to finance its projects.
Some of 1MDB’s business strategies have also been questioned recently and the fund has been accused of paying above market rates for some of its investments. “We can do without the 1MDB,” Dr Mahathir said when asked whether 1MDB should be shut down………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Support letter issued to 1MDB is not ‘explicit government guarantee’, says Ahmad Maslan

Posted on 13 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan insisted that Putrajaya’s letter of support for 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) fundraising exercise is not an “explicit guarantee”, sidestepping concerns that the federal government will have to foot the sovereign wealth fund’s debt. He stressed that the ministry had only given an explicit guarantee amounting to RM5.8 billion to the sovereign wealth fund.
At a press conference at the Parliament lobby today, Ahmad reiterated that the Finance Ministry’s letter of support — published in investment banker Goldman Sachs International’s (GSI) Offering Circular in 2012 and 2013 — only meant that 1MDB has to restructure its assets valued at RM51.41 billion to settle its debt if the sovereign wealth fund is unable to service its loan according to the stipulated terms………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakh leader orders government to open oil fund for projects

Posted on 12 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan’s president ordered his government on Tuesday to allocate $3 billion from the National Fund every year from 2015 to 2017 to bolster growth in an economy hit by falling oil prices and a slowdown in Russia.
The National Fund, which is replenished with windfall revenues from oil exports, stood at $76.8 billion as of Oct 31. Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest economy and the second-largest former Soviet oil producer after Russia, similarly tapped its fund after being hard hit during the global financial crisis of 2007-09, spending $10 billion to cushion the effects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mumtalakat Hires Banks For Potential Dollar Sukuk Issue

Posted on 11 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahraini sovereign fund Mumtalakat (BBB from S&P/Fitch) has hired BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, MUFG and StanChart to arrange a series of fixed income investor meetings starting on Thursday, Nov. 13.
A Reg S U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk transaction may follow subject to market conditions. Roadshows start in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday before moving to Singapore on Friday, Abu Dhabi and Dubai on Sunday before closing in London on Monday, Nov. 17………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah open to proposals for MAS restructuring

Posted on 11 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd is open to receive proposals and ideas from various quarters for the restructuring of Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS). Khazanah deputy chairman Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the company was prepared to listen and weigh the ideas or proposals so that the restructuring process could proceed smoothly and successfully to enable MAS to get back to become the national airline that is the pride of the rakyat.
Besides being a symbol of national pride, he said Khazanah also wanted to turn around MAS to profitability as well as enabling it to provide huge benefits in the nation’s tourism and trade sectors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB’s actions do not reflect a sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 10 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

I suspect that one of the aims of 1MDB was to correct the mistakes of the privately owned Independent Power Producers (IPPs) of the past — specifically the first generation IPPs where the agreements were too generous to the private companies.
By going on a IPP buying spree over the past two years (and incurring a lot of debt), 1MDB is now the second largest IPP and is scheduled to be the biggest IPP in Malaysia. Malaysia was supposed to have had a electricity price increase in July this year, but this never took place and the government has committed to keep electricity charges unchanged until July next year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rafizi to tell all about 1MDB’s Cayman fund next week

Posted on 10 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli said he will reveal next week the details of 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) funds in the Cayman Islands. “Besides myself, a team from the National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW) will reveal the individuals and companies involved in the hiding of public funds in the Cayman Islands.”
He said in a statement that although Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the funds were being brought back to Malaysia, that was a separate issue………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia: Wealth fund urged to tackle oil-price slide

Posted on 05 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The fall of crude oil prices points to the need for Saudi Arabia to have an active sovereign wealth fund, said Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Co. This will be similar to the sovereign funds in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Norway, he said.
“Clearly the income from our sovereign wealth fund would not cover all our budget, but at least should cover a good size of it,” said the prince. ddressing reporters in Jeddah, he also said that the fall of oil below $80 a barrel proves that Saudi Arabia’s reliance on petroleum revenue is “dangerous”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Penang warns 1MDB of tough road to approval for Air Itam project

Posted on 05 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Penang has warned 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) that it will be an uphill task to gain planning approvals for its development project on the 234 acres land if it deviates from its promise to build affordable housing there.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the sovereign wealth fund will also face difficulties due to unresolved squatter issues on the land. “I want to warn 1MDB that we will not allow them to throw out the present land tenants for a project other than affordable homes,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will 1MDB change auditors again, asks DAP

Posted on 05 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) yet to submit its financial statements as required under the law, a DAP lawmaker has questioned whether the sovereign fund will change its auditors again.
Tony Pua (DAP - Petaling Jaya Utara) said as of yesterday, the company and its subsidiairies did not submit their financial statements to the Companies Commission despite the October deadline. The wealth fund last submitted the March 2013 statements in April this year, after a seven-month delay and a change of auditors from Ernst & Young to Deloitte Malaysia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Man Running World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Takes On Riddle of China

Posted on 03 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Once a year, the man running the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund travels around China for a week. Though assets from that country only make up about 1.5 percent of the $860 billion Norwegian wealth fund’s portfolio, Yngve Slyngstad, its chief executive officer, says almost all investment decisions are affected by what happens in China.
Understanding what’s poised to become the world’s largest economy is crucial for Slyngstad as he manages a fund that Norway predicts will reach $1 trillion in less than three years. He’ll be in China this month, visiting Beijing and other cities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

MP presses Putrajaya for answers as 1MBD, banker contradict each other on fees

Posted on 03 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Putrajaya must clarify questions surrounding fees paid for 1 Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) fundraising after the sovereign wealth fund and investment banker Goldman Sachs gave conflicting explanations, a DAP lawmaker said.
Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said this was necessary given the billion-ringgit scale involving the allegations on the fees paid, which he previously said was a magnitude more than those usually charged. “The answers provided by Goldman Sachs and 1MDB are in direct conflict with one another. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

All Change Once More In Libya. Just Who Runs Its $65 Billion Wealth Fund?

Posted on 03 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Regular readers of this blog will know of the travails of the Libyan Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund entrusted with $60-65 billion of the country’s oil wealth. Today, it represents something of a split personality. On one hand, it is bold and dynamic, suing Goldman Sachs and SG for billions of dollars over disastrous investments that were sold to it prior to the financial crisis.
On the other, it is a rudderless mess, incapable of maintaining leadership because nobody appears to trust anyone else, or their background. On Wednesday night came two new resolutions from the board of directors of the LIA, one (No 7 for 2014) removing Abdelrahman Benyezza as chairman, and the other (No 8) appointing Hassan Ahmed Bouhadi as his replacement. And so continues an apparently endless cycle………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Slow Progress on SWF Governance Standards

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Governance and transparency standards at some of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are still falling below agreed levels, according to a study. Geneva-based political risk consultancy GeoEconomica found that only nine of 31 SWFs surveyed had complied with a “good governance and financial disclosure standards” agreement laid out in 2008, known as the Santiago Principles.
This is up only slightly from the 2013 study, which found six funds in compliance with the principles. Funds run by Gulf countries were particularly criticised in the latest report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign-wealth funds are cutting out the middleman

Posted on 31 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign-wealth funds and other big institutional investors from Ottawa to Oslo and—if icefishing isn’t your thing—Abu Dhabi to Auckland are hiring. The intention is to lure talent from private-equity firms and hedge funds in order to make the same sort of investments in-house. Sovereign-wealth funds made direct investments of around $186 billion last year, nearly triple the level of 2012, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, a consultancy.
Pension funds, insurers and family offices are doing the same—a response in part to the exorbitant fees and disappointing returns of many asset-managers. ADIA, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign-wealth fund, with assets of $773 billion, now employs 1,500 people. South Korea’s National Pension Service ($430 billion) will boost its investment team by 60 people this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Stronger Board, More Effective Government Interaction to Mark Samruk Kazyna Transformation

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan’s Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund will redistribute responsibilities within the fund and change its portfolio structure and approach to investment as part of its recently announced transformation, Chairman of the Board of Samruk Kazyna Umirzak Shukeyev recently told The Astana Times in an exclusive interview. This will require internal changes, including training and incorporating foreign expertise, as well as legislative changes in Kazakhstan.
Samruk Kazyna officially unveiled its transformation programme, which is intended to help modernise Kazakhstan’s economy and bring an additional $11 billion to the country’s gross domestic product by 2020, on Oct. 6………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah invites bids for advisory role in MAS restructuring plan

Posted on 30 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd has asked select investment banks to bid for a role in overseeing the restructuring process of Malaysia Airlines (MAS), Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The sources, who declined to be identified, told Bloomberg Khazanah had asked the banks to submit proposals by today. According to the report, Khazanah has also offered to buy the shares it doesn’t already own for RM1.38 billion (US$422 million)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Top sovereign funds fail on governance

Posted on 29 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A majority of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds lack transparency and adequate governance, with those in the Gulf region scoring particularly low, according to a report published by political risk group GeoEconomica. eneva-based GeoEc-onomica, an independent political-risk research firm, assessed 31 sovereign wealth funds with a total of $4 trillion worth of assets for their compliance with the Santiago Principles, a voluntary code of practice on governance and transparency.
“Numerous funds, most notably from the Gulf region, still need to substantially advance their financial disclosure policies and become more transparent about governance arrangements,” GeoEconomica said in its Santiago Compliance Index, which it has published annually for the past three years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Temasek story: Growing with Singapore

Posted on 29 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Holdings works for a better tomorrow as a responsible and trusted steward, said its executive director and CEO Ho Ching, who was awarded the Asian Business Award by London-based business think-tank Asia House. Below is an extract of her speech at the award ceremony dinner in London on Monday.
Singapore was already known in the second century to the Greco-Roman world as a trading post. Ptolemy named it Sabana. Third-century merchants from China called it Pu Luo Zhong — the Island at the End. In 1819, nearly 200 years ago, Sir Stamford Raffles took over Singapore towards the tail end of the Anglo-Dutch spice trade tussle in the Far East. This little island trading post grew quickly………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Alaska Permanent Fund: Socialism in a Republican State

Posted on 29 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Alaska is a land of rugged individualists – Republicans all the way. However, a little known fact is that Alaska taxes the oil and gas corporations operating there and distributes the proceeds on an annual basis equally among every man, woman and child living in the state.
The biggest farce of all is that Tea Party touter, Governor Sarah Palin, slapped an excess profits tax on the state’s oil companies in 2008, the year she ran for vice-President alongside John McCain, so that every person in Alaska received a dividend of $3269 that year. That was a pretty good haul for a family of four: $13,076. For Palin’s family – husband Todd, sons Track and Trig and daughters Bristol, Willow and Piper – it came to an even better haul – $22,883!……………………………………….Full Article: Source

QIA leads fund rankings for missing Santiago governance standards

Posted on 28 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s most active sovereign wealth funds are also among the least transparent and least likely to comply with corporate governance norms, according to a review by consultancy GeoEconomica. The Geneva-based political risk group ranked 31 funds against principles of good governance and financial disclosure standards that they all signed up to in Santiago in 2008, and found that many of the most active groups fell short.
GeoEconomica’s conclusion underscores the opaque nature of some funds, which have the deepest pockets, even as they pervade the corporate world by expanding abroad and ramping up their direct investments in companies and infrastructure projects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Putrajaya must explain how 1MDB benefits Malaysians, says Dr M

Posted on 28 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today urged Putrajaya to explain how the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had benefited Malaysians, after a news report exposed the extent of the sovereign wealth fund’s debts.
“A government spokesman said that the money from 1MDB is used for Bumiputras,” wrote the former prime minister in his blog, chedet.cc. “What I know is that one scholarship was given to a music student. It’s impossible that the scholarship cost RM38 billion?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

The first in the history VTB Bank Supervisory Council meeting outside of RF held in Baku

Posted on 24 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The first in the history of VTB Bank Supervisory Council meeting outside of RF was held in Baku. According to the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ), the meeting was held on October 22.
“During the meeting participants discussed issues related to the Bank’s activities and made appropriate decisions”, - the Fund says. Executive Director of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) Shahmar Movsumov participated at the meeting as an independent member of the Bank’s Supervisory Council………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Korea Investment Corp. Learns Hard Lesson

Posted on 23 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Korea Investment Corp. , South Korea’s $72 billion sovereign-wealth fund, found out the hard way that cutting out the middleman isn’t always easy. The fund began doing deals on its own, or “direct investing,” in the late 2000s, a shift from its practice of using private-equity firms to handle the deal making.
Direct investing allows sovereign-wealth funds to avoid paying fees to private-equity firms, which typically charge 2% on assets and take 20% of any profit, and an increasing number of funds and other big investors have been doing it. Hongchul Ahn, chairman and chief executive of KIC, said in an email last week that the fund will change its approach to direct investing after “disappointingly lower returns.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

PNG think tank slams government handling of sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 23 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Papua New Guinea’s National Research Institute has raised serious concerns about the level of secrecy they says surrounds the creation of the country’s Sovereign Wealth Fund. The NRI says there needs to be more open debate on how the fund will operate, and on how it will be accountable if all Papua New Guineans are to benefit from new revenue streams as the government has promised.
Senior Research Fellow, Dr Osborne Sanida, says the government can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of the past in managing the huge cash flow that will be generated by the multi-million dollar liquified natural gas programme………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB striving for strategic development

Posted on 23 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1MDB is a company that can’t seem to keep itself out of the news. Everyone, from politicians and business figures to the man on the street, seems to have a view on it and the impending initial public offering (IPO) of its energy business is only likely to increase the scrutiny the company faces. For a company that so often makes the headlines, few seem to understand what exactly it does.
This has led to question marks being raised, by figures like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad no less, as to the rationale for 1MDB’s existence. To truly understand 1MDB, one first has to understand the nature of its business model. It is often described, incorrectly it must be said, as a “sovereign wealth fund” or “another Khazanah”, but the fact of the matter is that 1MDB is neither, nor does it claim to be………………………………………..Full Article: Source

KIA resumes share transfer program to private sector

Posted on 23 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Board of Directors of Kuwait Investment Authority has approved resumption of its program regarding transferring its shares from local companies to the private sector, KIA stated Wednesday.
KIA has decided to sell its shares in three companies; Kuwait Investment Company (KIC), Kuwait Finance House (KFH), and Zain Group, a mobile telecommunications company, in accordance to article (386) of the implementing regulation of Kuwait Capital Market Authority’s (CMA) Law No. 7/2010, KIA said in a press statement during the Board’s meeting, adding that CMA has approved of KIA’s decision……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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

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