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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing - Category | Financials more

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund supports proposed spin-off in Svenska Cellulosa

Posted on 25 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Based upon the terms and conditions in Svenska Cellulosa’s statement and our expectation of sound corporate governance practices in delivery of the proposed spin-off, it is our intention to support the proposal when put to shareholder vote at the next Annual General Meeting. Our final approval will be confirmed once we have reviewed all documentation available to shareholders prior to the next Annual General Meeting.
As at 22 August 2016, NBIM controls the exercise of all rights attaching to, including the ability to procure the vote and transfer of, 8,066,000 class A shares and 31,425,905 class B shares in the capital of Svenska Cellulosa AB, representing 8.7 pct total voting rights of Svenska Cellulosa AB………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar’s financial position ‘will remain strong over next decade’

Posted on 24 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar, whose budget will turn back to surplus in 2017, will remain in one of the strongest fiscal positions in the world over the next decade and continue to hold massive financial buffers through its sovereign wealth fund (SWF), according to BMI. “Qatar’s sovereign position will remain one of the strongest in the world,” BMI said, forecasting that the budget surplus is expected to be QR5.3bn in 2017.
Having posted large budget surpluses between 2010 and 2015 on the back of massive hydrocarbon revenues, BMI said it allowed the country to set up a SWF ‘Qatar Investment Authority’, which held $335bn (215% of gross domestic product or GDP) of assets at the end of 2015, equivalent to five times the total stock of public debt issued by the Qatari government………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Turkey’s $200 Billion Wealth Fund to Finance Transport Projects

Posted on 24 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Turkey’s proposed national wealth fund, which could total as much as $200 billion, will finance projects including airports, seaports, roads and railroads across the country, according to a government minister.
The fund, approved by parliament last weekend, will be used to carry out projects that don’t have a build-operate-finance model, Transport, Maritime and Communication Minister Ahmet Arslan said on Tuesday. Some sub-funds will provide finance for those infrastructure projects, he said in an interview at the work-site for the third bridge connecting Asia and Europe across the Bosporus waterway that will open Friday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azer Fund sells nearly $50mln to banks

Posted on 24 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) sold $46 million to 25 banks through an auction held by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) Aug. 23, SOFAZ said in a message.
SOFAZ will continue to sell foreign currency through auctions in 2016. The foreign currency is sold as part of SOFAZ’s transfers to the Azerbaijani state budget, which are envisaged to stand at 7.615 billion Azerbaijani manats in 2016. SOFAZ was established in 1999 with assets of $271 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Preserving the UAE’s wealth requires the right balance

Posted on 23 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The largest Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia), recently announced its results with the 20-year average return dropping to 6.5 per cent from 7.4 per cent and the 30-year average dropping to 7.5 per cent from 8.4 per cent the previous year.
The drop was attributed to historical returns dropping off the rolling average, financial speak for saying the 1995 and 1985 returns were outsized ones that had pulled the average up and were now no longer being counted………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Don’t Try to Buy Dollars in Azerbaijan’s Capital

Posted on 22 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Dollar sales in the Azeri capital have all but seized up as demand from households still reeling after two devaluations last year leaves most banks running on empty, with the manat plunging the most globally against the U.S. currency on Friday. The sovereign wealth fund known as Sofaz offers only $50 million in auctions held twice a week, which hasn’t been enough to supply banks.
Demand for dollars was 12 times the amount offered at an auction on Thursday, according to Marja, a financial news portal in Baku. The central bank also raised its key interest rate three times this year to the highest since 2008 as part of an effort to “strengthen trust” in the manat and encourage savings in the currency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ reveals income from largest oil project

Posted on 19 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Revenues of Azerbaijan’s state oil fund SOFAZ from the project on development of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) block of oil and gas fields totaled $119.779 billion from early 2001 to August 1, 2016, the Fund told Trend.
SOFAZ said its revenues from the project totaled $2.77 billion in January-July 2016 with some $465 million being acquired in July. A landmark agreement on developing the ACG oil and gas fields was signed with a consortium of 11 foreign energy companies representing six countries in Baku in 1994, while production at the field was launched in 1997………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s oil fund fends off Brexit to post positive return

Posted on 19 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, posted a positive return on Wednesday for the second quarter, despite market pressure from Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
The fund registered a return of 1.3 percent, or 94 billion kroner ($11.5 billion, €10 billion), putting its value at 7.18 trillion kroner ($876 billion, €777 billion) at the end of the quarter, the central bank said on Wednesday. Real estate, which represented 3.1 percent of the portfolio, dragged the fund down, posting a negative return of 1.4 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s SWF Up Despite 5% UK Real Estate Haircut

Posted on 19 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is worth 7,177 billion NOK (US$878 billion). It was up in the second quarter of 2016 by a steady 1.3%, in spite of its real estate holdings in the UK that Norge’s Bank Investment Management’s quarterly report says it reduced by 5 percent as of June 30th.
This downward adjustment is thanks to the financial uncertainty in the UK following the country’s June 23rd referendum that saw British citizens vote to leave the EU. Over $20 billion in property fund assets have being frozen and the British pound has fallen 11% since the vote as investor confidence in the UK investments falls……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norway oil fund looks into trimming $520b stock portfolio

Posted on 19 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, long a backstop for global equity markets, is looking into potentially trimming its $520 billion (Dh1.9 trillion) stock portfolio as it tries to buy more properties and even move into infrastructure.
Faced with withdrawals from the government and dwindling returns amid record low interest rates, the investor has so far been selling “lower yielding” bonds to fund real estate purchases. That could soon include selling stocks as well as the government gives the green light to increasing the share of so-called real assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek sells telco shares to Singtel for $2.47b

Posted on 19 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings has agreed to sell Singtel a 21 per cent stake in Intouch Holdings, the Thai telecoms conglomerate formerly known as Shin Corp. Temasek will also sell its entire 7.4 per cent stake in India’s Bharti Telecom to Singtel.
As part of the deal announced yesterday, Singtel, which is 51 per cent owned by Temasek, said it would fund the $2.47 billion cash purchase partly with short-term debt and by placing out new shares to Temasek at $4.16 apiece to raise $1.6 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Funds Hold Steady on Private Equity Allocation

Posted on 19 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Traditionally, public pensions have been a reliant source of capital for private equity deals. However, sovereign wealth funds continue to gain ground in the private equity investor base, as assets steadily grow for the institutional investor class. The total sovereign fund allocation to private equity tepidly increased for the year ended June 30, 2016, for a number of reasons.
First, several wealth funds have been realigning their private equity fund interests, selling some off to secondary buyers (sometimes even other asset owner peers), while continuing to recommit to strategic/geopolitical private equity funds, push capital into separate accounts, augment co-investment activity or allocate to top-quartile funds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign fund cuts value of UK property portfolio after Brexit

Posted on 18 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

World’s largest sovereign fund reduces portfolio value by 5% saying there are question marks as to what EU vote means. Norway’s $893bn (£687bn) sovereign wealth fund has cut the value of its UK property portfolio by 5% after Britain’s vote to leave the EU.
The world’s largest sovereign fund is one of Britain’s biggest foreign investors, owning shares in most top UK companies and $11bn in government bonds. It co-owns Regent Street, one of London’s premier shopping streets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Oil Fund Looks Into Trimming $520 Billion Stock Portfolio

Posted on 18 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, long a backstop for global equity markets, is looking into potentially trimming its $520 billion stock portfolio as it tries to buy more properties and even move into infrastructure.
Faced with withdrawals from the government and dwindling returns amid record low interest rates, the investor has so far been selling “lower yielding” bonds to fund real estate purchases. That could soon include selling stocks as well as the government gives the green light to increasing the share of so-called real assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund returns to prodit amid bond gains

Posted on 18 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s US$890 billion (S$1.19 trillion) sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, returned to gains in the second quarter even as it warned low interest rates will put pressure on returns ahead amid rising withdrawals from the government.
The Government Pension Fund Global gained 94 billion kroner (S$15.4 billion), or 1.3 per cent, after losing 0.6 per cent in the first quarter, the Oslo-based investor said on Wednesday. Its stock portfolio rose 0.7 per cent, its bond holdings gained 2.5 per cent and the real estate investments lost 1.4 per cent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund returns 1.3% in quarter

Posted on 18 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, Oslo, returned 1.3% in the three months ended June 30, bolstering total assets by 1.4% to 7.18 trillion Norwegian kroner ($850 billion). In a financial update Wednesday, Norges Bank Investment Management, which runs the assets of the sovereign wealth fund, said the return was equivalent to a gain of 94 billion Norwegian kroner.
That compares with a -0.6% return, or 85 billion Norwegian kroner loss, for the three months ended March 31. For the year ended June 30, assets increased 4.1%. The return for the second quarter 2015 was -0.9%, or a 73 billion Norwegian kroner loss………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Wave of restructuring in oil sector reduces risk of losses on Norway’s $24bln fund

Posted on 18 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The worst could be over for investors in Norwegian oil service high yield bonds. After a wave of restructurings in an industry battered by falling crude prices, the risk for losses has now subsided, according to Lars Tronsgaard, who oversees bonds as deputy managing director at Norway’s 199 billion-krone ($24 billion) Folketrygdfondet.
“Short and medium term we believe that for our portfolio the major part of the losses are realized,” he said in an interview in Oslo on Tuesday. “Then we have to see how the oil price develops and how the restructurings, especially within supply, develop.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Singapore’s fiscal position to be unhurt from GIC’s, Temasek’s low returns

Posted on 18 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Conservative spending rules will safeguard it. Despite the lower real returns of state-run investment entities GIC and Temasek Holdings due to exposure to equities, Singapore’s fiscal position is foreseen to endure only a limited impact over the near to medium term.
According to Moody’s Investors Service report, Singapore has on its arsenal buffers that would help it brave deficits at this time. “Over the near to medium term, conservative spending rules, a large stockpile of existing fiscal reserves, and features of Singapore’s fiscal framework that work to safeguard them will limit the negative credit impact on the sovereign,” Moody’s said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Greenko takes advantage of its Singapore ownership

Posted on 17 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Indian renewable energy company Greenko has taken advantage of its Singapore ownership and surging demand for Indian credit to price $500 million of Single B rated bonds below 5%.
The aggressive outcome was mostly put down to expectations that the majority investment of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC would help lower the issuer’s high leverage and improve its financial risk profile. Greenko sold a majority stake to GIC last November and raised a further $230 million in June from GIC and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Among FIIs, Norway fund has wider picks

Posted on 17 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), Norway, one of the largest pension funds globally, has a strong presence across Indian companies. According to a study by Prime Database, based on the shareholding pattern as on June 30, 2016, the Norwegian fund owns stakes in excess of 1 per cent in 77 companies, totalling Rs14,599 crore.
GPFG, which commands a market value of NOK 7,322 billion (Norway Kroner), holds stakes in Indian companies, including ABB, AB Nuvo, Ahluwalia Contracts, Alembic Pharma, Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Ashok Leyland, Asian Paints, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Century Plyboards, IndusInd Bank, SBI, Reliance Industries, Tata Steel and Tata Motors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Swiss private bank linked to Malaysia scandal

Posted on 15 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A former unit of US insurance giant AIG is in the crosshairs of global regulators on an international hunt for billions of dollars — hot money misappropriated, they suspect, from the controversial Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB in a scandal that has rocked Goldman Sachs, The Post has learned.
Falcon Private Bank, once a sleepy outpost of American International Group, is in the spotlight as reports have emerged of its dealings with 1MDB, or 1Malaysia Development Berhad………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azer State Oil Fund sells $50mln to banks

Posted on 12 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) sold $50 million to 29 banks through an auction held by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) Aug. 11, SOFAZ said in a message. SOFAZ will continue selling foreign currency through auctions in 2016. The foreign currency is sold as part of SOFAZ’s transfers to the Azerbaijani state budget, which are envisaged to stand at 7.615 billion Azerbaijani manats in 2016.
SOFAZ was established in 1999 with assets of $271 million. As of July 1, 2016, SOFAZ’s assets increased by 4.6 percent and amounted to $35.1 billion as compared to $33.57 billion in early 2016………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fund syndicate takes stake in Envirogen

Posted on 11 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat has acquired an equity stake in Envirogen Group, a specialised international provider of water treatment solutions, alongsideGecos Invest and Hermes GPE Environmental Innovation Fund LP via a joint investment syndicate led by Promethean UK Opportunities Fund II, LP (PUOFII). The investment by Mumtalakat is the fifth in recent months and marks a step up in the wealth fund’s efforts to diversify its holdings.
Envirogen is a specialised international provider of environmental technology and process solutions for the treatment of water, wastewater, vapour emissions and material recovery, with operations across Europe and North America………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek, CPPIB in fray to pick up SBI, Central Bank stakes in IL&FS

Posted on 11 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) are among five potential investors in talks with State Bank of India (SBI) and Central Bank of India to buy the Indian lenders’ stakes in Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS), two people familiar with the development said.
The stakes in the infrastructure financing firm could be worth at least Rs.1,500 crore in total, said one of the two people, adding that the transaction is likely to be concluded in the next one month. Both spoke on condition of anonymity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait posts budget deficit after 16 years of surplus

Posted on 10 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Lower oil prices have pushed Kuwait into a rare budget deficit, ending 16 straight years of surpluses for the energy-rich Gulf state, the finance minister said.
In previous years, Kuwait built up a sovereign wealth fund worth around $600 billion that is invested mostly in the United States, Europe and Asia. Kuwait is projecting a deficit of $28.9 billion in the current fiscal year which began on 1 April………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Banks, at last, bought entire currency offered by SOFAZ

Posted on 10 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) and the Central Bank have reported that the domestic banks were able at last to purchase the whole currency suggested by the State Oil Fund. SOFAZ reports that today the Central Bank (CBA) has held the next foreign exchange auction.
“At the auction SOFAZ suggested $50 million, and the overall demand from the 29 banks allowed selling $50 million to them,” SOFAZ said. At the previous auction it was sold $49.4 million to 28 banks with the order for sale of $50 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Britons will decide how to spend $1.3 bln shale gas fund

Posted on 10 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Britons living near “fracking” developments will be able to decide how a 1 billion pound shale gas wealth fund should be spent, either by accepting direct personal payments or supporting projects such as railways or flood defences, the government said on Monday.
Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Sunday that some tax proceeds from new shale gas developments could go directly into local residents’ pockets, showing her support for the nascent industry that she hopes can ease Britain’s growing reliance on imported gas………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek buyout target SMRT Q1 profit down 23%

Posted on 09 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Transport operator SMRT Corp reported on Monday (Aug 8) a 22.9 per cent year-on-year decline in profit to S$15.5 million for its fiscal first quarter, its first decline in a year, as losses in the rail business deepened.
The group, which is the subject of a S$1.18 billion proposed privatisation buyout by main shareholder Temasek Holdings, reiterated on Monday in a media conference that it will not be paying any special dividend to shareholders from the asset sale of the new rail financing framework (NRFF). On July 20, Temasek announced the acquisition of SMRT shares………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Economists see lower Temasek, GIC returns denting govt coffers

Posted on 08 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The current brittle investment climate has weighed on Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and state investor Temasek Holdings. This will in turn affect the government’s coffers, observers told The Business Times.
They add that with both entities expecting the situation to drag on for years, there is a pressing need to review the role these contributions play in the fiscal budget. Economists point out that GIC and Temasek have ridden on earlier economic boom and bust cycles, boosting their portfolios with high asset returns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Banks haven’t money enough again to buy SOFAZ-offered entire currency

Posted on 05 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) and the Central Bank obtained shortage of banks’ money for purchase of currency offered by the State Oil Fund. SOFAZ reports that the Central Bank (CBA) has held the next foreign exchange auction.
“At the auction SOFAZ suggested $50 million, but the overall demand from the 28 banks was sufficient only for purchase of $49.4 million,” SOFAZ said. At the previous auction it was sold $49.1 million to 29 banks with the order for sale of $50 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Employees to Pull $350 Million From Och-Ziff Fund

Posted on 04 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s retirement plan is pulling cash from one of the investment bank’s most famous alumni, liquidating a hedge fund run by Daniel Och’s Och-Ziff Capital Management Group. The U.S. has been investigating whether Och-Ziff paid bribes in exchange for an investment from Libya’s sovereign wealth fund and to participate in other deals in Africa.
Clients pulled $3.1 billion from Och-Ziff’s funds in the 12 months through June, and an additional $3 billion through Aug. 1, reducing assets to $39.1 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shareholders thwart Kazakh state oil group’s plan

Posted on 04 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan’s state oil company has been defeated in its attempt to tighten control over its London-listed subsidiary after investors led by China’s sovereign wealth fund voted against the deal. The voting figures imply that China Investment Corporation, which is KMG EP’s largest minority shareholder with a stake of about 11 per cent, voted against the deal.
The role of the sovereign wealth fund, which rarely plays the role of activist investor, underscores Beijing’s growing sway in central Asia’s energy industry as it steps up investment in the region on the back of its One Belt One Road initiative. Chinese companies own close to a quarter of Kazakhstan’s oil production………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore State Investment Fund Chaired By Its Prime Minister Reports Multi-Billion Dip In Profits

Posted on 03 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Government Investment Corporation of Singapore (GIC) which is chaired by its prime minister Lee Hsien Loong reported “a dip in its 20-year annualised real rate of return to 4 per cent” in its 2016 annual report. GIC reported a dip in its 20-year annualised real rate of return to 4 per cent from the previous year’s rate of 4.9% for the financial year ended March 31, Singapore news daily The Straits Times reports on 28 July.
According to Singaporean finance and politics news blog, statestimesreview.com, that 0.9% translates to an estimated loss of at least US$20 billion (over RM81 billion) although the report points out that the real estimate could be as high as US$50 billion to cause a 0.9% drop in 20-year annual rate of return based on a US$135 billion 20 years ago………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia’s Reserve Fund edges down to $38.18 bln by Aug. 1

Posted on 03 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russia’s Reserve Fund shrank slightly over July in dollar terms and was worth $38.18 billion as of the start of August, the finance ministry said on Tuesday. The fund was worth $38.22 billion at the start of July.
Earlier in the year the ministry had sold assets from the fund to finance the budget deficit. Deputy Finance Minister Maxim Oreshkin has said Russia may resume such sales in August. The finance ministry said on Tuesday the National Wealth Fund, the country’s other sovereign fund, was worth $72.21 billion as of Aug. 1, versus $72.76 billion a month earlier………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azerbaijani banks buy over $49M from State Oil Fund

Posted on 03 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) sold $49.1 million to 29 banks through an auction held by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA), SOFAZ said Aug. 2. SOFAZ offered $50 million at the auction, but the banks’ demand was $49.1 million.
SOFAZ will continue selling foreign currency through auctions in 2016. The foreign currency is sold as part of SOFAZ’s transfers to the Azerbaijani state budget, which are envisaged to stand at 7.615 billion Azerbaijani manats in 2016. SOFAZ was established in 1999 with assets of $271 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bank short of money to buy SOFAZ-offered entire currency

Posted on 03 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) and the Central Bank obtained shortage of banks’ money for purchase of currency offered by the Sate Oil Fund. SOFAZ reports that today the Central Bank (CBA) has held the next foreign exchange auction.
“At the auction SOFAZ suggested $50 million, but the overall demand from the 29 banks was sufficient only for purchase of $49.1 million,” SOFAZ said. At the previous auction it was sold $50 million to 28 banks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s top sovereign wealth fund quadruples in total assets in 8 years

Posted on 02 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A report says China’s investment fund industry will continue expanding. The total assets of the top sovereign wealth fund in China have quadrupled in eight years since its founding, according to the 2015 annual report released by the China Investment Corporation.
The CIC’s total assets had grown to over $810 billion during the 8-year period, from $200 billion of registered capital in 2007. The company’s spokewoman Liu Fangyu says they have ramped up investment in assets that generate stable returns, and will further expand investment in this sector in this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China Communications Construction Company denies 1MDB claim

Posted on 01 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China Communications Construction Company, the new owner of Australian engineering group John Holland, has denied involvement in an alleged plot to cover up a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal at Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB by inflating a railway contract.
The allegations were published last week by London-based Sarawak Report, which was subsequently repeated by Asian media outlets. Then-treasurer Joe Hockey allowed CCCC to buy John Holland from Leighton Holdings for $853m in April last year, even though the World Bank has banned the Chinese giant from work on its projects until next year due to “fraudulent prac­tices”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakh state oil company deal facing defeat

Posted on 01 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan’s state oil company looks increasingly likely to be defeated in its attempt to tighten control over its London-listed subsidiary, after investors voiced their concerns about the motives behind the deal.
A crucial role in the vote will be played by China Investment Corporation, the largest minority shareholder with an 11 per cent stake, or a third of the free float. The Chinese sovereign wealth fund, which bought its stake in 2009 at a price of just over $20 per GDR, has privately voiced its dissatisfaction with elements of NC KMG’s proposal, according to several people briefed on the conversations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

HKMA warns of risks ahead after US Fed keeps interest rates unchanged

Posted on 29 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority on Thursday warned the public to be aware of risks arising from market uncertainties after the US Federal Reserve decided not to raise interest rates in its meeting overnight.
“The US Federal Reserve did not give any indication on when it would increase the interest rate again. We believe this is because the US economy and international financial markets remain full of uncertainties,” the local central bank spokesman said in a statement……………………………………….Full Article: Source

1MDB: The inside story of the world’s biggest financial scandal

Posted on 29 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

On 22 June 2015, Xavier Justo, a 48-year-old retired Swiss banker, walked towards the front door of his brand new boutique hotel on Koh Samui, a tropical Thai island. He had spent the past three years building the luxurious white-stone complex of chalets and apartments overlooking the shimmering sea and was almost ready to open for business. All he needed was a licence.
Justo had arrived in Thailand four years earlier, having fled the drab world of finance in London. In 2011, he and his girlfriend Laura toured the country on a motorbike and, two years later, they got married on a secluded beach………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investcorp Sells 20% Stake to Abu Dhabi-Based Fund Mubadala

Posted on 29 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mubadala will immediately acquire a 9.9% stake with a further 10.01% to follow after obtaining regulatory approvals. Bahraini investment manager Investcorp on Thursday said it had agreed to sell a 20% stake to Mubadala Development Co., a sovereign-wealth fund tasked with diversifying Abu Dhabi’s economy.
Under the terms of the transaction, Mubadala will immediately acquire a 9.9% stake in Investcorp and another 10.01% stake after obtaining regulatory approvals. No financial details were disclosed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s Sovereign-Wealth Fund Sees Lower Returns Ahead

Posted on 28 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s over $300 billion sovereign-wealth fund sees no end in sight for the era of low returns as anemic interest rates and sluggish growth weighed on one of the world’s biggest state funds.
“These difficult investment conditions can stretch for the next 10 years,” said Lim Chow Kiat, GIC Pte. Ltd.’s chief investment officer. The sovereign-wealth fund, charged with managing the country’s foreign-exchange reserves, said in its annual report that it earned a 3.7% annualized nominal rate of return over the past five years through the end of March. That compares with a 6.5% return for the five years through the end of March 2015………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore wealth fund’s performance falls to three-year low

Posted on 28 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Low interest rates, high asset valuation and political instability were expected to bring down returns for the foreseeable future, Singapore’s GIC said on Thursday as the sovereign wealth fund’s performance fell to a three-year low.
The investment group’s rolling annualised 20-year rate of return fell to 4 per cent for the year ending March 31, GIC said in its annual results. It recorded 4.9 per cent last year, the strongest results in a decade. The group does not publish single-year results and uses the 20-year annualised rate as its benchmark for performance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

HKMA adds to mortgage talk

Posted on 28 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Amid intensifying competition between banks for mortgage business and reports of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority informing banks verbally that they must restrict rebates on such loans immediately, the HKMA had come out to say it is not setting any new caps.
A spokesperson from the authority said it is already a requirement that if a bank offers a cash rebate or cash- equivalent incentive that exceeds 1 percent of the amount of the mortgage loan then the bank should treat the sum as part of the mortgage loan when calculating the loan-to-value ratio………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azeri banks buy $50M from State Oil Fund at auction

Posted on 27 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) sold $50 million to 27 banks through an auction held by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA), SOFAZ said July 26.
SOFAZ will continue selling foreign currency through auctions in 2016. The foreign currency is sold as part of SOFAZ’s transfers to the Azerbaijani state budget, which are envisaged to stand at 7.615 billion Azerbaijani manats in 2016. SOFAZ was established in 1999 with assets of $271 million. As of July 1, 2016, SOFAZ’s assets increased by 4.6 percent and amounted to $35.1 billion as compared to $33.57 billion in early 2016………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shearman & Sterling bank account linked to stolen Malaysian $1bn

Posted on 26 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Shearman & Sterling has become unwittingly caught up in the middle of the largest ever asset seizure by the US Department of Justice’s anti-corruption unit. Funds transferred to the law firm’s bank account are alleged to have financed the “luxurious lifestyles” of several businessmen associated with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) sovereign wealth fund.
In civil filings to the United States District Court in Los Angeles, Shearman & Sterling is purported to have held millions of dollars in stolen funds in an Interest on Lawyer Account (IOLA) in the US………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is 1MDB Malaysia’s defining moment?

Posted on 26 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The US government has accused Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of having received hundreds of millions of US dollars into his personal banking accounts from money stolen from 1MDB. Najib has not refuted the allegation.
The US government has also accused officials and associates of 1MDB of having stolen more than US$3.5 billion from 1MDB, to which Najib has also failed to deny. What is most devastating to the prime minister personally is that among the millions of such stolen money in his banking accounts is the famous US$681 million which he claimed to be a donation from the Saudi royal family………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CIC’s 2015 returns upset by volatile market environment

Posted on 26 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The China Investment Corporation (CIC) saw its returns plunging into the red last year amid the dismal global economic environment. In 2015, the net annual return of its overseas investments succumbed to a loss of 2.96%, against a net gain of 5.47% in 2014.
The CIC’s latest annual report states that global stocks, commodity prices and non-US dollar currencies tumbled, introducing significant risks and challenges to its global investments. Due to volatility in international financial markets and foreign-exchange losses triggered by an appreciating US dollar, the CIC’s overseas investments generated a dollar-denominated net return of -2.96% in 2015, and a net cumulative annualised return of 4.58% since its inception in 2007………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s top sovereign wealth fund quadruples in total assets in 8 years

Posted on 25 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A report says China’s investment fund industry will continue expanding. The total assets of the top sovereign wealth fund in China have quadrupled in eight years since its founding, according to the 2015 annual report released by the China Investment Corporation.
The CIC’s total assets had grown to over $810 billion during the 8-year period, from $200 billion of registered capital in 2007. The company’s spokewoman Liu Fangyu says they have ramped up investment in assets that generate stable returns, and will further expand investment in this sector in this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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