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Thailand: Sovereign wealth fund not a goal for central bank

Posted on 09 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Bank of Thailand is not pursuing a path towards the creation of a sovereign wealth fund, but rather seeking greater flexibility in managing foreign reserves to cope with volatility in the year ahead. Like his predecessor, Prasarn Trairatvorakul, newly appointed BOT Governor Veerathai Santiprabhop does not support the idea of financing government projects with foreign reserves.
“The reserves do not belong to any government,” he bluntly said in an interview, when asked about the possibility. “Rather, it is the money of all Thais, aimed at maintaining the stability of international transactions.” Reserves are accumulated in line with foreign inflows, therefore all parties must be mindful when the capital exits the country, he added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Volkswagen holds talks with key investor in Qatar

Posted on 08 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Volkswagen AG said Sunday that its chief executive, chairman and top shareholders are in Qatar for talks with one of the company’s core investors, the Qatar Investment Authority, amid reports that the Qataris are calling for sweeping changes in the German car maker’s management.
Volkswagen is portraying the talks as a routine introductory visit by Chief Executive Matthias Müller and Supervisory Board Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch, who assumed their posts in September. They are joined by Wolfgang Porsche and Hans Michel Piëch, representatives of the Porsche-Piëch clan that controls Volkswagen, according to a person familiar with the matter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Funds pull money from asset managers at record pace

Posted on 08 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The drop in commodity prices forced sovereign wealth funds to raid their piggy banks, by dipping into their funds at asset managers at a record pace. The likes of Aberdeen Asset Management, Northern Trust, Franklin Resources and Old Mutual Asset Management were among the firms affected.
Persian Gulf-based SWFs yanked out at least $19bn in funds in the third quarter – a record pace – according to data from eVestment cited by the Financial Times. Given that some fund managers do not disclose their data the real figures might me much higher. According to one estimate, Blackrock, the world’s largest fund management firm, lost a combined $31bn in the second and third quarters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth funds desert asset managers

Posted on 07 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The majority of asset managers have been coy about their losses from sovereign wealth funds, but the chief financial officer of Northern Trust, the US financial services company, was very candid. Speaking during a call with analysts in October, Biff Bowman admitted the $887bn asset manager had suffered “significant outflows” from its sovereign wealth fund clients during the third quarter.
His frankness about redemptions is exceptional at a time when most asset managers have attempted to sidestep questions about such outflows. Few will comment publicly. Either buried away in many third-quarter results or disclosed hesitantly during calls with analysts, asset managers have reluctantly revealed the effect redemptions from sovereign funds are having on their business………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Asset managers see sovereign wealth funds withdraw $19bn

Posted on 07 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Persian Gulf sovereign wealth funds have withdrawn money from asset managers at a record rate this year as falling oil prices have left gulf economies scrambling to inject cash into their economies, according to a Financial Times report published on Sunday.
Data provider eVestment said state investors have removed at least $19 billion from funds under management, sparking both concerns that profits for investment managers will suffer, as well as further losses to funds under management, the report said. Countries that depend on the sale of oil and gas, which has seen a price drop of more than 50 percent since June 2014, have been forced to raid their investment portfolios the report said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The trend towards in-sourcing at sovereign wealth funds is hitting passive managers

Posted on 07 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

More than two-thirds of non-US sovereign funds located in countries where oil plays a big part in their economy say they expect funding withdrawals due to sustained low prices for the commodity, according to research from Invesco, the $790 billion (Dh2.9 trillion) asset manager. Saudi Arabia, whose deficit widened as oil prices slumped, has already pulled tens of billions of dollars from global asset managers.
In contrast, only 13 per cent of non-US sovereigns located in countries with no oil exposure expect governments to withdraw funding, Invesco found. “This scenario where funds suffer withdrawals could continue, but it really depends on how long there is a sensitivity around oil prices and the need to provide finance to governments,” says Nick Tolchard, head of international development at Invesco………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar urges VW to reduce labour influence - Bild

Posted on 07 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar, the third-largest shareholder in Volkswagen, is urging the German carmaker to reduce the influence of its powerful trade unions as it battles to overcome its emissions scandal, a German newspaper reported on Sunday. Bild am Sonntag, without citing sources, said the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) would use a meeting on Sunday with VW Chief Executive Matthias Mueller and other top players in the firm to demand a scaling back of the role of the works council.
The QIA, which holds a 17 percent stake in Europe’s largest automaker, declined to comment, while a VW spokesman said Mueller’s talks in Qatar with the QIA “serve the communication of VW’s new leadership with an important partner.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

SWF dictates ‘violated’

Posted on 04 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Government might have violated dictates of standard practice across the world in setting up sovereign wealth funds, research findings by a local economic think tank have revealed.The findings are contained in the Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis and Research Unit’s study titled Global Best Practice in Establishing and Managing SWF in Zimbabwe.
According to the findings presented in Harare at a validation workshop, setting up of the SWF was against normal and best practice, as Zimbabwe is battling unsustainable external debts………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Prince Alwaleed Endorses France’s Sovereign Wealth Fund

Posted on 04 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), endorses the historic investment in KHC by CDCIC (the French sovereign fund) and France’s leading companies that acquired 29.9 million shares priced at SR18.8 with a total amount of SR563 million ($150 million). The transaction was closed on Thursday 3rd December 2015.
Prince Alwaleed, who will be retaining his full ownership stake in KHC, welcomed this important and strategic milestone deal pursuant to the Saudi Arabian Capital Market Authority opening to foreign investors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway to sell NOK 600 mln of FX per day

Posted on 01 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s central bank will sell foreign exchange equivalent of 600 million Norwegian crowns per day from Dec 1-11 after selling 700 million crowns a day throughout November. Norges Bank limits the number of days it conducts foreign exchange transactions in the month of December to avoid year-end market volatility.
The bank is selling the currency because the government’s transfers to its $852 billion sovereign wealth fund have been smaller than earlier expected and the budget is spending more of its oil-related income. The bank usually puts foreign currency to be given to the fund into a “buffer portfolio”, which had become bigger than necessary and has said it would gradually reduce the size of this buffer this year by selling foreign exchange in the market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Leong: City’s sovereign wealth fund to be managed by government corporation

Posted on 30 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The planned sovereign wealth fund for Macau - named by the authorities as the MSAR Investment and Development Fund - will be supported by an allocation from the city’s extraordinary fiscal reserve and managed by a government corporation, Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac revealed during the Policy Address 2016 debate on Friday.
The proposal of having a government-run corporation to manage the sovereign wealth fund is based on the Monetary Authority of Macau’s (AMCM) study that surveyed public opinion, Mr. Leong told the Assembly. The proposal has already been forwarded to the Chief Executive, the Secretary added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway beefs up supervision of oil fund

Posted on 30 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Norwegian government appointed a new central bank official on Friday to supervise its sovereign wealth fund, boosting the monetary authority’s role as it looks to help the fund adapt to an increasingly complex investment climate.
The new post, which expands the bank’s executive management to three from two, is being filled by economics professor Egil Matsen. The $853 billion rainy-day fund, the biggest of its kind in the world, manages the proceeds of Norway’s oil industry for future generations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shell wins backing of Qataris for BG takeover

Posted on 25 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

One of the biggest shareholders in Royal Dutch Shell has thrown its weight behind the oil group’s £43 billion takeover of BG Group, despite mounting concerns about the impact of plunging oil prices on the commercial logic that underpins the deal.
The Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund that holds a stake of up to 2 per cent in the Anglo-Dutch group and also is a shareholder in BG, is understood to be “fully supportive” of the proposed transaction, which was announced in April. The tie-up, which has been approved by Brazilian and European antitrust authorities, is awaiting clearance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

PAC chief says 1MDB, Najib’s RM2.6 billion two separate issues

Posted on 19 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The interim auditor-general’s report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has stated that 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal accounts are “different subjects”, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin said.
“I must state here that 1MDB and RM2.6 billion are completely different subjects. They are not the same,” Hasan said during a press conference today. Asked how PAC came to such a conclusion, Hasan said his statement was based on the interim report released in the middle of this year and never made public to date …………………………………….Full Article: Source

PKR MP risks censure for naming wrong person in 1MDB question

Posted on 19 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

PKR’s Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen might be hauled up to the rights and privileges committee for naming the wrong individual in a parliamentary question related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said.
Wong had named Deutsche Bank country manager Yusof Annuar Yaacob as one of five individuals sought by authorities in connection with investigations into 1MDB, but later admitted making a mistake. He said he had meant to name SRC International director Datuk Suboh Md Yassin instead of Yusof. …………………………………….Full Article: Source

Room at the top: The Future Fund

Posted on 17 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With its 10th birthday approaching, the Future Fund is entering its next incarnation complete with a new investment team structure. Investment Magazine spoke to Raphael Arndt, Stephen Gilmore and David Neal. When David Neal, the inaugural chief investment officer of the Future Fund, became its managing director on August 4 last year, his previous role was split in two.
Long-time head of timberland and infrastructure Raphael Arndt became the chief investment officer responsible for leading the investment team in developing the research, due diligence and selection and monitoring processes for assets and investment managers……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Why can’t any minister explain 1MDB to Parliament?

Posted on 17 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the past two days, the Umno/BN owned or controlled media and their legion of cybertroopers have been carrying glowing reports about what a superb performance the 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy gave at the briefing for Umno divisional leaders at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) on Saturday about the 1MDB scandal, and that the participants, which included representatives from NGOs and government agencies, were satisfied with Arul’s explanations which gave “a better picture of the real situation”.
The immediate question that comes to mind is whether the cabinet of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is so intellectually-challenged that none of the Ministers could explain the intricacies and complexities of the 1MDB scandal to Parliament for the past month, when Arul could so easily explain away the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal at the Umno briefing to its divisional leaders and pliable NGOs at PWTC last Saturday - as if Arul is such a superb performer that he is capable of getting birds to eat food from his hands?………………………………………Full Article: Source

1MDB To Have RM10b Assets After Revamp

Posted on 17 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) president and CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy said the company will have at least RM10 billion worth of assets after undergoing a rationalisation plan to clear its debts. Speaking in a public forum on Saturday, Arul Kanda also said the government is supportive of the plan, including selling its assets.
Among the assets that the company owns include the land in Tun Razak Exchange as well as a 40% stake in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd worth between RM4 billion and RM5 billion, land in Ayer Itam, Penang (RM1 billion) and Pulau Indah (RM300 million). “1MDB took loans to purchase assets. The payment of debts is made through generating our assets,” said Arul Kanda in a packed public briefing at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) on Saturday……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Irish sovereign wealth fund dumps asset managers

Posted on 16 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ireland’s sovereign wealth fund will pull several billion euros from global asset managers over the next five years, as the Irish government tries to use the fund’s assets to bolster its domestic economy.
Around €3bn of the sovereign fund’s €7.9bn of investible asset is in global equities, bonds, commodities, infrastructure and absolute return funds run by international asset managers. It will divest from these holdings by 2020 as part of its new mandate to invest in projects and companies with the potential to create jobs in Ireland and boost the country’s economy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Future fund may be internally managed

Posted on 12 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The estimated $140 billion that will go into the Federal Government’s Future Fund over the next 15 years may not be managed by external fund managers, but controlled internally by specialists selected by Treasury. When contacted by Money Management this morning, a spokesperson for Treasury would not confirm or deny wide speculation that the money in the future fund would be managed by the Government through what it has dubbed the Future Fund Board of Guardians.
Legislation attached to the fund, which is being established to meet the superannuation liabilities of pubic servants, is due to be finalised within the next six weeks. Speculation external companies would be denied the chance to manage the fund arose after the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, announced in a statement earlier today that former Commonwealth Bank chief executive David Murray had been appointed as chairman of the Future Fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakh fund signs deal for 50-MW solar park expansion

Posted on 06 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna announced on Thursday that a wholly-owned entity has agreed with the United Green Group to double the capacity of a 50-MW solar plant in the Kazakh province of Zhambyl.
Samruk-Kazyna Invest LLP entered into the USD-105.5-million (EUR 97m) agreement during the Kazakh-British Business Council, which was held on November 3 as part of a visit to London by Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ Executive Director attends annual meeting of Co-Investment Round-Table of Sovereign and Pension Funds

Posted on 05 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Delegation led by the Executive Director of Azerbaijan`s State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) Shahmar Movsumov has attended the annual meeting of Co-Investment Round-Table of Sovereign and Pension Funds (CROSAPF) hosted by the Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) in Seoul, Republic of Korea.‎
During the event participants agreed that 2016 annual meeting will be hosted by SOFAZ in Baku. As the host of the next year annual meeting, Movsumov accepted the symbolic flag and CROSAPF Chairmanship from now ex-chairman Hank, CEO and Chairman of KIC. Following the inaugural ceremony, Movsumov gave the closing speech by conveying his vision of CROSAPF development………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The case for doing away with the Alberta Heritage Fund

Posted on 05 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Alberta oil & gas industry is down, the province’s unique tax advantage obliterated, and the detractors point to Norway and say “this could have been us!” Both Norway and Alberta are oil producers with sovereign wealth funds. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is $1.1 trillion; Alberta’s is $17.3 billion at 2014 year end.
The assumption is that Norway has responsibly invested its windfall, whereas Alberta has not. This comparison is wholly unfair. As Professor Stephen Gordon argues, the Alberta Heritage Fund was set up in 1976 at a time when reserve life was numbered in decades. It was quite literally intended as a transfer of wealth from the present to the post-oil, near-future………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Old School Asset Managers, Meet New SWFs

Posted on 04 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Some of the world’s largest investors, including sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), have brought asset management in house in recent years, putting pressure on external managers’ revenues. However, newly established sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) still require help accessing traditional investment strategies and mainstream asset classes, according to Cerulli Associates.
The company cited Nigeria’s planned trio of SWFs: “It is likely that much of that [work] will need the assistance of external managers,” said Barbara Wall, Europe research director. Saudi Arabia has reportedly begun work on a second wealth fund, while Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Angola, Bangladesh, and Egypt are all at various stages of launching their own SWFs. Wall said such funds could be “lucrative sources of outsourcing mandates in their early years.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Kazakh tenge is now “balanced” - sovereign wealth fund boss

Posted on 03 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakh sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna will not exert pressure on its companies to convert their dollar holdings into the local tenge currency, CEO Umirzak Shukeyev said on Monday, describing the exchange rate as “balanced” after a sharp depreciation since August.
Samruk-Kazyna manages state-run stakes in major Kazakh companies ranging from oil and gas to railways, airlines, uranium and a football club. Kazakhstan, the second-largest post-Soviet oil producer after Russia, has been hit hard by a collapse in world oil prices and the weakening of the currencies of Russia and China, its major trading partners………………………………………..Full Article: Source

S&P gives good marks to governor’s Permanent Fund plan

Posted on 03 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

On Monday, credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s said Gov. Bill Walker’s proposed changes to the way the Alaska Permanent Fund is used “is a favorable development because it illustrates … how a pathway to a more sustainable fiscal structure for Alaska’s general fund is possible.”
Last week, Attorney General Craig Richards shared what is being called the “sovereign wealth model” with lawmakers. The proposal involves diverting all of the state’s oil and gas revenue to the Permanent Fund, whose earnings would be used to partially pay state operations. Permanent Fund Dividends would be paid from a portion of oil and gas revenue rather than the Permanent Fund proper………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakh Sovereign Fund Sees No ‘Sacred Cows’ for Privatization

Posted on 02 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna is keeping no “sacred cows” as it prepares to sell stakes in 43 large units including energy companies, its deputy head said. The fund may offer shares in shipping company KazMorTransFlot and is examining the possible sale of stakes in the downstream business of KazMunaiGaz National Co., which may include Kazakhstan-based refineries and Rompetrol, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Dauren Erdebay said in an interview Thursday.
“Besides the pre-sale preparation of a company, the government will do a lot of work in terms of sector regulation, taking into account our task to have an environment where buyers will be able to continue effective ownership,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigeria eyes $25bn infrastructure fund

Posted on 02 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Government plans to set up a $25 billion infrastructural fund, which will be sourced from local and international sources including through Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund and also the pension fund among others.
Receiving the Italian Ambassador in Nigeria, Mr. Fulvio Rustico, and the Canadian High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr. Perry Calderwood, at the Presidential Villa on Thursday in Abuja, Osinbajo said that the fund would be used to address the nation’s decaying road, rail and power infrastructure. “This is our approach to speeding up the country’s infrastructural development,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Can NSIA contribute to the government’s planned $25 billion infrastructure fund

Posted on 02 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has released a statement that the Buhari administration intends to spend $25 billion on an infrastructure fund to invest in the transport and energy sector as a way to develop the country’s failing road, rail and power structures to boost economic growth.
Although, the VP did not state the timeline guiding the fund, he said the fund would be set up with contributions from local and international sources including Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund and domestic pension funds. The NSIA was actually set up for the purpose of managing and investing funds on behalf of the Nigerian government. He further stated that other sovereign wealth funds have already indicated an interest in the fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hishammuddin: Arul-Pua debate can be held if it can explain 1MDB issue to public

Posted on 02 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said a debate on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) can be held if it can explain the issue to the public. “I welcome the debate but fear that it may be destructive and not beneficial to the public. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wants the 1MDB issue to be resolved quickly,” he said.
1MDB President and Group Executive Director, Arul Kanda Kandasamy has said he is ready for a debate with Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara Tony Pua on the sovereign wealth fund.Arul was responding to a challenge thrown by Pua in his blog. Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) is reported to have said that it is willing to broadcast the debate live………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Omani sovereign wealth fund calls in Freshfields to sue Bulgaria

Posted on 30 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oman’s largest sovereign wealth fund has hired Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to take Bulgaria to arbitration over its role in the collapse in Balkan bank KTB, while the Bulgarian government has instructed Arnold & Porter to defend the claim ahead of preferred law firm White & Case.
Freshfields partners Boris Kasolowsky in Frankfurt and Willibald Plesser in Vienna have been handed the task of recouping losses suffered by the State General Reserve Fund of Oman after KTB closed in June 2014. The arbitration claim, understood to be valued at more than $100m including interest, has been filed at the World Bank’s arbitration court, the International Centre for Settlement of Investor Disputes (ICSID)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zambia moves to operationalize Sovereign Wealth Fund

Posted on 30 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Zambia, Africa’s second largest copper producer seeks to formalize the operationalization of the Sovereign Wealth Fund as the Southern African state grapples with resolving the escalating debt burden, feared by many to have hit a ceiling. According to Wikipedia, the fund is a state-owned investment fund investing in real and financial assets such as stocks, bonds, real estate, precious metals, or in alternative investments such as private equity fund or hedge funds.
Most SWFs, by definition, are funded by revenues from commodity exports or from foreign-exchange reserves held by the central bank. By historic convention, the United States’ Social Security Trust Fund, with $2.8 trillion of assets in 2014, is not considered a sovereign wealth fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

AK Attorney general presents proposal leveraging Permanent Fund to pay for budget

Posted on 30 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gov. Bill Walker’s administration says it wants to leverage the Permanent Fund to help balance the state budget in the long-term. His office says it isn’t a final proposal, but an idea it wants to present to the Legislature. Attorney General Craig Richards gave a presentation on the concept to lawmakers Tuesday afternoon.
The administration said it wants to create a new fund, called a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). Under the plan, the amount of royalty oil revenue flowing into the permanent fund would be doubled. That money would be combined with other revenues to create a steady stream of money for the budget, regardless of oil prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Seeks Explanation From VW Over Emissions Scandal

Posted on 29 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund, the world’s biggest by assets, said Wednesday it would seek explanations from Volkswagen AG over an emissions cheating crisis that nearly halved the value of its interest in the German car market and hit its overall performance in the third quarter.
The fund, which held 1.22% of VW—worth 9.6 billion Norwegian kroner ($1.13 billion) at the end of 2014—said its stake lost 4.9 billion kroner in the third quarter. “Volkswagen was clearly the biggest negative contributor in the third quarter,” said Norges Bank Investment Management’s deputy chief executive, Trond Grande………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Volkswagen has about neutral weighting in Norway fund’s portfolio-deputy CEO

Posted on 29 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $863 billion sovereign wealth fund has a roughly neutral weighting in the fund’s portfolio, a top official said on Wednesday, after the fund posted its second quarterly loss in a row, with Volkswagen weighing on the results.
“It (the Volkswagen share) is about neutrally weighted,” deputy chief executive Trond Grande told a news conference………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Walker proposes Permanent Fund overhaul to cover deficit

Posted on 29 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Governor Bill Walker will propose overhauling the way Alaska uses the Permanent Fund when he releases his budget later this year. The plan would turn the state’s various savings accounts into a kind of endowment, using their earnings to fund state operations.
The governor’s goal is to shift the state from a reliance on oil revenue to a reliance on the earnings of its massive reserve funds, an idea the administration is comparing to the sovereign wealth funds used in oil-dependent states like Norway. The governor’s administration is holding a briefing at noon for lawmakers who are gathered in Juneau for a special legislative session on a natural gas line………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign fund calls for transparency on water lobbying

Posted on 28 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has urged companies to be transparent on lobbying surrounding water management and risks. Companies should also promote best practice of water usage and consider putting in place a mechanism that allows third parties to consult with them directly on matters of water management, according to a revised paper released by Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM).
The manager for Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, long active in the area of water management and a supporter of charity CDP on the matter, also urged companies to engage directly with local communities about water reclamation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Wealth Fund Said to Seek Bankers in Global Deals Shift

Posted on 28 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is seeking to hire bankers for international deals to help the kingdom acquire overseas technology and expertise, four people with knowledge of the matter said.
The sovereign wealth fund, which holds about $100 billion worth of stakes in local companies, is looking to appoint Saudi nationals with experience at both local and international investment banks, the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private. The hires will help the fund make strategic acquisitions in industries including transport, manufacturing and technology that will give Saudi Arabia access to foreign expertise and know-how, according to the people………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Alberta Plans Higher Investment, Debt to Counter Oil-Sands Crash

Posted on 28 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Alberta will boost investment in schools, hospitals and transportation projects and run deficits in a bid to stimulate growth as it confronts a collapse of oil-sands revenue that threw the western Canadian province into recession.
Producers in the province exported C$1.3 trillion worth of oil and gas between 1971 and 2015, most of which has been used to pay for health care, schools and transportation infrastructure. The province’s Heritage wealth fund is currently valued at about C$15 billion, compared with $1.1 trillion for Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which was established after Alberta’s………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Alaska Gov. Walker plans briefings on fiscal concepts and budget

Posted on 28 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gov. Bill Walker has invited Alaska business leaders here Thursday for a discussion of his final fiscal plan and the unveiling of his budget, and lawmakers will get their own briefing Wednesday on a “sovereign wealth fund concept.”
Walker’s administration has been working for months to create a plan to balance Alaska’s budget. This year the state is spending $5 billion while bringing in just $2.2 billion in revenue following a steep decline in the price of oil. Taxes and royalties from North Slope oil make up the majority of state revenue………………………………………..Full Article: Source

HKMA warns on Exchange Fund

Posted on 26 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The performance of Hong Kong’s Exchange Fund in the first three quarters this year, which will be announced early next month, can hardly be encouraging, warns Eddie Yue Wai-man, deputy chief executive of Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
And chief executive Norman Chan Tak-lam’s warning in January that the investment environment in 2015 will be more complex and difficult than last year is quite prescient as global financial markets have been abnormally turbulent so far, especially in the third quarter, Yue wrote in an article on the authority’s website………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Buhari and the Sovereign Wealth Dilemma

Posted on 23 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When the Edo State Governor and Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC) Ad-hoc Committee on the management of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and related federation accounts issues, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, recently threw a big dart at the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), I was not one bit surprised.
However, given the season we are in, there is the temptation for some people to believe that the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is being accused of corruption or mismanagement of fund. That is not the case even though President Muhammadu Buhari has a serious problem on his hands on the issue………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Future Fund taps AP4 veteran to oversee its equity allocations

Posted on 22 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bjorn Kvarnskog will join Australia’s A$117.8 billion ($85.5 billion) Future Fund in early 2016 as head of equities and a member of the Melbourne-based sovereign wealth fund’s investment committee. Kvarnskog will take over that position from acting head of equities Sarah Carne, who took over when Elspeth Lumsden, the fund’s previous head of equities, left in late 2014, spokesman Will Hetherton said in an e-mail. Ms. Carne will resume her position of director, equities.
Kvarnskog will relocate to Melbourne from Stockholm, where he served as head of global equities with the 310.5 billion Swedish kronor ($37.6 billion) AP4, Stockholm………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New wealth fund pledged by city council contender

Posted on 22 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A council leadership contender has vowed to create a regional sovereign wealth fund to invest in Birmingham businesses, housing and infrastructure. Coun John Clancy, who is front-runner in the battle to succeed Sir Albert Bore as leader, wants to “sweat” the council’s £5-£6 billion land and property assets to build and support jobs, economic growth and housing in the region.
In his detailed manifesto, he says: “This would use our physical asset base to generate capital spend in building housing and investing in business, jobs and infrastructure across all wards of the city, to generate economic growth city-wide. “We must use it to ensure thousands of affordable homes are built each year over the next decade in this city………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Future Fund uses Cayman Is tax haven

Posted on 20 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia’s Future Fund has money invested in funds based in a notorious tax haven. Future Fund Management Agency managing director David Neal told a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday the fund - which stood at $117.8 billion at the end of September - had money invested in funds that used the Cayman Islands.
“We’ve got a number of vehicles in the Cayman Islands and I think it would be standard practice,” Mr Neal said. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the Future Fund did not pay any tax so it would be wrong to suggest the Caymans were being used to minimise tax. “It’s related to their overall risk management strategy not seeking a particular tax outcome,” the minister told the hearing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Oil Fund Puts Astra International Under Observation

Posted on 14 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s central bank, which oversees Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, said it had put Indonesia’s Astra International Tbk PT under observation, after the company assured in June that it would take steps to mitigate environmental concerns. Last year the fund’s Council of Ethics had recommended the exclusion of Astra International.
However after the company said it would cease all logging and land conversion while developing a sustainability strategy, the ethics council decided to recommend placing the company under observation. The council recommended an observation period of four years to assess the impact of Astra’s new policy. Astra is the second company on the fund’s observation list, joining Alstom SA………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S urges swift implementation of SWF as oil exploration moves forward “rapidly”

Posted on 13 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

United States of America Embassy’s Chargé D’Affaires, Bryan Hunt sees it as important that Guyana moves as swiftly as possible to chose and implement a model for the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).He gave many reasons for this among which was the fact that US oil company Exxon Mobil is “rapidly” moving forward with its exploration.
Hunt told Kaieteur News that the US and Canada are working together to help the government of Guyana to promptly move ahead with the fund. “We think that the Sovereign Wealth Fund is important, no questions about that,” said Hunt adding that President David Granger had committed to the implementation of such………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Renzi revives Italy’s EUR410bn wealth fund

Posted on 12 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The latest outpost of Matteo Renzi’s revolution is a smart conference room in Milan where two of Italy’s best-known bankers sit shoulder to shoulder. These are the new headquarters of the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the country’s €410bn sovereign wealth fund. The 40-year-old Italian prime minister is hoping to blow the dust off the 165-year-old CDP by bringing in Claudio Costamagna, former chairman of Goldman Sachs in Europe, and Fabio Gallia, who was chief executive of BNP Paribas in Italy, and giving them a free hand to spur investment.
“The mandate we’ve got is to do things that are in the context of creating and sustaining the growth of the economy,” says Mr Costamagna, 59, describing his arrival in August — and that of 52-year old Mr Gallia — as “an accelerator”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Leadership battle at Libya’s sovereign wealth fund heats up

Posted on 12 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The tussle for control of Libya’s $67 billion (Dh245.89 billion) wealth fund, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), between two executives both claiming to the legitimate chairman, is escalating in a war of words. AbdulMagid Breish and Hassan Ahmad Bouhadi have been exchanging words through the media and lawyers this year as they both state their case to be the recognised chairman.
“We have unfortunately a rogue … board claiming to be the rightful board but they don’t control anything,” Breish said in an interview in a Dubai hotel on Saturday. Breish was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive of the LIA in 2013 but latter stepped aside when he was investigated under Libya’s Political Isolation law that prevented associates of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi from holding public office………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Muhyiddin: Hidden hands shielding 1MDB culprits

Posted on 08 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin suspects there may be hidden hands trying to cover up for those implicated in the1MDB scandal. He said this is because investigations into the debt-ridden sovereign wealth fund appear to have been interrupted.
“It is as though there are hidden hands that want to cover up the wrongdoings of certain parties. This is unacceptable,” he said. Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz has previously said the central bank’s probe into 1MDB has already been concluded and sent to the Attorney-General’s Chambers in August………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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