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Nigeria: $1bn not missing from ECA account – minister

Posted on 19 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that no money is missing from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).Okonjo-Iweala said in Abuja on Wednesday while presenting the proposed 2015 budget that the report that $1 billion was missing from the account was not true.
“Today I had seen a headline that said that there is one billion dollars missing in the Excess Crude Account. I just want to use this occasion to correct that and say that there is absolutely no money missing and I do not know where that notion came from. “One billion dollars from the ECA has been used to pay oil marketers and we published this on 2 December, showing that we put N154.6 billion to pay oil marketers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

$1 bn excess crude money “missing” as FAAC meeting ends in confusion

Posted on 18 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, meeting for November ended in confusion Tuesday as representatives of Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory accused the federal government of not accounting for about $1billion(N168 billion) of excess crude oil money.
The Chairman of State Commissioners of Finance, Timothy Odaah, told reporters after the meeting which ended Tuesday night, that no state knew how the $1 billion difference reported in the Excess Crude Account balance, between October and November, came about………………………………………Full Article: Source

Russian oil major Rosneft to get aid from Welfare Fund for at least 2 projects — CEO

Posted on 17 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Russian government will support at least two out of oil major Rosneft’s seven projects for financing from the National Welfare Fund, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said on Tuesday.
“We have submitted the list of projects to the government and we know that a number of the projects will be supported,” Sechin said. Rosneft will not give up the proejcts that will be financed from the National Welfare Fund, he added…………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB In RM42 Billon Debt - Is Malaysia On The Verge Of Financial Turmoil?

Posted on 17 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For the more political-aware and savvy people of Malaysia, the name Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan would probably ring a bell. He was propelled into the limelight when he published the controversial book “50 Dalil Kenapa Anwar Ibrahim Tidak Boleh Jadi PM” that was used against Anwar and eventually contributed to the former Deputy Prime Minister’s sacking from the government in 1998.
Last Friday, the Batu Kawan Umno division deputy chief managed to make the headlines once again when he lodged a police report against 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). Khairuddin, who said he was acting for the sake of public interest, called for ‘detailled and comprehensive’ investigation, and urged the authorities to interrogate 1MDB’s directors as well as representatives of any company that might be implicated in its scandals…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dominique Senequier: A French financier’s burden

Posted on 15 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

On a mild autumn day about three months ago, the head of China’s main sovereign wealth fund visited an office on Place Vendôme in Paris, just across from the Ritz Hotel. Accompanied by his staff — but with no attendant fanfare — Ding Xuedong, chairman of China Investment Corporation, had come to pay his respects to Dominique Senequier.
The meeting, captured by a photograph now sitting on the marble mantelpiece of Ms Senequier’s 18th-century wood-panelled office, is testament to the international clout of the French private equity fund manager………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BTK project to contribute to diversification of Azerbaijan’s economy – ambassador

Posted on 15 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project will make contribution to the diversification of Azerbaijan’s economy and allow to turn it to a regional center, Turkey’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Ismail Alper Coskun told reporters. He said there can be delays for economic and technical reasons in the process of implementation of such major projects.
The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) finances the project in accordance with the Azerbaijani president’s decree ‘On the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project activities’ dated February 21, 2007………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bahrain fund sells McLaren shares to Dennis

Posted on 15 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat has agreed to sell some of its stake in McLaren to the Formula One team’s overall head Ron Dennis, who is set to become the majority shareholder.
A McLaren spokesman said on Friday that share purchase agreements (SPAs) were signed last August between Mumtalakat, fellow shareholders TAG Holdings and Dennis. “When executed, the SPAs will trigger the passing of a number of shares, from Mumtalakat and TAG, to Ron Dennis,” he added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Alberta caught in a fiscal bind

Posted on 15 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

However, when it comes to oversight of the bounty afforded by natural resource revenues, Alberta has not been as persistent as other jurisdictions when it comes to investing natural resource rents in sovereign wealth funds. An adequately managed fund would have resulted in a substantial sum that could yield earnings to help stabilize the province’s finances during downturns. Indeed, Alberta has squandered decades of natural resource revenues by not adequately investing them.
Although Alberta established the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund (AHSTF) in 1976, there were no inflows to the fund for the period 1988 to 2005 and substantial outflows of income earned were made to the Alberta government’s general operating fund and capital expenditures………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar and the QIA: When the SWF Is Also a Family Office

Posted on 11 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In recent days, two important pieces of information about the Qatar Investment Authority, the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, emerged into public consciousness.
First, the emir has replaced the chief executive of the SWF, Ahmad Al-Sayed, with a royal family member, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani. The state-run news agency announced as much on December 3d. Second, the QIA has gotten behind the makers of the ride-sharing app, Uber………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakhstan’s Kazkommertsbank’s profit falls after BTA buy

Posted on 11 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazkommertsbank (KKB), Kazakhstan’s largest lender by assets, reported a 10.7 percent fall in nine-month net income after its purchase of a stake in bailed-out BTA Bank left it with more bad loans on its books.
KKB bought a 46.5 percent stake in BTA from the sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna in the second quarter. Kazakh businessman Kenes Rakishev bought another 46.5 percent stake in BTA from the fund. Samruk-Kazyna had bailed out BTA, the country’s third largest lender, in the global financial crisis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Brookfield-Qatari bid for Canary Wharf owner gains some support

Posted on 09 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Songbird Estates shareholder Madison International Realty plans to accept Qatar Investment Authority’s offer for the British property company, the sovereign wealth fund behind the hostile move said. The offer of 350 pence per share for the owner of London’s Canary Wharf financial district was launched to Songbird shareholders by QIA and U.S. investor Brookfield Property Partners on Thursday.
In a statement on Monday QIA said that Madison had written a letter to Songbird saying it intended to accept the offer before its closing date. Madison holds a total of 18,627,054 Songbird shares, representing approximately 12 per cent of Songbird’s shares in free float and 2.5 per cent of Songbird’s issued ordinary share capital………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russian State Fund May Step In to Help Big-Box Retailers

Posted on 09 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As Russia’s worsening economic situation crimps investment, the state-run Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is negotiating with major retail chains to finance construction of new stores, the Vedomosti newspaper reported Monday, citing sources close to the negotiations.
Major retail chains like French hypermarket group Auchan require large-scale financing for store expansions, but access to cheap credit has been drying up as the falling price of oil and Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis isolate Russia from global sources of capital and propel the economy toward recession………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Future Fund cuts Australian dollar exposure

Posted on 08 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The federal government’s $100 billion Future Fund has cut its exposure to the Australian dollar and positioned itself to profit from the Reserve Bank cutting interest rates as the nation’s largest investors seek shelter from a deteriorating domestic economy.
It has emerged that in the middle of this year the Melbourne-based sovereign wealth fund doubled its exposure to foreign currencies including the US dollar, the euro and the yen. The move marks the Future Fund’s biggest-ever exposure to foreign currencies, taken just before the Australian dollar embarked on its dramatic slide………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Share of Iran’s NDF from oil revenues to decrease by 11%

Posted on 08 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Share of Iran’s National Development Fund (NDF) from the country’s oil revenues has been decreased by 11 percent in next year’s(to start on March 21, 2015) budget bill which was submitted to parliament on Dec. 7. Iran will transfer 20 percent of oil and gas revenues to the fund in next fiscal year, according to the budget bill, the country’s Fars news agency reported.
The Islamic Republic allocated 31 percent of oil and gas incomes to the fund in current fiscal year budget.The government has offered that to not implement the annual 3 percent share increase of the NDF from oil incomes in next year which was predicted in the Fifth Five-year Socio Economic Development Plan (2011-2015)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Canary Wharf owner Songbird rejects Qatar fund and partner’s raised offer

Posted on 08 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Songbird Estates, the owner of London’s Canary Wharf financial district, has rejected a raised joint bid from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and a North American investor that values the company at 2.6 billion pounds ($4.07 billion).
Songbird said on Friday the 350 pence per share offer by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Brookfield Property Partners made on Thursday “does not reflect the full value of the company, its unique position and future growth potential.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Shrinking oil revenues could dig into funds

Posted on 05 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 (R56 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. Norway’s government is allowed each year to take up to 4 percent of its $850 billion wealth fund, the world’s largest, though it only spent 2.8 percent this year, using the money to pay for tax cuts………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Putin orders cash from Russia’s wealth fund be used to support banks

Posted on 05 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Money collected in one of Russia’s two “rainy day” funds should be used to support domestic banks, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, as he set out efforts to help Moscow counteract Western sanctions and overcome its economic woes.
Broadly shut out of external funding due to sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis, Russia’s largest banks such as VTB, Gazprombank and Russian Agriculture Bank are looking to the state fund to help them meet loan demand. “We have a large amount of internal savings, they should become effective investments,” Putin said in his annual state of the union speech………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Wyoming stashes $793M in savings, projects $4.4M shortfall

Posted on 03 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

During recent sessions lawmakers have informally proposed savings goals of $3.5 billion in the “rainy day” fund, and $8 billion in the Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund by 2018. As of this writing the funds have respective balances of $1.996 billion and $6.846 billion. Mead continues to recommend growing the “rainy day” fund to $3.5 billion, enough to cover a full biennium of spending, as soon as possible.
“Our state finances are more vulnerable to outside forces than perhaps any other state,” Brown said. “When we have that vulnerability in boom and bust, and start and stop, we need substantial savings in order to keep ourselves from being on top of the world one day and totally broke the next. That’s what the debate is about, how much money in savings is appropriate. … I think the Legislature is open to having a discussion. Where it goes I couldn’t predict.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Defence force pay deal dwarfed by offer to Future Fund staff

Posted on 02 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tony Abbott’s claim that no one would get a better rate than defence workers appears to be disputed at Senate estimates hearing. Some public servants are getting a bigger pay rise than defence personnel, despite Tony Abbott’s assurances to the contrary.
Abbott announced on Monday the government had bowed to public pressure to keep in place allowances that were to be cut under a new defence deal, which also included a 1.5% annual pay rise. The prime minister told parliament: “No public sector worker will be paid at a higher rate of increase than our defence forces.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Role of banker at centre of Songbird questioned by Qatari bidders

Posted on 01 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Songbird board denies Rothschild’s Alex Midgen is conflicted despite advising the board, and having a seat on it. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has lodged a complaint with the board of Songbird Estates over a potential conflict of interest with one of its bankers as it considers walking away from its mooted £2.2bn takeover of the company that controls Canary Wharf.
The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has questioned the role of Alex Midgen, Rothschild’s head real estate investment banking who is an adviser to Songbird but also has a seat on the board as a nominated director of Simo Glick, who owns 25pc of Songbird. Mr Midgen separately also owns 111,000 shares in Songbird………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pensions at risk because of loan to 1MDB subsidiary, warns Rafizi

Posted on 01 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Civil servants should heed the controversies surrounding sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) as one of its subsidiaries has not been able to service a RM4 billion loan taken from Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pencen (KWAP) which pays government pensions, opposition lawmaker Rafizi Ramli said.
“In case civil servants are dismissing the 1MDB controversy, they should know that their pensions are paid by KWAP,” Rafizi said. “In 2011, KWAP approved a RM4 billion loan to a subsidiary company belonging to 1MDB. The money was ostensibly to create a strategic resource company………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Time for SWFs to bring the money back home

Posted on 26 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are similar. They have billions, made either through the exploitation of a natural resource they were fortunate enough to find within their national boundaries (like most Middle East SWFs), or though the sheer hard work of the people of their sovereign territory (like the SWFs of China and Singapore).
It’s important to note, though, that the SWFs are not identical to the billionaires referred to above. They are not, initially at least, the wealth creators like Branson or Gates. That role is played by the governments and policymakers of the sovereign countries involved, which displayed the foresight, vision and sheer hard work to amass the funds in the first place………………………………..Full Article: Source

‘Be fair’ as 1MDB does good things too, deputy minister tells critics

Posted on 21 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan revealed today that 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had spent a total of RM382.3 million on social initiatives, making it the biggest contributor among state-owned companies. In an attempt to deflect the bad publicity the government investment firm has been getting in the past months, Ahmad appealed to the public to look at the fund’s “positive” efforts.
“Be fair to 1MDB. Don’t only be cynical. Look at it positively,” he said at a press conference in Parliament. Topping the list in 1MDB’s corporate social responsibility drive is the annual haj pilgrimage, for which the sovereign wealth fund had spent RM28.2 million since 2011………………………………….Full Article: Source

Consumer inflation exceeds core inflation for the third straight month in Azerbaijan

Posted on 20 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Parliament of Azerbaijan clamped down on an attempt to withdraw assets of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) from the world markets in order to decrease internal loan rate to 2%. Valeh Alasgarov, Vice Speaker of the Parliament, called for the deputies to stop speculative talks on impact of fall in the world oil prices to the economy of the country and on withdrawal of SOFAZ assets from foreign markets.
“Can you imagine what could happen if Azerbaijan hadn’t accumulate funds in the Oil Fund? What kind of future could we face if we hadn’t allocate funds for implementation of Shah Deniz, TAP, TANAP and other projects, as well as for construction of the bridge over Samur. I want to say that every decision taken by the government of Azerbaijan is well-considered and reasonable and it’s confirmed by today’s development of our economy and today’s image of our country. That’s why I call for the deputies to stop such talks and speculations on the existing situation”, - Alasgarov said……………………………….Full Article: Source

Kazakhstan’s Alliance Bank says completes debt restructuring

Posted on 20 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan’s Alliance Bank has completed a $1.2 billion debt restructuring and the country’s sovereign wealth fund will put 220 billion tenge ($1.2 billion) of special deposits into the bank to support the deal, Alliance’s chief executive said on Wednesday.
Sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna will support the restructuring through 10-year special term deposits with an aggregate nominal value of 220 billion tenge, CEO Timur Issatayev told Reuters……………………………….Full Article: Source

FiscalNote snares $7 million in investments from Winklevoss, Singapore wealth fund

Posted on 20 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A District-based start-up that uses artificial intelligence to predict the outcome of legislation has received $7 million in funding, including investments from the Singapore sovereign wealth fund and from the Winklevoss twins, made famous from their lawsuits against Facebook.
FiscalNote, founded by a Potomac entrepreneur, uses data-mining software and artificial intelligence to predict the fate of the bills proposed by state legislatures and by Congress each year. The company claims 94 percent accuracy……………………………….Full Article: Source

Panama has rising fiscal deficits, despite strong growth: Moody’s

Posted on 20 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Additionally, two important institutional arrangements in the fiscal arena are the Social Fiscal Responsibility Law (SFRL) and a sovereign wealth fund (Fondo de Ahorro de Panama, or FAP), although they have had a limited and somewhat questionable track-record. Over the past few years, authorities have repeatedly circumvented the deficit ceiling defined by the SFRL through a series of waivers and changes.
While we recognize that policy flexibility is required to respond to special conditions, the frequency of changes and waivers to the fiscal rule reaffirms our view that Panama’s fiscal arrangements lack credibility and, consequently, fail to enhance policy predictability. Until the government establishes a track record of strict adherence to the terms of these fiscal controls, they will provide limited credit enhancement. Moreover, we do not expect the sovereign wealth fund to generate significant net savings……………………………….Full Article: Source

1MDB made RM1.6 billion from Cayman deal, says chairman

Posted on 19 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The chairman of scandal-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) said the move to park funds in the Cayman Islands had yielded a profit of US$488 million (RM1.63 billion) from an initial investment of US$1.8 billion in an oil and gas venture.
This comes in the heels of accusations that the sovereign wealth fund had “lost” the funds after accumulating RM38 billion debts in just five years of its operations. One of its fiercest critics is former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who asked Putrajaya to explain how a fund saddled with RM38 billion debt could benefit Malaysians………………………………….Full Article: Source

1MDB abusing proceeds from US$3 billion bond, says DAP lawmaker

Posted on 18 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In another twist to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) saga, a federal lawmaker has claimed that the state sovereign fund is diverting part of the proceeds of the US$3 billion (RM9.6 billion) loan raised by its subsidiary to fund operating expenses and pay off its burgeoning debts.
This, said Tony Pua (DAP - Petaling Jaya Utara) clearly showed that 1MDB was facing difficulties in balancing its cash flow. The sovereign fund’s wholly owned subsidiary, 1MDB Global Investments Limited, had issued a bond to raise US$3 billion in March last year………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oman SWF-SBI JV to raise $250M to back ventures under ‘Make in India’ campaign

Posted on 17 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The fund was formed in 2011 with equal equity contribution from SBI and SGRF, one of Oman’s sovereign wealth funds. A joint investment fund set up by SBI and Oman’s sovereign fund will raise its corpus by $250 million for a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to capitalise on the new government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
“The ministerial India-Oman Joint Commission, has accorded a political go-ahead for the second tranche with modalities to be worked out by State Bank of India (SBI) and State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) for its launch at the earliest,” Indian ambassador to Oman, J S Mukul said………………………………….Full Article: Source

Costello defends Future Fund tax bill

Posted on 14 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Future Fund chairman Peter Costello has defended the amount of tax the sovereign wealth fund pays, saying it has ’sovereign immunity’ when it invests overseas. The government-owned Fund was named along with other Australian companies for using Luxembourg as a base in which to lower global taxes in one of the biggest global tax leaks in history, published last week.
Thousands of leaked documents released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed how Australian and multinational companies used accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to strike deals in Luxembourg to shift profits and avoid tax…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysian government spends $10 million on plane searches

Posted on 14 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia has spent 33.46 million ringgit (10 million dollars) to date in the search and rescue operations after two tragedies hit its national airline this year, an official said Thursday. The Malaysian state sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional has said that it would pump 6 billion ringgit into the ailing Malaysia Airlines to rehabilitate the national carrier.
Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said 3,732 Malaysian civil servants have helped in the massive multinational search and rescue operations for Malaysia Airlines flights MH370 and MH17…………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB already audited by a ‘big company’, A-G says

Posted on 13 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Auditor-General’s Department did not audit 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), which is accused of financial irregularities, because it was already audited by “a big international” firm, Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang said.
“As far as their accounts is concerned, there is no need to come back and open their books because they have already been audited by one of the big boys,” Ambrin told a town hall meeting on the third series of the 2013 A-G report held at the Angkasapuri here………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rosneft Must Keep Hands Off Wealth Fund, Kudrin Says

Posted on 13 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The man who designed Russia’s rainy-day fund to protect against swings in commodity prices says the country’s state oil company shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the money. OAO Rosneft (ROSN), headed by Igor Sechin, a long-time ally of President Vladimir Putin, asked last month for more than $44 billion from Russia’s Wellbeing Fund to finance investment after sanctions closed capital markets for the company.
The request runs totally against the spirit of the reserve, designed to hedge against dependence on energy exports, said Alexei Kudrin, who was finance minister for more than a decade until 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Opinion: A fund for human capital

Posted on 13 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The proposal from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to establish a sovereign wealth fund based on future revenues from the extraction of shale gas, is, in principle a good idea. Many countries now have such a fund, turning current oil and gas revenues into a national asset for the long term. Norway’s fund is most often quoted as an example; another lesser known example is the state of Texas in the US which has such a fund for its universities.
The details of the proposal from DECC are yet to be released so its final shape and impact is unknown. Given the size of the UK economy, and our budget deficit, the idea that we can build a large financial fund of the type enjoyed by Norway is unrealistic………………………………………..Full Article: Source

$2.7 billion out of National Oil Fund to finance infrastructure projects

Posted on 12 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

$2.7 billion out of the Kazakhstan’s National Oil Fund accumulating windfall oil revenues is going to be earmarked to finance infrastructure projects. “The time has come for us to rely on the funds to the benefit of the country’s people, protecting the nation from the imminent crisis”, President Nazarbayev said in his Address to the Nation voiced at the sitting of the Nur Otan Party Political Council.
“The money will help us overcome the tough period and stimulate further economic growth. These resources are for short-term measures only; they will be channeled to develop transport, industrial and social infrastructure, as well as to support small and middle-sized businesses”, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakhstan To Use National Fund For Oil Price Damage Limitation

Posted on 12 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For the second time in seven years, Kazakhstan will tap its National Fund as one way to help sustain its economy, which has become a victim of the global drop in oil prices. “One of the main tasks of the fund is to ensure the stability of our economy against external shocks, which include a fall in world prices for natural resources,” President Nursultan Nazarbayev said Nov. 11 in a televised address to the nation.
He said his government will use $3 billion a year from 2015 through 2017 “to develop transport, energy, industrial and social infrastructure,” but he also stressed that the expenditures will be accompanied by unspecified “structural reforms” to Kazakhstan’s economy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakh leader orders government to open oil fund for projects

Posted on 12 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan’s president ordered his government on Tuesday to allocate $3 billion from the National Fund every year from 2015 to 2017 to bolster growth in an economy hit by falling oil prices and a slowdown in Russia.
The National Fund, which is replenished with windfall revenues from oil exports, stood at $76.8 billion as of Oct 31. Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest economy and the second-largest former Soviet oil producer after Russia, similarly tapped its fund after being hard hit during the global financial crisis of 2007-09, spending $10 billion to cushion the effects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Annual $3 billion to be allocated out of National Oil Fund to bolster nation’s wellbeing

Posted on 12 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As part of his Address to the Nation, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev has instructed his Government to allocate another $3 billion annually for the following 3 years out of the National Oil Fund accumulating windfall oil revenues, a Tengrinews.kz journalist reports from an extended sitting of the Nur Otan Party Political Council.
“The accumulated funds should be channeled at enhancing the nation’s wellbeing and they should be handled prudently. I commission to allocate an annual $3 billion in 2015, 2016 and 2017”, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

DAP rep, in diatribe, says 1MDB risks defaulting RM42 billion loan

Posted on 12 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) dismal performance in paying up RM317.3 million for a land acquisition despite repeated extensions was a sign that it was financially stretched, said a DAP lawmaker in a scathing attack on the debt-ridden state investment vehicle.
Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said 1MDB has just missed the third deadline to pay up for a RM317.3 million land from Tadmax Resources Bhd. “After paying the 10% deposit for the land in February this year, 1MDB had been unable to make payment for the balance of the transaction despite shifting the deadline from August 20 to September 30 to October 10 and then to October 31,” the lawmaker told reporters at the Parliament lobby today………………………………………..Full Article: Source

‘Distribution of ECA funds violates provisions’

Posted on 11 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The distribution of Excess Crude Account (ECA) savings among the three tiers of government has been described as a violation of the provisions establishing it. ECA, which came into force in 2007, by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal Government and the states, prominently featured a clause the prohibited access to the fund until it is in excess of a certain amount.
The Acting Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), Victor Muruako, made the disclosure while presenting his paper titled “Fiscal Responsibility and Declining Oil Prices”, at the Fiscal Governance Forum in Abuja, Monday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB attempting to cover up massive losses by revaluing their assets, claims Rafizi

Posted on 11 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

PKR said that the controversial government-owned investment company 1Malaysia Development Berhad could face bankruptcy if it continued to record massive losses year after year. Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, who is a strong critic of the sovereign wealth fund, said Putrajaya was trying to cover up the real losses recorded by 1MDB by revaluing the entity’s assets.
He revealed that for the financial year ending March 31, 2014, 1MDB had recorded a loss of RM665 million, which was based on its profit or loss and financial position statements that were audited and filed with the Companies Commission of Malaysia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russiam Minister Tells SWF to Disburse New Subsidized Loans for Russian Banks

Posted on 10 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Russian economic development minister has urged the country’s sovereign wealth fund to disburse subsidized loans to national banks to help them finance the Russian economy. “I think it is a good idea to use money from the National Wealth Fund as a basis for funding commercial banking operations so that our biggest lenders could get subsidized loans and, in their turn, give loans to such companies as [Russian crude producer] Rosneft and so on,” Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said.
“It will be a win-win situation. [The National Wealth Fund] will make a good client and provide a predictable asset to the banks, reasonable loans on acceptable internal market conditions to companies, while the NWF will be able to make a transparent investment into a subsidized [financial] instrument. It could be carried out via NWF, or directly, or there can be other opportunities,” Ulyukayev said. The Russian National Wealth Fund (NWF) is Russia’s state-owned sovereign wealth fund investing in real and financial assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ICD sets up Dubal Holding

Posted on 10 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) has set up a new subsidiary – Dubal Holding – to manage its 50 per cent shareholding in Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), said a press statement on Saturday.
ICD and Mubadala Development Company set up DGA by merging their subsidiaries Dubal and Emirates Aluminium (Emal). EGA’s combined annual production currently accounts for 50 per cent of the total primary aluminium produced within the Gulf Cooperation Council region………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Leak reveals Future Fund and multinationals’ secret offshore tax deals

Posted on 07 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Directors of the Australian government’s Future Fund as well as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Macquarie and AMP could be forced to face a Senate inquiry into tax avoidance following a global investigation into secret tax deals in Luxembourg.
Thousands of leaked documents published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on Thursday revealed how Australian and multinational companies used accounting firm PwC to strike deals in Luxembourg to shift profits and avoid tax………………………………………..Full Article: Source

MAS minority shareholders approve Khazanah plan

Posted on 07 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) minority shareholders have approved Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s privatisation offer of 27 sen a share at its EGM on Thursday. The proposal received 93.3% approval from the minority shareholders who turned up at the EGM, which was held at the MAS academy in Kelana Jaya.
This was the ailing airline’s most important EGM ever in its corporate history, as its fate was decided by the minorities to enable it to start afresh in July next year. Its share price fell to an intra afternoon low of 18.5 sen. At 4.30pm, it was unchanged at 26 sen………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB bled RM665m in a year

Posted on 07 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MBD) booked a net loss of RM665.36 million in its previous financial year, a local daily reported today citing a filing with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM).
According to a report by The Star, 1MDB’s filing showed a loss before tax of RM668.55 million against reported revenues of RM4.258 billion.The filing was made after the sovereign wealth fund closed its books yesterday, some seven months after the end of its financial year in March 31, 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB pulls out of Caymans

Posted on 07 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1MALAYSIA Development Bhd’s (1MDB) RM7.18bil in offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands is expected to be channelled back to the country by December. “Sixty per cent of the money is already back. The remaining 40% will be brought back by the end of this year,” Deputy Finance Minis­ter Datuk Ahmad Maslan said in his reply to Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara) when winding up his ministry’s debates on Budget 2015.
He said the repatriation would be done despite the profits of between 6% and 7% per annum from the investments. Later, when met at the Parlia­ment lobby, Ahmad said the money was being brought back to fund 1MDB’s projects such as the Tun Razak Exchange and Bandar Malaysia development projects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund sees 9 percent asset growth since January

Posted on 06 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Total assets of Saudi Arabia’s main sovereign wealth fund, SAMA Foreign Holdings (SAMA), have jumped 9 percent since January, allowing it to maintain its position as the world’s third-largest, according to a report by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI).
In its most recent ranking of global sovereign wealth funds, the Washington-based SWFI said SAMA’s total assets had risen to 737.6 billion US dollars in October, up 9 percent from 675.9 billion dollars in January. However, Dr. Ali Al-Tuwati, an economics professor at the King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, told Asharq Al-Awsat that SAMA’s position in the rankings would likely fall next year if global oil prices did not stabilize………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC-led group in talks to buy IndCor in S$10b deal

Posted on 05 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

GIC, the Republic’s sovereign wealth fund, is leading a consortium in negotiations to buy IndCor Properties from United States private equity giant Blackstone Group in a deal valued at about US$8 billion (S$10.3 billion), sources familiar with the matter said.Chicago-based IndCor, formed in 2010 as a portfolio company of Blackstone, holds warehouses and distribution centres across the US, said the company’s website.
“Talks are still ongoing. We don’t know whether there will be a deal yet,” said one source, who declined to be identified as the discussions remained confidential. A spokeswoman for GIC declined to comment, while Blackstone had not replied to an email seeking comment by press time………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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