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Azeri Oil Fund to Invest $500 Million in Yuan, Keep Ruble Assets

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund, known as Sofaz, will invest $500 million in yuan assets this year and continue to pursue real estate across Asian markets to diversify its portfolio, the fund’s executive director said.
“At the end of last year, we approved a quota to invest in the renminbi,” Shahmar Movsumov said in an interview in Davos, Switzerland, referring to the Chinese currency also known as the yuan. “We’re completing all the necessary paperwork and this year will start investing the whole amount” of $500 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russians party on in Davos as vodka flows, Ukraine in havoc

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

VTB Bank isn’t letting a bad year get in the way of a good party. Executives at the state-controlled Russian bank, which has cut hundreds of employees following U.S. and European Union sanctions, are betting a little jazz and vodka with the world’s elite will dull the pain.
Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of Russia’s main sovereign-wealth fund, plans to be fully involved with the week’s events. Dmitriev’s Russian Direct Investment Fund is one of the sponsors of a dinner for sovereign-wealth funds. The executive plans to give a speech and use the event to build relationships with “funds from Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Russia faces $40bn battle to stave off banking crisis

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russia may have to spend more than $40bn this year to avert a banking crisis, as the growing likelihood of a sharp recession threatens to pile extra costs on a sector suffering from Western sanctions over Ukraine and a plunge in the rouble.
Russian banks are seeing a deterioration in their loan quality, a rise in their risk management costs and increase in their cost of funding, and banking executives and analysts predict things are going to get worse. This represents a major challenge to President Vladimir Putin, who took power 15 years ago in the ashes of a crisis that wiped out the financial system, and whose popularity partly rests on his reputation for restoring stability………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mumtalakat won’t sell assets to plug shortfall

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahraini sovereign fund Mumtalakat will not sell any assets or change its investment strategy in response to a likely oil price-driven shortfall in the state budget, it said. The fund holds stakes in Bahraini companies including Alba, Gulf Air and Batelco.
Mumtalakat is fully state-owned, but unlike a sovereign wealth fund it receives no surplus cash from the government, investing money generated from its own returns. State inflows to sovereign funds are in doubt this year across the Gulf region………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Samruk-Kazyna cuts spendings by $1.83 bln in 2015

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Samruk-Kazyna will reduce its spending by 337 billion tenge ($1.83 billion) in 2015, Tengrinews reports citing the press service of the company. The National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna, is a sovereign wealth fund and joint stock company in Kazakhstan which owns, either in whole or in part, many important companies in the country, including the national rail and postal service, the state oil and gas company KazMunayGas, the state uranium company Kazatomprom, Air Astana airlines, and numerous financial groups.
The state is the sole shareholder of the fund. Umirzak Shukeyev is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Samruk-Kazyna. Independent directors are Alexander Mirtchev, Sir Richard Harry Evans and Nigel John Stapleton………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bahraini fund Mumtalakat won’t sell assets to plug any budget shortfall

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahraini sovereign fund Mumtalakat will not sell any assets or change its investment strategy in response to a likely oil price-driven shortfall in the state budget, it said on Thursday.
The fund holds stakes in Bahraini companies including Aluminium Bahrain, Gulf Air and Batelco. Mumtalakat is fully state-owned, but unlike a sovereign wealth fund it receives no surplus cash from the government, investing money generated from its own returns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GPT taps market to fund buyback of note

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

GPT Group’s decision to tap the market for $375 million to pay for its buyback of a note held by its former white knight investor has been welcomed, but has also raised questions about GPT’s next step.
The proceeds will be used to redeem a $250m perpetual note issued to Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC in 2008 that carries a 10 per cent coupon………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GPT Group raises $325m as Singapore’s GIC exits

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The GPT Group has raised $325 million from institutional investors after agreeing to buy back a perpetual note held by its one-time “white knight”, Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC. The redemption of the note marks GIC’s exit from the company it aided in November 2008 in the depths of the financial crisis.
The investment has produced handsome returns for GIC, with yesterday’s deal on the note alone reaping the fund $75m. It has also received more than $100m in interest payments over the five years. In May last year, GIC sold its 8 per cent stake in GPT that was then valued at more than $500m………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ investment portfolio hits 28 bln manats

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The predicted cost of the investment portfolio of Azerbaijan’s state oil fund SOFAZ was set at 28.2 billion manats for 2015. On January 19, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev issued a decree approving the main directions (programs) on use of SOFAZ funds for 2015.
Forecasts for 2014 were set at the level of 27 billion manats, 25.2 billion manats in 2013, and 23 billion manats in 2012. “In 2015, SOFAZ will implement an investment policy, which allows obtaining the maximum yield at a low risk of loss of main capital,” the fund said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Deficit-ridden budget of the Oil Fund of Azerbaijan approved for 2015

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The budget of the State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) for 2015 has been approved by the decree of Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan. According to the decree, SOFAZ revenues in 2015 are expected to be at the level of AZN 10,246,611,900, while the expenses are set at the level of AZN 11,813,909,200. In other words, the Fund’s budget will be in deficit for AZN 1,567,297,300.
The Fund’s revenue will be formed mostly by oil and gas PSA income (AZN 9,741,175,600), and by SOFAZ assets management (AZN 494,357,500). Per-acre payments of SOFAZ participants (AZN 1,568,400) and payment for transportation of oil and gas through the territory of the country (AZN 9,410,400) will also contribute to the Fund’s revenue………………………………………..Full Article: Source

No crisis yet for Qatar but fiscal discipline is vital

Posted on 21 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As Gulf countries are devising strategies to tackle over the 60% plunge in oil prices year-to-date, Qatar may see budget deficit of $5bn-$10bn in 2015 if crude remains at $50 for the entire year, Amwal has said.
However, the country, which has the second lowest breakeven oil price among GCC countries after Kuwait, can easily manage the deficit with its huge sovereign wealth fund (SWF) assets and fiscal reserves to support its massive capital spending on infrastructure, according to Amwal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek trims CCB stake

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Holdings trimmed its stake in China Construction Bank to cash in HK$354 million last Tuesday, the Singapore government’s investment arm said. The sovereign investor sold 54.38 million H shares in China’s second-largest commercial bank at an average price of HK$6.50, reducing its shareholding in CCB to 5.99 percent from 6.02 percent.
As the world’s 10th biggest sovereign wealth fund, it is also an investor in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Standard Chartered. ICBC chairman Jiang Jianqing expects profit growth of mainland banks to slow down to a single digit this year, due to last year’s high base number and China’s economy entering the “new normal” stage of slower growth………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ names revenues from Shah Deniz, ACG projects

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Azerbaijan’s state oil fund SOFAZ has earned $2.12 billion since 2007 by implementing the project of the giant Shah Deniz oil and gas condensate field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. “SOFAZ received $523 million within the Shah Deniz project in 2014,” the fund told Trend Agency on January 16.
SOFAZ also said it gained $110.15 billion from 2001 to January 1, 2015 by developing the giant Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) block of oil and gas fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. “SOFAZ received $15.118 billion worth of revenues within the ACG project in 2014,” the fund added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azerbaijani President approves revenues and expenditures of State Oil Fund budget for 2015

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

President Ilham Aliyev has signed a decree on the budget of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) for 2015.
According to APA-Economics, with the decree, revenues of the budget of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) for 2015 were approved as AZN 10 246 611,9 thousand, and expenditures as AZN 11 813 909,2 thousand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia approves $2.3 billion funding for Hanhikivi 1

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russia’s Cabinet of Ministers has approved up to RUB150 billion ($2.3 billion) in funding from the country’s sovereign wealth fund for the Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant project in Finland. Russian ministerial approval was granted on 30 December via order number 2795-pc, which was published on 16 January on the government’s official website for legal notices.
According to the document, the National Wealth Fund - as it is known in Russia - will allocate the Hanhikivi 1 project RUB35.5 billion ($549 million) in 2015, RUB51.2 billion ($792 million) in 2016 and RUB41.3 billion ($638 million) in 2017. There were no details of when the remaining RUB22 billion ($339 million) would be allocated………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Sticks to Budget Plan Despite Oil Slump

Posted on 19 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The finance minister of Norway, Western Europe’s biggest oil producer, said on Friday that she would sanction extra fiscal stimulus if the economic outlook were to worsen further but for now her budget plan for 2015 still holds despite the rapid drop in crude prices.
The budget for this year included plans to spend more of Norway’s oil money, which it keeps in the world’s largest sovereign-wealth fund, as well as a cut on a tax on wealth. Norway’s main defense against the slump in oil has so far been monetary policy, and a lower oil price was cited by the central bank when it lowered its main interest rate to 1.25% in December, and signaled a 50% chance of another cut within six months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB IPO: A chance to get it right

Posted on 19 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Just when it looked like state-backed 1MDB was finally ready to put its energy assets on the market for Malaysia’s biggest IPO in years, the listing has come up against another delay. That hardly inspires confidence in the sovereign wealth fund. But with a new president in place, there is now a chance to set things straight — not only for the country’s capital markets but also for the sovereign itself.
There has been no end to the controversies surrounding Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund 1MDB. For a start, it was facing a backlash from local politicians about billions of dollars it had stored in the Cayman Islands………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Excess Crude Account Reduced to $2.45bn

Posted on 19 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, speaking at the end of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, in Abuja on Friday announced that the balance in the excess crude account for December 2014 stood at about $2.45 billion.
According to Premium Times, transfer to the account as a result of foreign exchange gain dropped from N1.767 billion to about N665 million. The Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, Jonah Otunla, said in a statement at the end of the meeting that the balance in the account dropped from about $3.11 billion to $2.45 billion in December………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Alaska’s fiscal perfect storm

Posted on 19 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Alaska depends on oil tax revenue from development on state lands to fund much of state government. Oil prices are volatile, and Alaska’s economy has ridden out ups and downs. With no state income or sales tax and no commitment to tap the $52 billion Permanent Fund, oil dictates most everything in Alaska.
But the growing value of the Permanent Fund, which has soared about $13 billion in five years, is a glimmer of good news amid Alaska’s economic woes. At the same time, growth in the number of state residents — many of whom collect a Permanent Fund dividend — appears to have leveled off………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ reduces 2015 expenditures up to AZN 500 mln

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) will reduce its 2015 expenditures. APA-Economics reports that SOFAZ will reduce its expenditures AZN 491 mln to AZN 11.814 bln. According to budget package for 2015, Fund’s incomes were amounted to AZN 10.246 bln, expenditures – to AZN 12.305 bln. Fund’a budget deficit was forecasted ay AZN 2.1 bln.
Reduction of expenditures caused decline of deficit to AZN 1.6 bln. 88% or AZN 10.388 bln f expenditures will be transferred to the budget. Moreover, AZN 33.3 mln will be spent to management of the Fund. Remaining AZN 1.393 bln is intended for Fund’s projects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC, Ironbridge plan IPO of Australian car-lease firm FleetPartners

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Australian private equity firm Ironbridge Capital are planning an initial public offering of FleetPartners Ltd in a deal that would value the car leasing company at about US$615 million, a source said.
The IPO was expected as early as April, the person, who had direct knowledge of the matter, told Reuters on Wednesday. It was not clear yet how much of the company was up for sale but the source said between 50 and 80 per cent is likely to be on the block. He did not want to be named as the transaction was confidential………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah questions Jentayu’s source of funding (Video)

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah Nasional’s Managing Director, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar trashed some of the 34 “business proposals” it received on the restructuring of Malaysia Airline System (MAS),saying some didn’t even have credible sources of funding. He reiterated the sovereign wealth funds stance that there is no intention to break up MAS’ assets and sell them.……………………………………….Full Article: Source

SOFAZ draft budget decided to be submitted to Azerbaijani President

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

SOFAZ Supervisory Board holds its following meeting A meeting of the Supervisory Board of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) was held on January 8, 2015. The meeting chaired by Mr. Artur Rasi-zadeh, Prime Minister of Azerbaijan and Chairman of the Supervisory Board discussed the SOFAZ draft budget for 2015.
The Board approved the Fund’s 2015 budget revenues at 10 246 611.9 thousand manats, its expenditures at 11 813 909.2 thousand manats and the Fund’s operating expenditures at 33 318.0 thousand manats. The Supervisory Board recommended the Fund’s 2015 draft budget, including the major directions of its investment policy, and its draft annual operating expenditures for the approval by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Oil Fund of Azerbaijan is not able to finance the national program “fiber to home”

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan Republic (SOFAZ) is not able to finance implementation of the national program for development of fiber-optic network “fiber to home”. According to Elmir Velizadeh, Deputy Minister of Communications and High Technologies, the Ministry is trying to raise funds from other sources including loans to implement this project.
“We will try to implement the project using loan facilities. Previously we expected that the project would be financed by SOFAZ”, - Velizadeh said. Earlier the SOFAZ budget provided for allocation of AZN 100 million for that project but the financing had never been opened………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC, Ironbridge plan IPO of Australian car-lease firm FleetPartners-Reuters

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Australian private equity firm Ironbridge Capital are planning an initial public offering of FleetPartners Ltd in a deal that would value the car leasing company at about $615 million, a source said.
The IPO was expected as early as April, the person, who had direct knowledge of the matter, told Reuters on Wednesday. It was not clear yet how much of the company was up for sale but the source said between 50 and 80 percent is likely to be on the block. He did not want to be named as the transaction was confidential………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s state investor Khazanah’s portfolio rises to $40.5 bln

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysian state investor Khazanah Nasional said a 7.7 percent rise in its asset value in 2014 leaves it in good shape for what it expects to be a challenging year, as the country faces pressure from a weakening currency and falling oil prices.
The sovereign wealth fund said on Wednesday the value of its portfolio rose to 145.6 billion Malaysian ringgit ($40.5 billion) in 2014, up from 135.1 billion in 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s Khazanah Got Aboard The Alibaba Gravy Train

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah, the Malay word for treasure, is also the name of Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund. Like many major Asian investors, Kazanah saw value ahead of Alibaba’s IPO and invested $400 million in the burgeoning Chinese ecommerce giant back in 2012 and 2013.
The wealth fund disclosed on Wednesday it made a profit of more than $1 billion in selling a portion of its Alibaba holdings as it reported its financial performance for 2014. In the the regulatory disclosure, Kazanah also noted it was planning to increase investment in the U.S. tech sector (the fund opened an office in San Francisco in 2013)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysian sovereign fund repatriates billions from Cayman Islands

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bowing to pressure, Malaysian sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) said on Tuesday that it has fully repatriated $2.318 billion invested in a fund in the Cayman Islands under the regulatory supervision of the Cayman Monetary Authority.
1MDB had been severely criticised lately by politicians on all sides and the domestic media for a lack of transparency in its business dealings. The 100 per cent government-owned fund has business interests in energy and real estate, and a board of advisors chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Russia’s Reserve Fund Grew by 72.9%, National Welfare Fund by 51.3% in 2014

Posted on 14 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russia’s Reserve Fund grew by 72.9 percent to top 4.94 trillion rubles year-on-year, while the National Welfare Fund increased by 51.3 percent to 4.388 trillion rubles in 2014, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday. “As of January 1, 2015, the amount of the Reserve Fund totaled 4 trillion, 945 billion and 490 million rubles which equals $87.91 billion,” the ministry said in a report.
“The amount of the National Welfare Fund totaled 4 trillion, 388 billion and 90 million rubles which equals $78 billion,” the report said. At the beginning of 2014, the Reserve Fund totaled 2.86 trillion rubles and the National Welfare Fund totaled 2.9 trillion rubles………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB recovers US$2b in the Cayman Islands

Posted on 14 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) president and group executive director Arul Kandasamy has confirmed in a statement, that the sovereign wealth fund has redeemed in full US$2.318 billion (RM8.24 billion) ploughed by it into a fund registered in the Cayman Islands.
1MDB had previously redeemed US$1.215 billion or 60 per cent, of the investment and has now collected the balance US$1.103 billion. “Following a commitment made by the chairman of the board of directors in a statement dated December 23, 2014, 1MDB can confirm that it has now redeemed in full the US$2.318 billion invested by the company in a Cayman Islands registered fund,” said Arul in the statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Australia: SWFs plead to OECD for tax rule exemption

Posted on 14 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia’s and New Zealand’s largest superannuation funds and sovereign wealth funds, including the $70 billion Queensland Investment Corporation and $26bn New Zealand Superannuation Fund, have urged the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to exclude them from new rules that clamp down on profit shifting and base erosion.
The proposed global tax rule could have profound ramifications on Australia’s and New Zealand’s largest super funds and sovereign wealth funds, with KPMG senior tax partner Steven Economides telling The Australian the proposed rules would be “a disaster” for local super funds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

MongoDB Raises Additional $80 Million, Sovereign Fund Leads Round

Posted on 14 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

MongoDB Inc., a maker of online database software, raised $80 million in funding as the company seeks to challenge Oracle Corp. and other software makers.
A sovereign wealth fund led the financing, and other investors included Goldman Sachs, Altimeter Capital, NEA, Sequoia and funds managed by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. The deal values MongoDB at more than its previous valuation of $1.2 billion, according to Chief Executive Officer Dev Ittycheria………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Where is RM5.5 billion of 1MDB funds being invested, DAP asks

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Controversial sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) must reveal where an additional US$1.56 billion (RM5.55 billion) of loan fund is being invested, DAP lawmaker Tony Pua said.
He said according to the company’s financial report for the first quarter of last year, US$1.56 billion had been placed in various investment portfolios in the “custody of a licensed financial institution with good credit ratings as rated by international credit rating agencies”. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Canary Wharf owner rejects Qatari takeover bid again

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hostile 350p-a-share offer worth £2.6bn from QIA and Brookfield turned down. The owners of Canary Wharf have formally rejected a £2.6bn takeover bid from a Qatari sovereign wealth fund. Songbird Estates, the property company behind east London’s financial district, issued a firm rebuttal on Monday of a 350p-a-share offer from the Qatari investment Authority (QIA) and Brookfield Property Partners, a Canadian investment firm, both of whom are already major shareholders.
The bid, the second the consortium has made, didn’t reflect “the full value of the business, its unique operating platform and its prospects”, Songbird said. It urged other shareholders not to take accept the offer. Shares in the company rose just 1% to 326p following the stock exchange announcement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NBIM to fund research on sustainability in gold, copper mining

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Ardian spent more than $10.8 bln on secondaries last year

Posted on 09 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ardian, the fund of funds and secondary firm that spun out of French insurance giant AXA in 2013, deployed more than $10.8 billion in 2014 on secondary deals, potentially representing up to one-third of total secondary deal volume.
Ardian’s other deals in 2014 included the purchase of 40 LP stakes from a sovereign wealth fund, with a total value of $2.38 billion, that closed in September. The sovereign fund is likely the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), according to sources and a posting in The Gazette, a public records publication in Britain. The notice in The Gazette revealed at least one of the funds in the transaction – ADIA sold its interest in Carlyle Europe Partners III to Ardian. The ADIA sale was run by Cogent Partners………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ata Insurance insured new residence of SOFAZ

Posted on 08 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ata Insurance OJSC won the tender held by the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ). According to the Company, Ata Insurance OJSC has been officially annouced the winner of the open tender on insurance of the SOFAZ new administrative building. The tender with participation of large insurance companies of Azerbaijan was held on the following lots: compulsory insurance of the administrative building, compulsory insurance of civil responcibility and voluntary insurance of SOFAZ property.
The new administrative building of SOFAZ opened on December 29, 2014 is located at Heydar Aliyev avenue. The height of 24-storey building is 140 meters; its interior design includes elements of ten carpet schools of Azerbaijan. All premises are fit with the most advanced equipment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB Says It’s ‘Responsible’ Borrower Amid Debt Concerns

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Bhd., the country’s state investment company, defended its credentials as a borrower after a newspaper reported it failed to repay a loan of more than $500 million last month.
“As far as the banking sector and the credit sector is concerned, we are responsible borrowers” and the company has never defaulted, Arul Kanda, who was named president of 1MDB yesterday, said in an interview. “We need to manage the use of our cash in the most efficient way for the company.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

I met Najib over 1MDB, says Khairuddin

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Batu Kawan Umno vice-chairman Khairuddin Abu Hassan had a private meeting with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak over the 1MDB issue a week before the latter left for the United States for his recent meeting with President Barack Obama.
Khairuddin disclosed this today after giving a statement at the Bukit Aman police station. He said he told the Prime Minister to explain to the public what was going on with 1MDB and that he might withdraw his police report about the sovereign fund if Najib’s public statement satisfied him………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB responsible borrower and never defaulted, says new chief

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Just a day after being appointed president and group executive director of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Arul Kanda Kandasamy has had to come out in defence of the strategic investor over its inability to service its debts. “As far as the banking sector and the credit sector is concerned, we are responsible borrowers and the company has never defaulted,” Arul Kanda Kandasamy told Bloomberg today.
“We need to manage the use of our cash in the most efficient way for the company,” he added. Though not directly addressing a report by The Edge Financial Daily today, Arul seemed to downplay on the concerns highlighted in the report over 1MDB’s failure to repay a loan of about RM2 billion last month………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB’s failure to settle debt seen driving down ringgit, says economist

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) failure to settle an RM2 billion loan to local lenders has been a factor behind the extended drop in the ringgit against the dollar, an economist said. The Edge Financial Daily, quoting sources, reported today that the sovereign fund had missed its December 31, 2014, deadline for settlement of the loan, and had received an extension up to January 30, 2015, to settle the outstanding payment.
The RM2 billion amount was part of an RM5.5 billion debt taken through its subsidiary Powertek Investment Holdings Sdn Bhd in May 2014 to refinance an RM6.17 billion bridging loan taken in 2012 to part finance the purchase of power assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Application period open for 2015 Permanent Fund Dividends

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Shortly before 3 p.m. Monday, the fourth day of Permanent Fund Dividend application season, a counter on the state website that handles applications noted that 65,305 Alaskans had applied for the yearly check. The website reported traffic was hampering its speeds.
Yes, it’s that time again to fill out the forms and gather up your documents. Last year’s check was $1,884. Pick.Click.Give., the state program that helps connect dividend recipients with charitable organizations that could use a donation, says predictions for the 2015 dividend are looking good………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bahrain’s Mumtalakat signs $500m loan deal

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahrain’s sovereign fund Mumtalakat Holding Co announced on Tuesday the signing of a $500 million credit facility with a total of six banks. The loan has been structured as a five-year facility and will be used to refinance existing debt.
The participating banks were named as BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank Luxembourg, Standard Chartered Bank, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Arab Banking Corporation and National Bank of Bahrain. BNP Paribas also acted as coordinating Bank, documentation and facility agent for the loan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azerbaijan Government: the state budget doesn’t depend on current oil revenue

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The government of Azerbaijan is sure that state budget is stable against drastic fall in the world oil prices. According to a source close to the government, Azerbaijan’s state budget doesn’t depend on current revenues.
“The budget of Azerbaijan is based on revenues accumulated by the State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) during previous years. The law on state budget has been approved and adopted and the funds for transfer to the state budget have already been secured at SOFAZ accounts. Their disbursement schedule depends only on us. As a result, even in case of giant reduction in current tax payments from SOCAR (it’s very unlikely, as the basis of its tax payment is associated with the local market) or other payers, the state budget will not be impacted”, - the source said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Depleting Excess Crude Account Causing Nigeria’s Economic Woes – Obasanjo

Posted on 06 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A former Nigerian President, Mr Olusegun Obasanjo, has blamed the present economic woes facing the nation on the depletion of the Excess Crude Account and the external reserves. Mr Obasanjo made the assertion on Monday at a meeting with women leaders from the south-west states held at his hilltop residence in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The women from Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti, Lagos, Osun and Ondo States had met with the former leader to express their displeasure over what they termed the parlous state of the Nigerian economy and some knotty issues in the polity. Insecurity in the north-east, corruption, girl child education and effective representation of women topped the talks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Excess Crude Account: Obasanjo Questions Use Of $35bn

Posted on 06 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has again hit out at President Goodluck Jonathan, saying if his administration desires to bring change to the country, then it must start with itself at the top.
Obasanjo, who made this statement yesterday when he received the leadership of women in the South West, led by the Iyalode of Yorubaland, Mrs Alaba Lawson, at his hilltop residence in Abeokuta, also noted that under the present administration, funds in the external reserves and excess crude accounts had been depleted from the $35 billion that his administration left behind after his tenure. The former president has consistently scored Jonathan’s administration low, especially in the fight against corruption and impunity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bahraini fund Mumtalakat signs deal for $500m loan

Posted on 05 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahraini sovereign fund Mumtalakat has signed a $500 million, five-year loan with a group of banks, sources aware of the matter said on Sunday, with the cash to be used for general business purposes and to refinance existing debt.
The loan is being provided by the same banks which arranged a sukuk issue by the fund in November: Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi , BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered, as well as local institutions Arab Banking and National Bank of Bahrain. Signed just before the end of 2014, the loan is structured as a revolving credit facility………………………………………Full Article: Source

Top 10 Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund Direct Deals for 2014

Posted on 02 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Russia May Burn Wealth Funds in 3 Years Without Cuts

Posted on 02 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russia, poised to enter a recession, will burn through its rainy-day funds in three years if the government doesn’t change the budget structure, according to Finance Minister Anton Siluanov With oil prices at $60 a barrel, Russia’s economy may contract about 4 percent next year and have a budget deficit of more than 3 percent of output, Siluanov told reporters in Moscow today. The ministry will use these estimates and an exchange rate of 51 rubles per dollar to review the 2015 budget.
Russia is facing its first recession since 2009, and the contraction may last for two years, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey. Oil, its biggest export earner, is trading near a five-year low, compounding the effect of sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies over President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea in March. The deterioration puts Russia at risk of a downgrade to below investment grade, Standard & Poor’s said this week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia’s VTB Bank gets $1.8 bln aid from National Welfare Fund

Posted on 02 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

VTB Bank, Russia’s second largest lender by assets, has received the first aid tranche of 100 billion rubles ($1.8 billion) from the National Welfare Fund, the bank said in a statement on Tuesday. VTB will use the funds placed into a subordinated deposit to finance sustainable infrastructure projects on the list approved by the Russian government, the bank said in a statement.
“As a result, the bank’s capital adequacy ratio under Russian Accounting Standards will exceed 12%,” the statement said. VTB Bank is expected to receive the second installment of 150 billion rubles ($2.6 billion) from the National Welfare Fund by the end of the first quarter of 2015, the statement said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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