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Total Assets Of Sovereign Wealth Funds Doubled Since 2008

Posted on 18 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Preqin’s May 2015 Private Equity Spotlight focuses on sovereign wealth funds’ increasing investment in private equity. The article highlights both the growth in sovereign wealth funds and the increasing percentage of their portfolios being committed to alternative investments including private equity.
According to the article, “Today, the total assets of sovereign wealth funds top $6.31 tn, more than double the capital these entities represented in 2008, the year Preqin launched its first Sovereign Wealth Fund Review.” The Preqin article highlights that since October 2013, SWFs have increased their assets by $900 billion despite slumping commodity and oil prices throughout 2014. The continued growth in assets of sovereign wealth funds has been fueled by more government funding and reserves as well as from investment returns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWFI Trend Report: A Tale of Two Europes

Posted on 11 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds and large public institutional investors have chosen to invest a clear majority of their capital directly into the United Kingdom in the last twelve months from March 31, 2015. The UK takes the top position in Europe for inbound direct investment by public institutional investors, totaling US$ 28.4 billion in the Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database.
Primarily looking at sovereign wealth funds for the same 12-month period, US$ 21.1 billion was invested in the UK. Specifically, sovereign funds have been drawn to institutional-quality real estate in London and other metropolitan areas. When thinking about sovereign funds investing in London properties, many professionals highlight the Qatar Investment Authority – Canary Wharf transaction. Yet, there is a property deal that didn’t receive ample coverage from financial media back in August 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth funds now big players in real estate

Posted on 08 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

45% of sovereign wealth funds active in real estate currently invest less than 5% of their total assets in the asset class.However, all sovereign wealth funds globally have a target allocation of 5% or more to real estate. This suggests that there is potential for significant inflows into real estate as these sovereign wealth funds invest to move towards their strategic targets, particularly as these investors seek ever more globally diversified portfolios.
59% of sovereign wealth funds globally actively invest in real estate, up from 54% as of 2013. This is only one percentage point behind infrastructure, which is the preferred alternative asset class for this group of investors. Almost two-thirds (64%) of sovereign wealth funds look to invest through private real estate fund investments, compared to 86% that seek direct investments in real estate assets. Notable sovereign wealth funds that invest in real estate include the Norway-based Government Pension Fund Global and the United Arab Emirates-based Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. (Press Release)

5 Key Takeaways at SWFI’s Institute Fund Summit Asia in Seoul

Posted on 05 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In late April, the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI) held its third Asia summit this time in Seoul, Korea - a vibrant metropolis home to global companies such as Samsung, Hyundai and Lotte. South Korea’s rise to an economic powerhouse is fascinating. In 1957, South Korea and Ghana had nearly the same annual per capital global domestic product. Today, their stories couldn’t be more different.
Walking down the busy streets of Seoul and districts such as the glitzy Gangnam section, Korea has become a model for emerging economies in general, and Asian economies specifically. With prosperity in exports and domestic consumption, Asian companies are expanding market share. Eric Moffett who manages money at T. Rowe Price made the case that Asian companies and their earnings are exposed to rising incomes in parts of Asia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s Largest Sovereign Wealth Funds (Video)

Posted on 29 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With investments worth more than many countries GDPs - the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds are a force to be reckoned with. The biggest got their cash from oil. The funds are often secretive and difficult to scale. Bloomberg checks out the world’s five largest sovereign wealth funds.……………………………………….Full Article: Source

What’s Behind Qatar’s $2.3 Billion Bet on Shell’s BG Takeover?

Posted on 28 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Qatar Investment Authority amassed major positions in both Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group after the two companies agreed to merge earlier this month. What’s its game? The oil and gas industry is primed for an M&A boom. And on April 8, Royal Dutch Shell announced it was offering to buy Reading, U.K.-based BG Group, the former exploration and production arm of British Gas, in a deal worth British Pound 47 billion ($70.2 billion).
Sovereign wealth funds’ responses to the proposed deal in the week following the announcement were largely ignored by the media. Norges Bank Investment Management , the arm of Norway’s central bank that manages the $861 billion Government Pension Fund Global, added BG shares to its portfolio, which also includes a 5 percent stake in Shell. Qatar Investment Authority bought 67 million shares in Shell (a 2.75 percent stake) and 12 million in BG (a 0.39 percent stake) in the wake of the deal. The total cost? $2.3 billion — big money even for the Qataris………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Can Sovereign Wealth Funds Learn to Zig When Markets Zag?

Posted on 22 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign Wealth Center’s transaction database (which excludes NBIM’s open-market stock trades that are part of its indexed strategies) backs Meert up. Sovereign wealth funds could be far better at investing countercyclically. An analysis of our investment data from 2005 to the first quarter of 2015 shows that there is a strong correlation between upward swings in the market cycle and sovereign funds’ increased willingness to take on risk — and vice versa.
This trend suggests that although these funds are supposed to invest for the long term and theoretically be indifferent to cyclical market movements. Instead, they tend to follow trends like other investors — piling in as markets rise and selling when they tumble. That’s a surefire recipe for underperformance…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Down Under, SWFs Compete for Hard Assets Amid Rising Prices

Posted on 16 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Across Australia, sovereign wealth funds are buying up real estate and infrastructure, hoping to profit from favorable long-term demographic trends. But as prices rise and competition heats up, is the window of opportunity closing? On March 27, voters in New South Wales, Australia, returned right-wing Liberal politician Mike Baird to power as state premier at the head of a coalition government with the countryside-focused National Party.
Baird’s watchword throughout a bruising election campaign was “poles and wires” — he pledged to privatize the state’s electricity grid to raise money for an ambitious spending program to improve roads, schools and hospitals. As the opposition Australian Labor Party was against privatization, the election was considered a referendum on the sell-off — and the voters answered with a resounding yes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWF assets surge by Dh3.3trn in 18 months: What’s behind the boost?

Posted on 14 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite a drop in oil prices over the last year, sovereign wealth fund (SWF) assets have grown nearly 17 per cent. Alternative assets industry data collector Preqin said SWF assets under management expanded by more than $900 billion (Dh3.3 trillion) over the past 18 months, from October 2013 to March 2015, reaching $6.31 trillion (Dh23.15 trillion) by the end of last month.
SWF assets stood at $5.38 trillion (Dh19.74 trillion) in October 2013. The recent boost to SWF assets has come mainly from continued funding from governments and reserves as well as from investment returns, Preqin said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Preqin: Sovereign wealth fund assets rise 17% in 18 months to $6.3 trillion

Posted on 13 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Aggregate assets managed by a universe of 73 sovereign wealth funds increased 17% to $6.3 trillion as of March 31, up from $5.4 trillion at the start of October 2013, the last time researcher Preqin reviewed this part of the asset owner industry.
The overall industry growth was due to continued funding from government sponsors of the funds and investment returns, said the Preqin report, which was released Thursday. A majority of sovereign wealth funds — 59% — experienced an increase in assets over the 18-month period, 11% had no change and 30% lost ground, the Preqin data showed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

59% Of Sovereign Wealth Funds Increase Assets In 2014, Despite Sharp Drop In Oil Prices

Posted on 10 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Assets under management for sovereign wealth funds globally reach $6.31tn as of March 2015, increasing by more than $900bn over the past 18 months. The majority of sovereign wealth funds globally have increased their assets under management over the course of 2014. This is despite falling commodity and oil prices, which many of these institutions rely on for funding. The growth in assets has been driven by continued funding from governments and reserves, as well as from investment returns.
Alternative assets are also becoming an important part of these institutions’ portfolios, particularly as they seek to diversify their portfolios and acquire assets that can generate yield and help meet their long-term objectives. AUM Increases and Decreases: While 59% of sovereign wealth funds increased their assets under management over the past 18 months, 30% saw a fall in their AUM and 11% reported no change in assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Do sovereign wealth funds make sense for Africa?

Posted on 09 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds seem to be the new must-have accessory for African governments—especially those with freshly discovered oil and gas reserves. In the past three years Angola, Ghana and Nigeria have all set up funds. A string of other countries including Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique and Tanzania are planning to follow suit. But are these funds delivering? And do they make sense in an African context?
These days, everyone wants a sovereign wealth fund (SWF). “The label sovereign wealth fund sounds sexy. ‘Norway has one, Chile has one, Qatar has one, we want one too,’ is what we are hearing a lot” from African leaders, said Andrew Bauer, an economic analyst at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), a New York-based NGO………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Promise and Pitfalls for Sovereign Wealth Funds

Posted on 09 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds are turning to smart beta strategies to boost returns and lower volatility. Here’s what managers should know about the potential and perils for the popular strategy. Enhanced indexes, alternative beta, strategic beta, or factor-based investing. Whatever the term of art, smart beta is drawing sovereign wealth funds and other institutions.
MSCI, the New York-based index and research firm, estimates assets devoted to such strategies have risen from $20 billion just five years ago to $500 billion today. The word “bubble” springs to mind. Relax — but not too much. Smart beta, after all, is not an asset class, like the internet stocks of 2000 or subprime real estate in 2008………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Are Sovereign Wealth Funds Becoming Guarantors?

Posted on 08 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Although sovereign wealth funds only became a major global financial factor 25 years ago, they are rapidly becoming the centerpiece of world monetary liquidity, utilized by 15 global governments fortunate enough to have accumulated excess cash, after meeting all budgetary monetary requirements. It’s estimated that these government-directed wealth centers comprise $7 trillion of the world’s total excess monetary capability of $28 trillion.
Still a leading factor, with close to a trillion dollars in reserve, Norway made this government-directed super-investment vehicle famous as a stockpile for that diminutive (5 million population) Scandinavian nation’s proceeds from North Sea oil and gas………………………………………..Full Article: Source

At SWFs, 2015 Is Shaping Up to Be A High Turnover Year for Management

Posted on 27 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It’s been a busy year for sovereign wealth fund executives. We’ve seen a shake-up at the top of the China Investment Corp.(CIC), the launch of an entirely new fund in Mexico, and new hires at Australia’s Future Fund and Khazanah Nasional, among others. And a momentous change of leadership at Alberta Investment Management Corp. Here’s a roundup of all the moves from the first quarter 2015.
On February 25, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, appointed Fan Yifei, CIC’s executive vice president, deputy chief operating officer and executive committee member, as its new vice chairman; he will now divide his time between the two institutions, an unusual arrangement whose implications China experts are still trying to decipher………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Do Sovereign Fund Direct Private Investments Deliver Value?

Posted on 25 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As sovereign funds boost direct private equity and venture capital investment, new research suggests that they may be missing out on returns. In a recent long-term study, sovereign wealth funds’ and other institutions’ direct investments in venture capital.
Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. made direct investments totaling $128.5 million in Juno, and now its 28 percent stake is worth $1.5 billion. The allocation was a “real home run,” says APFC chief executive Michael Burns. “We’re really proud of it, but it does distort our direct investment performance, as it wasn’t the norm.” Sovereign wealth funds’ ability to deploy large amounts of capital, combined with their long-term horizons and lack of liabilities, makes them natural candidates for private equity and venture capital investments, whether they allocate directly or through external managers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth funds: What does it take to succeed?

Posted on 25 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the country’s collective bank account now valued at $1 trillion and built from off-shore oil reserves, is often held up as a prime example of how such funds can succeed. The usual rule: make prudent investments, stick to them, be transparent and watch the money grow exponentially.
But Norway’s Government Pension Fund, as it is formally called, is only one of an estimated 80 or so sovereign wealth funds worldwide that collectively hold $7 trillion US. These others probably also hold lessons for how governments can save wisely for future generations. Lessons that might apply to Alberta’s Heritage Savings Trust Fund, which began in 1976 with the best of intentions, but seems to have stalled out at roughly $17.2 billion. But rating these sovereign wealth funds, it turns out, is a subjective affair………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Holds Lessons For Canada

Posted on 24 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In Stavanger, a quaint, seaside city on Norway’s coast, a local newspaper publishes a series called “The Oil Kids” that reports on the lifestyles of wealthy second-generation beneficiaries of Norway’s offshore oil riches. “If you compare to our parents or grandparents which built this country, I think we’re a little bit spoiled,” admits Bjorn Knudsen, whose father worked for a large North Sea oil company.
Fifty years ago, Stavanger’s biggest industry was canning herring. Now, this city is the country’s de facto oil capital. “We are extremely lucky,” says Bjorn’s wife, Kristin Alne, a production engineer for Det Norske Olijeselsksap, an offshore oil company………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s Government Pension Fund is on top of the world

Posted on 24 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A glance at the largest sovereign wealth fund – Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global. GPF assets have grown an annualized 20.3% in the 10 years ended Dec. 31. The fund increased its real estate allocation to 2.2% of assets in 2014 and officials say they “will continue to expand the portfolio in the years ahead.”
In its annual report, management noted strong equity returns in recent years cannot be expected to continue. That, combined with low interest rates globally “will make it a challenge for the fund to deliver similarly high returns going forward.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth funds start to leak oil

Posted on 23 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $850bn oil fund has performed a remarkable impression of the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the past decade. It snapped up 1.3 per cent of the world’s equity market capitalisation and 0.9 per cent of the fixed income market, as well as dabbling in property, as its assets surged sevenfold.
So any substantial change to the fund, or to the wider $7.1tn sovereign wealth fund sector, matters to markets. With $4.3tn of that $7.1tn dependent on revenue streams from oil and gas, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, a slump in the oil price from $115 a barrel in June 2014 to $57 now, might be regarded as constituting a material change………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Minerals-Backed SWFs Show Their Mettle as Coal, Copper Prices Plummet

Posted on 20 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

State-owned investors funded by mineral and metals mining revenue are suffering as prices fall. Fiscal prudence may see them through. As petroleum prices tumble, the world’s attention is focused on those sovereign wealth funds associated with hydrocarbons.
People are paying less heed to government-owned asset pools funded by revenue from nonoil commodities, such as metals, coal and diamonds. Prices for many of these exports have also declined over the past year, though less sharply than oil. Copper prices have fallen by 18 percent since crude started to tank last July, to their lowest value since mid-2009, according to NASDAQ data. Thermal coal has dropped 13 percent over the same period, and is also hovering near six-year lows, according to data provider InvestmentMine………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth a major GCC asset

Posted on 17 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite the sharp decline in oil prices, especially during the second half of 2014, the GCC countries own huge sovereign wealth. It is remarkable that the wealth of Gulf sovereign wealth funds increased during the course of the year. According to Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, which monitors sovereign wealth, sovereign wealth funds have registered steady growth during the past few years.
Oil wealth accounts for around 60 percent of global sovereign wealth. Based on the institute’s statistics, the value of sovereign wealth at present is around $7,111bn, rising from $7,057bn, $6,831bn, and $6,609bn in December, September, and June of 2014, respectively. This marks steady growth in the value of sovereign wealth during the oil price fall, which indicates investments outside the oil sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gulf sovereign wealth funds punching above their weight

Posted on 17 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) Institute, GCC-based SWFs have a total of $2.6 trillion (Dh9.54 trillion) in assets — about 37 per cent of total SWF assets worldwide. Close to 80 per cent of SWF assets in GCC states are accounted for by three major players — the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority with $773 billion, foreign holdings at the Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA) at $757 billion and the Kuwait Investment Authority with $548 billion. By assets, Adia and Sama are the second and third largest SWFs globally.
The UAE has seven large SWFs in total: four in Abu Dhabi, one each in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, while the last is a federal fund. By number of funds, this is more than any other country in the GCC and globally, second only to the US which has several smaller-sized state-level SWFs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

In European Infrastructure Boom, SWFs Navigate Minefields

Posted on 12 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Across Europe, sovereign wealth funds are financing much-needed infrastructure projects — and realizing big profits. But shifting regulations pose risks. In Spain, a huge infrastructure deal is close to completion. New York investment bank Morgan Stanley has put its Madrid-based natural gas distribution company Madrilena Red de Gas on the market for around euro1.8 billion ($2 billion) — and demand is off the charts.
Three separate investor groups are reportedly battling for the assets, with two sovereign wealth funds in the fray: the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Gingko Tree Investment, a unit of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Are Sovereign Wealth Funds Key to Global Economic Recovery?

Posted on 11 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds, a multiplicity of aggregate financial world investment groupings and investing opportunities comprise the huge amounts of excess monetary liquidity that have aggregated worldwide. While some are sponsored and/or backed by indigenous governments, they are primarily managed by financial experts, who constantly scan global tangible and intangible objectives, wherever they might exist.
While the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Germany have their large well-known investment institutions like Goldman-Sachs, the Carlyle Group, KKR, and Apollo Management, similar cash-rich nations have relied on these sophisticated sovereign wealth institutions to invest their share of the increasing liquidity that is coalescing in many developing, and even smaller developed world national entities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

International Review of Law publishes a special issue on Sovereign Wealth Funds

Posted on 10 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

International Review of Law Journal (IRL), has published a special issue on Sovereign Wealth Funds dedicated to the exploration of emerging global legal sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). The IRL journal, published on the QScience.com online publishing platform of Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals (BQFJ), is accessible to all with free to read articles.
With Sovereign Wealth Funds increasingly demonstrating their global appeal, the need to understand legal and regulatory issues has been the stimulus to publish the document. IRL SWF investments are now being felt far and wide in virtually all international investment markets as well as through SWFs’ ambitious private investments in finance, real estate, agriculture, energy exploration, transportation, infrastructure development and technology………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Rise of Asian Sovereign Wealth Funds

Posted on 09 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Spurred by the region’s rapid economic development, sovereign wealth funds in Asia have increased in both size and number over the past decade. These funds have become large and active participants in global financial markets and they frequently make high-profile foreign investments. Given their size and close links to governments, sovereign wealth fund investments often attract media attention and are scrutinized for political motivations.
The perception that many Asian sovereign wealth funds are not transparent in their activities and investments has also raised concerns. This Asia Focus provides an overview of sovereign wealth funds, evaluates the structure and activities of major funds in Asia, and compares the transparency of Asian funds relative to international best practices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Fund Direct Infrastructure Investments, 2003-2014

Posted on 26 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds surpassed US$ 7 trillion in assets before the end of 2014. These institutional investors typically have unique liabilities compared to public pensions. Many of the large sovereign wealth funds, funds with over US$ 30 billion in assets, seek long-term investments. When it comes to infrastructure, sovereign wealth funds pursue accommodating investment regimes, low political risk, assurances from government and opportunities to earn stable financial returns.
According to our research, Asia and Europe top the list as the largest recipients of direct infrastructure investment by sovereign wealth funds, followed by Australia and New Zealand. The Americas ranks dead last, even behind Africa. Breaking apart the Americas, South America has few large direct infrastructure investments by sovereign funds, the bulk going to North America………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Funds Investing at Home – Opportunity Fraught with Risk

Posted on 24 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Following the recent discoveries of large oil and gas deposits in East Africa, a number of countries in the region are in the process of establishing, or are discussing the creation of, sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) as a means to stabilise the effect of volatile currency inflows and to save for future generations.
Additionally, like several other SWFs established over the last decade, some East African governments are considering a role for the planned funds in economic development, as strategic investors in the national economy. The use of SWFs as a tool for strategic domestic investments opens up a range of new possibilities for deepening undercapitalised domestic financial markets and crowding in private capital to infrastructure in priority sectors such as power and transport………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russian Sovereign Wealth Funds: 2015 Drawdowns

Posted on 23 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Back at the end of January, Russia’s sovereign wealth funds amounted to USD160 billion, with the government primarily taking a historically set approach (from 2003 onwards) of arms-length interactions with the funds’ management. This relative non-interference marked 2014 and is now set to be changed, with the government looking at using SWFs to provide some support for the investment that has been falling in the 2013-2014 period and is likely to fall even further this year.
Fixed investment in Russia fell 2.0% y/y in 2013, and by another 3.7% in 2014. Private investment is likely to fall by double digits in 2015, based on the cost of funding, lack of access to international funding and general recession in the economy. It is likely to stay in negative growth territory through 2016………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Five charts that explain the world’s wealth distribution

Posted on 19 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds have been important participants in financial markets over the past decade but as the charts below show, the fortunes of most sovereign wealth funds are tied to oil. For instance, the biggest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (formerly the Government Petroleum Fund) derives its funding from profits generated by the country’s petroleum sector. Most other large sovereign wealth funds are also financed by oil profits.
If oil prices remain low for quite some time to come, it will hit these funds hard. The only exception to oil-based sovereign wealth funds are the Chinese funds, which have grown in size and influence over the past few years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Middle Eastern sovereign wealth money still flowing, despite oil woes

Posted on 12 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein says that Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds are making larger investments than ever before. Co-CEO David Rubenstein said during an analyst call that there has been a marked increase in commitments from sovereign wealth funds, including from Middle Eastern governments that are under fiscal pressure due to falling oil prices. Same goes for commitments from many Asian sovereign wealth funds that are facing domestic economic headwinds.
“The large sovereign wealth funds are now coming into the market… and making very very large commitments, larger than we’ve ever seen before” he said. “And I don’t think there is likely to be a diminution in that trend this year despite the fact that you may say, for example, “In the Middle East, because oil prices are down, won’t the sovereign wealth funds there be pulling back?’……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Temasek says Singapore not Greece in S&P critique

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s Temasek Holdings has told Standard & Poor’s in 29 pages why it shouldn’t mess with the state-owned investor’s AAA rating. Temasek, which managed S$223 billion (US$165 billion) of assets as of last March, said the rating firm’s proposed new rules for grading investment holding companies lump Singapore with riskier nations such as Greece and Jamaica, according to a Feb 2 response to the changes.
S&P’s new criteria take into account the firms’ lack of direct ownership of assets, the challenges they face when selling in illiquid markets and volatility of assets they hold………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Qatar Airways bought a 10% stake in IAG

Posted on 02 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar’s European asset shopping spree isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. State-owned Qatar Airways has bought a 9.99% stake in International Airlines Group (IAB), the holding company formed in 2011 through the merger of British Airways and Iberia. The shares appear to have been bought piecemeal on the open market, which caught analysts napping.
Qatar Airways said the purchase, which is worth £1.1bn at current prices and makes it the largest shareholder in IAG, was ‘part of efforts to enhance operations and strengthen existing commerical ties’ between them. Both airlines are already part of the Oneworld Alliance, collaborating on ticketing and transfers, and have codesharing agreements where they each market the same flights under their respective brands………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Foreign Currency Reserves And Its Sovereign Wealth Fund – Analysis

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In September 2007, after a decade of structural reform of the banking sector, the Chinese government accepted the Ministry of Finance’s proposal to establish a new sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corporation (CIC), to diversify these vast foreign reserve holdings ($1.4 trillion in September 2007; $4 trillion as of June 2014) in investments which would potentially yield a much higher income than that guaranteed by U.S. Treasury bonds.
Until 2007, China was emulating Middle Eastern oil producers which recycled their “petrodollars” in dollar-based assets and securities, particularly by investing in U.S. Treasury Bills. CIC is an exception to most of the global family of sovereign wealth funds. Unlike those of other countries, CIC does not have free and direct access to the country’s currency reserves……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Canada’s Sovereign Wealth Funds: A Question of Consolidation

Posted on 19 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It is a well-established fact that Norway has a massive sovereign wealth fund (SWF) from its oil resource, totaling US$893 billion; other oil producers such as the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia have sizeable SWF’s as well, valued at $773 billion and $757 billion each [1]. However, it might come as a surprise that Canada also has a sovereign wealth fund; Alberta’s Heritage Fund which was built from Alberta’s oil income has a portfolio of $17.5 billion
Now, $17 billion is a large sum of money. In comparison with the SWF’s of Norway or other oil producers, however, it is a paltry amount. Considering that Alberta’s fund was created fourteen years prior to that of Norway’s (1976 for Alberta and 1990 for Norway), it is rather shocking that Alberta’s fund is so small………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NBIM to fund research on sustainability in gold, copper mining

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) is to fund a US university’s work on sustainability in the mining sector, with the resulting work meant to assist the sector in assessing financial risk. NBIM, the manager in charge of Norway’s NOK6trn (€699bn) Government Pension Fund Global, said the work by Columbia University in New York would be funded by a three-year grant.
It added that the project would study how a range of factors related to sustainability would influence the profitability of the mining industry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Top 10 Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund Direct Deals for 2014

Posted on 02 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Asian and Gulf-based sovereign wealth funds are the biggest SWF spenders when it comes to private direct deals in 2014. Other notable public institutional investors who rank near the top, based on transaction value, include Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec(CDPQ) and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). The crown, however, goes to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings for participating in the largest direct sovereign wealth fund transaction in 2014. The Singaporean sovereign fund invested US$ 5.7 billion for a 25% stake in A.S. Watson.
The health and beauty retailer is owned by Hutchinson Whampoa Limited. Other major direct transactions include Singapore’s GIC investment in Chicago-based IndCor Properties, picking up a 45% stake from funds affiliated with Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI & VII. 4 out of the top 10 direct transactions had a real estate component to them. For 2014, over US$ 5 billion has been spent on direct United Kingdom real estate properties from sovereign wealth funds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore Acquisitions Hit a Record High

Posted on 10 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Heavy buying by Singapore companies, such as an $8.1 billion purchase in the U.S. by a consortium including sovereign-wealth fund GIC Pte. Ltd., has sent acquisitions to record highs this year. Buying by GIC and Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd., the government’s two investment firms, accounts for more than a third of the total.
Together, GIC and Temasek have spent close to a record $21 billion, according to figures from Dealogic, a data-tracking company, more than double the $8.9 billion they spent last year. The total is more than the $19.8 billion they spent in 2007, when the state investment companies laid out billions of dollars to acquire stakes in banks such as Barclays PLC, Merrill Lynch and UBS AG………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil states’ recourse to sovereign funds could rattle world markets

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Energy-exporting countries which have stashed billions in windfalls in sovereign investment funds may be forced to draw down on them as oil revenues shrink, sending a chill through stock, bond and property markets worldwide.
Oil-based sovereign wealth funds are a major force in international finance, holding more than $5 trillion in assets, according to David Spegel, an emerging markets expert at BNP Paribas. The funds’ money is typically split into baskets serving distinct functions, propping up government spending at times of falling export revenues or managing windfalls over decades for future generations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why 2015 will be year for ME wealth funds

Posted on 25 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Middle East Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) have been forced to navigate shifting economic currents at home and abroad as they seek to invest their oil-fuelled capital to generate the best returns for their stakeholders, according to a newly published KPMG report on SWFs in the Middle East.
The report was published in collaboration with the Institutional Investor’s Sovereign Wealth Centre. Over the past two years, there has been a shift in how the Middle East’s Sovereign Wealth Funds have had to reallocate their assets. The changes are driven by market forces including the unprecedented low-interest rate environment…………………………………Full Article: Source

Analysts dim on Zim’s new state fund

Posted on 18 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Zimbabwean Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) funded from mineral royalties will not work unless President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF-led government addresses poor confidence in the country’s economy, declining foreign direct investments as well as a woeful budget position, experts told Business Report on Friday.
The political uncertainty emanating from fights to take over from Mugabe have added to investor worries in the country. Lack of investments, coupled with a flat-lining economy characterised by a continued decline in productivity and rising imports has seen most companies and businesses battle to stay afloat………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Funds Poised to Reach $7 Trillion by 2015

Posted on 11 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As of November 2014, sovereign wealth fund assets totaled US$ 6.977 trillion compared to US$ 6.106 trillion in December 2013. This nearly US$ 900 million increase can be attributed by improvements in investment returns and capital flows into sovereign wealth fund vehicles.
In December 2007, sovereign wealth fund assets amounted to US$ 3.259 trillion. This unprecedented growth in public assets is having tremendous influence toward policymaking, economic stability, investment banking and asset management………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gulf Region Investment in U.S. Real Estate Surges 51%

Posted on 05 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Persian Gulf investors from sovereign wealth funds to rich individuals increased spending on U.S. real estate, attracted by the pace of economic growth, a survey by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. showed. Gulf Cooperation Council countries invested $1 billion in U.S. property this year, a 51 percent gain over the year-earlier period, according to the survey released in Dubai.
Wealth funds and institutional investors are spending more on real estate to diversify their holdings, Jones Lang said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

World’s top SWFs failing on transparency

Posted on 04 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) across Asia and the Middle East, which count themselves among the world’s top institutional investors, are failing when it comes to transparency and governance, a new report said. Switzerland-based political risk researcher GeoEconomica evaluated 31 major SWFs, holding assets worth a combined US$4 trillion, against the Santiago Principles; a globally accepted voluntary code of governance and financial disclosure.
The GeoEconomica report found eight SWFs to be fully-compliant with the Santiago guidelines. These included: the Petroleum Fund of Timor-Leste; Australia’s Future Fund; the New Zealand Superannuation Fund; and Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global………………………………………..Full Article: Source

5 Things Sovereign Wealth Funds Won’t Tell You

Posted on 27 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds constantly make news headlines, buying infrastructure in the UK, acquiring a tech company with a private equity fund or doling out large mandates to established money managers. The perception that sovereign funds are long-term in nature can rightfully be challenged.
Take for instance Ireland’s National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) which was allocating chunks of capital left and right to private equity and real estate funds. Post global financial crisis, the NPRF bailed out banks like Allied Irish, forcing the need to liquidate positions with external managers and fund interests………………………………………..Full Article: Source

2014 Looks to Beat 2013 in Sovereign Wealth Fund Transactions

Posted on 24 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Increasingly, sovereign wealth funds are investing directly. The larger sovereign funds are getting involved in more deals, whether in institutional real estate, partaking as a group member in a company acquisition or buying more shares on the open market.
As a whole, the world of sovereign wealth funds is rapidly expanding due to numerous factors. One significant factor is the number of new sovereign wealth funds cropping up, particularly in Africa and the Americas……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Funds - Friend Or Foe?

Posted on 22 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A sovereign wealth fund (SWF) is an investment fund managed by a government agency on behalf of a nation or sovereign state. SWFs (or “sovereign funds”) generally have a mandate to invest globally in any asset class – stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, real estate, etc.
SWFs have grown substantially in size, with total assets as of September 2013 amounting to $5.857 trillion, an increase of almost 80% from $3.265 trillion in September 2007. This enormous pool of capital gives SWFs a great deal of clout in financial markets. Since the majority of SWFs are located in the Middle East and Asia, whether these largely opaque entities are friends or foes of the nations where they invest has been the subject of hot debates from time to time……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Economists release new analysis of a ‘Scottish Oil Fund’

Posted on 19 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A new economic analysis of a potential Scottish Oil or Sovereign Wealth Fund has found that Scotland could earn the same from the fund as current revenues from North Sea oil and gas tax receipts. The new economic outlook found that Scotland could have amassed a fund worth between £73.64 billion and £147.28 billion in 24 years, the same time as the Norwegian Oil Fund has been running.
The economic analysis found that the Scottish Oil Fund would bring in an annual income of between £2.9 billion and £5.8 billion respectively in today’s prices, the same amount as current estimated tax receipts from North Sea oil and gas revenues……………………………………..Full Article: Source

State funds give mixed views on managers

Posted on 15 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

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