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Sovereign wealth funds to become largest private equity allocator

Posted on 27 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds could overtake public pension funds as the most significant source of private equity capital in the next five years, David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Carlyle Group told attendees at the Private Equity Exclusive conference in Chicago on Monday.
U.S. public pension funds have historically been the biggest source of capital for private equity firms and today account for 30% to 35% of capital, Mr. Rubenstein. However, sovereign wealth fund assets are growing rapidly, expected to increase to $9 trillion by 2020 from $1 trillion in 2004, Mr. Rubenstein said, citing PricewaterhouseCoopers report on asset management in 2020………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The DoJ 1MDB complaint analysed: how the named banks fare

Posted on 26 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The US Department of Justice’s complaint seeking the recovery of assets related to the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB, is compelling reading. In a 136-page filing, a remarkable web of money transfers and illicit purchases is exposed.
Several banks are involved in it and three more have since been rebuked by the Monetary Authority of Singapore for failing to implement proper money laundering checks. So who comes out of it in the best and worst shape? Here is a quick guide:……………………………………….Full Article: Source

SMRT triple-A credit rating not affected by Temasek’s buyout offer, says S&P

Posted on 22 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

S&P Global Ratings said on Thursday (July 21) that its credit rating on SMRT is not affected by the Temasek Holdings buyout offer for the rail and bus operator.
“Our rating already incorporates a very strong link between the company and its majority owner, the Government of Singapore, through Temasek, which is unlikely to change even if the company becomes a wholly owned subsidiary,” said S&P, which rates SMRT as triple-A with a stable outlook………………………………………..Full Article: Source

3 Things Investors Should Know About Temasek’s Bid For SMRT Corporation Ltd

Posted on 22 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

SMRT Corporation Ltd has made two huge announcements in short order. Last Friday, the land transport services provider revealed that it plans to sell its rail operating assets to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) for S$1 billion. The sale, if it happens, would effectively change the company’s business model from asset-heavy to asset-light. It’s a deal that may change SMRT Corporation’s business significantly – you can find out more about the possible changes here.
Then, yesterday, SMRT Corporation announced that its largest shareholder, Temasek Holdings, has released a buyout offer. Temasek, which is one of the Singapore government’s investing arms, currently owns 54% of SMRT Corporation’s shares and it wants to buy the remaining 46% stake………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The world’s top ten biggest sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 15 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the midst of collapsing oil prices, oil-funded sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are under pressure to liquidate assets, according to political risk advisory firm GeoEconomica. There was roughly a 20 per cent fall over the past year in the deposits and reserves stored in the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) by the Saudi government, according to estimates. This suggests that oil giants such as Saudi Arabia are now seeking to protect their budgets against dramatically declining revenues.
SWFs are managed separately from a county’s official currency reserves. They are pools of money the government stores in funds or corporations to generate profits. The funds have an original purpose of reducing the volatility of government revenues and help counter any drops in the national economy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The world’s 10 biggest sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 14 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the midst of collapsing oil prices, oil-funded sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are under pressure to liquidate assets, according to political risk advisory firm GeoEconomica. There was roughly a 20 per cent fall over the past year in the deposits and reserves stored in the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) by the Saudi government, according to estimates.
This suggests that oil giants such as Saudi Arabia are now seeking to protect their budgets against dramatically declining revenues. SWFs are managed separately from a county’s official currency reserves. They are pools of money the government stores in funds or corporations to generate profits………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Brexit unlikely to hit GCC sovereign wealth funds – Moody’s

Posted on 13 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The UK’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) will have a “negligible” impact on GCC sovereigns’ credit ratings, Moody’s said in a statement on Tuesday. The rating agency said GCC sovereign wealth funds have limited trade exposure to the UK and their sheer size offers resilience against potential fluctuations in the value of their assets.
Its latest report, ‘Sovereigns – Brexit and the Gulf Cooperation’, said that sovereign wealth fund portfolios are typically large and well diversified, allowing them to absorb the impact of asset price and exchange rate movements associated with Brexit………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWFs curb cross-border investments

Posted on 13 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Direct investments from sovereign wealth funds saw a 42 percent drop in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2015, according to research from the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI).
‘For the first half of 2016, wealth funds and other public pension investors invested $73.2 bn directly,’ write the researchers. ‘This is a sharp decline from the $126.7 bn directly invested in the first half of 2015.’ That doesn’t mean there aren’t still significant sums being invested however, with the SWFI noting an interest in disruptive technology………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwaiti investments in the UK may hit by Brexit

Posted on 13 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kuwaiti investments in the United Kingdom are expected to be hit by the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, although the impact of Brexit is expected to be “short-term and not large”, Undersecretary Khalifa Hamada said.
The KIA, through its London-based subsidiary Kuwait Investment Office, is understood to have substantial investments in the Britain, in particular in real estate and infrastructure. It was part of the consortium which bought London City Airport earlier this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign investors’ M&A deals fall 26 percent by value in second quarter

Posted on 11 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign investors, including wealth funds, made $14.1 billion worth of acquisitions in the second quarter, down 26 percent from the first three months of the year but underpinned by a rebound in real estate deals. Data compiled by Thomson from Reuters shows sovereign investors, a category that can include everything from state pension funds to oil-backed investment vehicles, were involved in 39 deals between April and June, six fewer than in the first quarter.
The single biggest deal was the $4.5 billion funding round for Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of China’s biggest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding, which attracted China’s CIC Capital, amongst others………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi among largest sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 07 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia’s SAMA Foreign Holdings fund was ranked fourth in the list of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, despite its assets falling by $33.9 billion to $598.4 billion by the end of Q2-2016, the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI) said in its monthly report for June.
The kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) maintained its position as the 13th largest sovereign wealth fund with assets amounting to $160 billion in the same period. Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) remained second on the list, with assets growing by $19 billion to $792 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth & buyout funds step up in June quarter

Posted on 01 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Private equity (PE) entities invested $3,602 million across 129 deals during the quarter ended June, as against $4,278 mn across 169 transactions in the same period last year, about 16% less. According to Venture Intelligence, the investment was 7% lower than the immediate previous quarter ($3,890 mn across 169 transactions).
Singalore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, and Abu Dhabi’s ADIA and Malaysia’s Khazanah participated in mega investments. As with the renewable power-focused Greenko Group (that raised $230 mn from ADIA and GIC) and analytics BPO firm Fractal Analytics ($100 mn from Khazanah). Canada-based Fairfax Group committed $300 mn to chemicals manufacturer Sanmar Group (on the heels of its $321 mn bet in Bangalore International Airport, announced in March)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWFs: Investing Directly and Creating Value

Posted on 28 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Today, when sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) put assets into alternative investments, they are more likely to be direct, rather than passive, investors. One of Canada’s largest pension funds recently bought a significant minority stake in Allflex Group, the global leader in animal monitoring technology, joining Allflex’s leading shareholder, private equity firm BC Partners.
In India, a growing number of SWFs are reportedly interested in acquiring investment stakes in infrastructure companies that are expanding the nation’s roads and airports. The New York Times recently described SWFs as part of the group of so-called emerging buyers who bought about 17 percent of the assets sold by private equity firms since 2015, up from 2 percent almost a decade ago………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s 2nd-Biggest Sovereign Fund Sees Oil Glut Until Mid-2017

Posted on 23 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The global oil glut will probably persist until at least next summer as markets take time to absorb excess crude in storage, according to the head of research at the world’s second-largest sovereign wealth fund.
Supply and demand for oil are coming back into balance, and the response of shale producers to rising prices will help determine how high crude can go, Christof Ruehl, the global head of research at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

GCC sovereign wealth funds adjusting long-term strategies

Posted on 20 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As an inevitable consequence of a prolonged period of low oil prices, Gulf-based sovereign wealth funds are readjusting their long-term strategies, selling their financial assets abroad and pulling the money out at a rapid rate to fill the gaping budgetary holes. Also, there has been increased pressure on the them to invest in the local market in order to support projects troubled by budgetary cuts.
During the “golden era” (until 2014), when black gold was routinely traded above $100 per barrel, Gulf countries recorded capital inflow reaching epic proportions. They entrusted their enormous surpluses to their Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF) which heavily invested in a variety of assets around the globe. But the financial circumstances of the Arab Gulf countries have changed dramatically………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Watchdogs exempt sovereign wealth and pension funds from study

Posted on 17 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds and pension funds have won a temporary break from tighter regulatory scrutiny, as global watchdogs exempted them from an ambitious study aiming to curb systemic risks from financial institutions that are not banks or insurers.
SWFs — which have grown in number and size in the past decade due to an accompanying spike in commodity prices — have an estimated $7tn in assets under management, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, while pension funds manage about $35tn of assets across the globe………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWF acquisitions rise 62 percent, highest level since 2008

Posted on 13 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The value of acquisitions involving sovereign wealth funds has risen 62 percent to $28.6 billion in the year to date, the highest level since 2008, Thomson Reuters data showed on Friday. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), a sovereign wealth fund, this week agreed to buy a 43-story Singapore office tower for $2.5 billion from the world’s largest asset manager Blackrock, adding to a flurry of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) by sovereign wealth funds.
Industrials, financials and real estate account for nearly 80 percent of year-to-date sovereign wealth fund M&A activity, up from 33 percent a year ago, the data showed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Auditing sovereign wealth funds: Qatar Investment Authority at the back of the class

Posted on 07 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite a lot of changes in Qatar in the last few years, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), is still getting extremely bad marks from international auditors.
In the past few months, QIA officials announced fund managers are making big moves toward investing $35 billion in U.S. interests while opening an office in New York. The fund has hired top finance professionals from firms such as Citibank and Morgan Stanley. But none of that has, as yet, been enough to move the QIA from the bottom of the barrel in the eyes of organizations charged with monitoring sovereign wealth funds around the world………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi’s massive Uber investment: What the analysts think

Posted on 03 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

News that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has pumped $3.5 billion into ride-hailing app Uber – reportedly the largest single investment ever made in a private firm – is a sign of new things to come, analysts say. The massive stake in San Francisco-based Uber, which values itself at around $62.5 billion, gives the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund a share of about 5 percent. It also gives Saudi a seat on Uber’s board of directors.
The announcement marks the first major foreign investment by the kingdom’s wealth fund since its April rollout of ‘Vision 2030,’ a plan to transform the country’s economy by the end of the next decade, and marks a break from a long-held focus on securing conservative, low-risk foreign assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia invested $3.5 billion in Uber. That could be bad news for the global economy

Posted on 03 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Uber has raised an astonishing $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. It’s one of the biggest venture capital investments in history and brings Uber’s overall fundraising haul to $11 billion. But while Uber is bragging about the investment, it could reveal a troubling trend in investment trends overall.
In the long run, economic growth depends on our ability to convert cash into productive assets like factories, trucks, machinery, or computer software. But for the most part, recent “investments” in Uber aren’t like that. Uber is planning to use its billions to fund brutal, zero-sum price wars with competitors around the world………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil slump blamed for falloff in assets

Posted on 31 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The decline in oil prices had a trickle-down effect on money managers that run assets for sovereign wealth funds in 2015. Total assets managed for sovereign wealth funds by money managers in Pensions & Investments’ universe were $1.04 trillion as of Dec. 31, down 13.7% from 12 months earlier.
In fact, every manager among the top 10 ranked by sovereign wealth fund assets under management recorded declines in those assets during 2015. State Street Global Advisors had the most sovereign wealth fund assets under management in 2015, at $103.4 billion, but still saw assets fall 8.8% from 2014. BlackRock (BLK) Inc. (BLK) was second in 2015, with $79.7 billion, down 14.4% from a year earlier………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Take-Off of the Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund

Posted on 30 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Professor Gordon L. Clark and Dr. Ashby Monk are two researchers known for their extensive work on Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs). Regular publications arising from their distilling research initiatives on different aspects/issues affecting sovereign wealth funds in all parts of the world get posted on the Oxford SWF Project website.
Policy makers, practitioners and other researchers regularly enrich their knowledge and understanding on the SWF subject matter by visiting this website from time to time. Under recent publications on this website is a paper jointly authored by Professor Gordon L. Clark and Dr. Ashby Monk and published with the link titled; Modernity, Institutional Innovation and the Adoption of Sovereign Wealth Funds in the Gulf States………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Key questions raised by the $2 trillion Saudi wealth fund plan

Posted on 27 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia is planning to expand its sovereign wealth fund into the world’s largest. The Public Investment Fund could eventually control more than $2 trillion, according to Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, making it big enough to buy the world’s four largest publicly traded companies.
The fund is at the center of efforts to diversify revenue from oil under an economic transformation plan known as Vision 2030. The 84-page Vision blueprint includes plans to restructure the country’s finances, administration and reshape oil giant Saudi Aramco into an industrial and energy conglomerate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Funds Investing In Infrastructure

Posted on 20 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Using extracts from the 2016 Preqin Sovereign Wealth Fund Review and data from Preqin’s Infrastructure Online, Joe McGee and Selina Sy examine these investors’ plans and preferences concerning infrastructure investments.
Sovereign wealth funds continue to1 capture attention as a result of their ever growing assets under management (AUM) and corresponding influence on global financial markets. Despite market volatility and the ongoing decline in commodity prices, which has reduced the capital available to some sovereign wealth funds, AUM managed by these investors reached $6.51tn in March 2016. This is over double the aggregate assets held in 2008 ($3.07tn), the year Preqin launched its first Sovereign Wealth Fund Review………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi to ease budget spending cuts, says ratings agency Moody’s

Posted on 17 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Fitch estimates that the Abu Dhabi government sold about $27 billion of sovereign wealth fund assets to help it finance its deficit in 2015. It can finance its deficit by drawing down on the assets of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund that manages between $475bn and $773bn in assets, according to different estimates.
“Abu Dhabi is probably one of the best placed economies in the Gulf to cope with low oil prices,” said Jason Tuvey, an emerging markets economist at Capital Economics. “They’ve got enormous savings in their sovereign wealth funds and debt levels are low, so they can afford to prolong the adjustment for an extended period of time.” Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds hold assets under management equivalent to between three and four times the annual economic output of the emirate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The State of Russian Sovereign Wealth Fund Assets

Posted on 13 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Much has changed since a decade ago. Russia’s fast growing spurt in oil is now in a different phase, as the price of crude oil is impacting the country. Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development in a 2017-2019 study forecasts the amount of assets in both the Russian Reserve Fund and National Welfare Fund will fall to 2 trillion roubles by 2020.
When Western relations with Russia were stronger, a number of private equity executives were engaged with the RDIF, including TPG’s David Bonderman, Apollo’s Leon Black, Permia’s Björklund and Blackstone Group’s Stephen Schwarzman………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Middle East’s 10 Biggest Sovereign Wealth Funds (For Now)

Posted on 12 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia’s plan to create a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund has set an ambitious new standard for state-run investment vehicles. These funds are an increasingly common sight around the world, but particularly in the Middle East, where oil-rich governments like to squirrel away money when oil prices are high in preparation for leaner times.
The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWF Institute) lists 79 funds in its rankings, with 20 of them in the Middle East and North Africa. Now that the price of a barrel of oil has slumped, these stores of wealth are coming into play, helping governments to deal with their budget deficits so they can still provide all the services their citizens have come to expect. But which ones have the most money?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Preqin says SWFs are adopting ‘safer’ real estate strategies

Posted on 06 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

According to the latest data from Preqin, core real estate is most targeted strategy, while distressed opportunities see large decline In its latest review, Preqin finds that sovereign wealth funds investing in real estate in 2016 have moved away from higher risk investment strategies, and are increasingly targeting strategies with a lower risk profile.
Core real estate is now the most utilised strategy, employed by 72% of sovereign wealth funds, up from 57% in 2015. Similarly, core plus investments are now sought by 44% of sovereign wealth funds, up from 39% a year ago, says the data provider. Some 85% of sovereign wealth funds seek direct investment in real estate, the most attractive route to market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Here Are 4 Ways to Invest Like the Pros at Sovereign-Wealth Funds

Posted on 05 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the world of investing, there are the small players, big players and then the biggest players of all: sovereign-wealth funds, which are state-owned investment funds. The world’s SWFs manage trillions of dollars’ worth of investments on behalf of the governments that raised these funds through different forms of taxes, most frequently, by taxing natural-resource extraction.
The funds are usually set aside for when they are needed but in the meantime are allocated in a wide array of investments. The largest SWF is Norway’s, Norway Government Pension Fund Global, which as of last June controlled $873 billion, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Major Gulf Sovereign Fund Retools Fund Manager Strategy

Posted on 03 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The oil crisis (for those who produce oil) has shed some light on the practices of Gulf sovereign investors. Sizable fund redemptions by SWFs occurred in 2015. For example, Northern Trust faced major outflows from several sovereign wealth fund clients, between March 2015 and March 2016.
Plain-vanilla mandates are being challenged, can they be effectively replicated by using investment factors? According to SWFI Compass, an RFP and opportunity intelligence tracker, increasingly all types of public investors are asking for specialist mandates in credit, real estate and real assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi PIF, SAMA Foreign Holdings among largest sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 03 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is now the world’s 13th largest sovereign wealth fund with assets amounting to $160 billion by the end April, the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI) said in its latest report.
The PIF secured its ranking after gaining $154.7 billion since the end of last year. The kingdom’s SAMA Foreign Holdings fund, which placed fourth on the list, saw its assets fall by $36.3 billion over the same period to $632.3 billion. Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) ranked second on the list with $773 billion worth of assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global Growth to Influence Wealth Fund Withdrawals, ADS Says

Posted on 02 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global economic growth will determine whether sovereign wealth funds withdraw further funds from global markets, according to ADS Holding LLC Chairman Mahmood Al Mahmood. Funds are “there to act as a tool for governments when they’re needed,” Al Mahmood, who is also a board member at Abu Dhabi sovereign investment fund Mubadala Development Co., said.
“Is this the end of it? It depends how the economy is whether they’ll continue operating the same way they did in the past.” Sovereign funds from Qatar to the United Arab Emirates and Russia, which amassed about $7 trillion of assets as oil soared higher than $100 a barrel, have been liquidating investments after a more than 70 percent slump in crude since 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Funds Uplift Muslim World with Fajr Capital

Posted on 02 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Fajr - Arabic for “dawn,” to symbolize hope - has a modest $700 million in capital, but its founding shareholders have much deeper pockets. Three sovereign wealth funds - the $111 billion Abu Dhabi Investment Council, Brunei Investment Agency, the sovereign fund of the oil-rich Southeast Asian sultanate, and Malaysia’s $35 billion Khazanah Nasional - joined forces with Mohammed Alsubeaei & Sons Investments Co. (MASIC) to create and nurture the young firm.
Fajr is a union of institutions that have high credibility and share the same values, says Ihsan Bafakih, CEO of MASIC. According to a 2015 report published by Spain’s ESADE business school, the 36 sovereign wealth funds based in Muslim countries account for 46 percent of the estimated $7 trillion in global sovereign wealth assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Vision 2030: Dawn of a new era

Posted on 29 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

At first sight, the Saudi Vision 2030 plan, unveiled this week by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, seems to break with the Kingdom’s evolutionary approach. The implications of a radical realignment of the economy are profound.
The biggest headline change is the part-privatization of Aramco. The money raised will form the basis of the $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund. Other than this, the deputy crown prince’s plan in fact takes forward initiatives that have long been recognized. He has given concrete form to long-held ambitions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth funds move into real estate amid volatile stock markets

Posted on 28 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Real estate is now a prime play for sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) as equity markets remain unpredictable, said an analyst Wednesday. The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute president Michael Maduell said, “They are looking for long-term investments where they can lock up their capital and not have to continually reinvest that capital.”
The institute analyzes investments by public asset owners such as SWFs and other long-term governmental investors. Vehicles such as pension funds and endowments are also increasing investing in real estate and infrastructure, he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is Saudi Arabia the next failed state?

Posted on 27 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia has been a hot bed of bad news recently. First, there was their horrifying war in Yemen, then their empty threat to start selling off U.S. debt. Most recently, the 30-year-old Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who heads the Saudi Council for Economic and Development Affairs (and also serves as defense minister) laid out a new plan, dubbed “Vision 2030,” to transition the country away from selling oil.
While it may sound positive — vision! less oil! — the plan is actually pretty ominous. And without oil, the Saudi state has little else holding it together. The result could be yet another chaotic failed state in the Middle East — and this time in the home of Islam’s holiest sites………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia’s growth plan: 0% income tax and a giant wealth fund

Posted on 26 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia has no plans to introduce income tax any time soon, despite the damage done to its finances by the oil price crash. The kingdom made clear Monday that taxes on income or basic goods are not part of its 15-year strategy for breaking the economy’s dependence on oil.
Riyadh’s has outlined an ambitious plan to create a huge sovereign wealth fund, which will invest at home and abroad to diversify the economy and create new revenue streams for the government. It says the fund will be worth 7 trillion riyals ($1.9 trillion) by 2030. That’s more than double the size of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What’s In Saudi Arabia’s Blueprint for Life After Oil?

Posted on 26 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled his “Saudi Vision 2030” to reduce the kingdom’s reliance on oil. The blueprint, approved by King Salman, includes plans to sell less than 5 percent of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Aramco, the creation of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund and raising non-oil revenue.
Here’s a guide to the main elements of the plan, announced on Monday in Riyadh and during Prince Mohammed’s interview with Saudi-owned Arabiya television. The prince had disclosed some of the proposals in two interviews with Bloomberg News………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWFs ‘Not to Blame for Equity Crash’

Posted on 26 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Market commentators that have blamed sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) for driving the recent equity market sell-off may be wide of the mark, according to advisory firm GeoEconomica.
The majority of drawdowns from SWFs last year were smaller than their annual investment returns, wrote GeoEconomica Managing Director Sven Behrendt in a note published by the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds. This is despite a series of commentaries claiming large withdrawals from SWFs have led to price falls across stock markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Five Questions About The New Saudi Economic Plan

Posted on 25 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Kingdom will introduce its plan for an economic and financial restructuring of its sovereign wealth fund. On the scale of $2 trillion, this new Public Investment Fund (PIF) would be the largest in the world and would include a compelling IPO of a small portion of Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, Saudi Aramco.
The country relies almost exclusively on oil profits to fund the government. No one outside of the government knows the exact numbers, but some estimates say 90% of the Kingdom’s budget comes from Aramco………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities slump stalling sovereign wealth growth

Posted on 21 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds in commodities economies are being forced to sell off assets to manage government deficits, slowing growth for the sector. The 2016 Preqin Sovereign Wealth Fund Review shows that while assets held in sovereign wealth funds collectively grew by $200 billion to hit $6.51 trillion in the year to March 2016, this growth was significantly slower than in previous years.
According to Preqin premium publications manager Selina Sy, growth has been hampered largely by sovereign wealth funds in oil-producing nations “fulfilling their function by providing for budget deficits in more challenging economic periods.” In some cases, funds like this saw their assets under management more than halved as a result………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global sovereign wealth fund assets rise to $6.51 trillion

Posted on 20 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth fund (SWF) assets increased by $200 billion in the year to March 2016 and now stand at $6.51 trillion despite recent market volatility and low oil prices, data from research provider Preqin showed on Tuesday.
That represents a yearly growth rate of about 3 percent, compared with rates of 16-17 percent in previous years. But SWFs now hold more than double the assets seen in 2009 when the aggregate AUM totalled $3.22 trillion. The growth was driven by non-commodity funds, which added some $290 billion in assets, whilst SWFs reliant on windfall revenues from oil and gas lost $10 billion, Preqin said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Preqin: Sovereign wealth fund assets up 3.2% in year; oil-dependent funds drop

Posted on 20 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Assets held by sovereign wealth funds across the globe increased 3.2% to $6.51 trillion in the 12-month period through March, driven by growth in non-commodity funds, Preqin said. The research firm reported that funds that do not derive their assets from commodities added $290 billion in assets over the year, while funds reliant on hydrocarbon assets, including oil, lost $10 billion.
Other commodities funds lost more than half of their wealth, dropping by more than half to $50 billion, from $130 billion a year earlier. Preqin, which analyzed the growth and asset allocations of 74 sovereign wealth funds, highlighted in its research the effect of the oil price collapse on investors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Newton Capital Sees Sovereign Wealth Funds Easing Retrenchment

Posted on 12 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds reined in their investments at a slower pace in the first quarter, according to Helena Morrissey, chief executive officer of London-based Newton Capital Management Ltd.
Funds have been liquidating assets and repatriating capital to shore up domestic economies rocked by slumping oil and commodity prices. They pulled “a huge amount” from markets worldwide in late 2015, Morrissey, who helps oversee $69.2 billion, said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Manus Cranny………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth funds like what they see in U.S. middle market

Posted on 12 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds manage staggering sums of money. But that doesn’t mean they’re so big they only invest with the likes of Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
From the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to the Saudi Arabia General Organization for Social Insurance, from the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, sovereign wealth funds are channeling money into U.S. mid-market funds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Truth Behind Saudi Arabia’s $2 Trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund

Posted on 11 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Though Saudi Arabia’s plan of a $2 trillion fund exudes power and confidence, raising a megafund of that size is practically next to impossible, unless crude oil prices see a significant appreciation or Saudi Arabia plans to sell a higher portion of Aramco.
The Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has outlined ambitious plans for the future of the Kingdom in his five-hour long interview with Bloomberg. He wants to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil; however, there are numerous hiccups to his proposed plans………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek Sees Valuation Concerns in Chinese Technology Industry

Posted on 06 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There is valuation concern within China’s technology industry after investors piled into the sector in the last couple of years, said an executive of Temasek Holdings Pte, an investor in e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. before its 2014 initial public offering.
The Singapore state investment company is considering moving to earlier-stage investments in the industry as valuations get higher for companies that move closer to initial public offerings, said Wu Yibing, Temasek’s China head, at the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong on Tuesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Funds: Fiscal Framework, Governance and Investment

Posted on 24 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 and the slowdown of economic growth globally, popular demands for ad hoc use of sovereign wealth to support growth has grown visibly. New funds continue to be created as both the sector and its assets grow.
Yet to prevent rapid dissipation of sovereign wealth as fiscal resources for countercyclical fiscal policy, clear fiscal rules and fiscal frameworks are needed to complement the governance structure and investment strategy. Sovereign Funds draws on industry practitioners, industry observers and academics to present the latest thinking on state-owned investment funds from a global perspective. With exclusive insights, case-study chapters and in-depth sectoral analysis, the contributors assess the present state of sovereign wealth funds offer signposts for future development. (Press Release)

Norwegian wealth fund has a New York state of mind: Gadfly

Posted on 10 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

On the website for Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, a hypnotic and constantly-changing ticker indicates how much kroner the fund is losing and, mostly, gaining. People in London and New York worried about property prices might find it calms their nerves.
The US$830 billion (S$1.14 trillion) Government Pension Fund Global, the biggest sovereign wealth fund, reported results for 2015 on Wednesday: an overall return of 2.7 per cent, achieved despite volatile currency and equity markets, negative interest rates and worries about global growth. Still, that’s its weakest return in five years and worse than the average annual return of 3.7 per cent (after inflation and management costs) since 1998 when the fund’s current management structure was set up………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.A.E. Central Banker Says SWF Withdrawal Reports `Overblown’

Posted on 03 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khalifa Al Kindi, chairman of the United Arab Emirates central bank, said that media coverage of withdrawals by sovereign wealth funds has been exaggerated, amid investor concern that the funds are pressuring global stock markets.
“I think it’s overblown,” Al Kindi, who is also founder of the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, said Wednesday at a conference in the city. “We have been exposed to that in the 80s and early 90s and now with the oil price at these levels you will be using your SWF to withdrawn from. We still have a long way before borrowing from outside world.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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