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

Posted on 15 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Singapore’s GIC Investment Firm Moves to 280 Park Avenue

Posted on 12 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Egypt sovereign investment fund plan approved

Posted on 12 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

NBIM Makes the Case Against Bundled Board Votes

Posted on 05 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 04 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Achievements of the sovereign wealth fund of Senegal (Video)

Posted on 04 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Abu Dhabi Wealth Fund Leans Less on Outside Fund Managers

Posted on 03 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 03 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority bolsters internally managed capabilities in 2014

Posted on 03 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Norway’s oil fund criticises bundled board member voting

Posted on 03 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Prime Minister Rasizade reelected chairman of SOFAZ Supervisory Board

Posted on 03 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 02 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 02 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 01 June 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Bahrain fund Mumtalakat rejects mismanagement claims as 2014 profit rises

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Abu Dhabi Staffs Up with US Equity Hire

Posted on 28 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 27 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

State fund appoints administrator for Malaysia Airlines restructuring

Posted on 26 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 25 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 22 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 22 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 22 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Elementum selected as ILS manager for Future Fund of Australia

Posted on 21 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

SWFs must grasp ’substantial’ greenfield opportunities

Posted on 20 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Kazakhstan Privatizing Transtelecom

Posted on 19 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 15 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Kuwait fund staff made ‘deliberately bad’ deals

Posted on 14 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Abu Dhabi removes Jho Low contact

Posted on 28 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Norway to clean up sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 28 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Khazanah firm on its turnaround plan for MAS

Posted on 24 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 24 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

Posted on 24 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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

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