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Qatar’s Empire State Building investment is rare move for foreign fund

Posted on 26 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Qatar Investment Authority’s acquisition of a 9.9-percent stake in Empire State Realty Trust, announced Wednesday, is an unusual move for a sovereign wealth fund. But it offers several advantages, analysts say. “It is relatively rare to see [sovereign wealth funds] buy a stock position,” said John Guinee, an analyst at Stifel. Far more often, they buy direct stakes in buildings.
When Norway’s sovereign wealth fund Norges Bank Investment Management invested with publicly traded Boston Properties last year, for example, it didn’t buy its stocks. Instead, it bought a 45-percent joint venture interest in the Citigroup Center at 601 Lexington Avenue for $725 million. In 2013, it had bought a 45-percent stake in Boston Properties’ 7 Times Square for $684 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Africa’s friends reviewed - A case study of sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 25 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Over the years, Africa has had many friends or those who claim to be friends, but who among these is betting her funds on the continent? It’s one thing to hand out grants and another to bet citizens’ funds in a cause or economy you believe in. Going by sovereign wealth funds, Norway is betting a lot on the African continent.
So, what is a sovereign wealth fund? In layman’s terms, a sovereign wealth fund is an investment pool of foreign reserves owned and managed directly or indirectly by a government………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya wealth fund claimant denounces UN-backed govt’s plan

Posted on 24 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A claimant to the chairmanship of Libya’s $67 billion sovereign fund on Monday denounced the appointment by the country’s United Nations-backed government of a panel to run the fund, saying he had not been formally asked to step down.
Last week, the Government of National Accord (GNA) appointed a five-member caretaker committee to run the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA). The announcement was welcomed by Western governments, but it did not list AbdulMagid Breish amongst the panel members. The GNA was designed to resolve a conflict that flared up in 2014, when an armed alliance took control of institutions in Tripoli and the newly elected parliament relocated to the east………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Multiple reshuffles stir up Libyan sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 22 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Libyan Investment Authority is undergoing drastic changes, as key members resigned last week followed by Libya’s unity government appointing a new management team for the country’s main sovereign wealth fund Monday. The Presidency Council of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord on Monday appointed a steering committee to temporarily assume the leadership of the LIA, Libya’s largest state fund worth approximately $67 billion.
The 5-member team will thus supersede two rival LIA chairmen, who have been vying for control of the LIA over the past two years. Hassan Bouhadi – the claimant supported by Libya’s Parliament and Interim Government in the east – resigned last Thursday, three days before the GNA order, arguing that he was unable to fulfil his mission given the current circumstances in the country………………………………………..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

Western governments welcome panel to run Libyan wealth fund-Germany

Posted on 19 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Britain and the United States welcomed the appointment in Libya of an interim panel to run the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Germany’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.
“The governments (of those countries) call on all Libyans to support the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) in preserving and protecting the independence and integrity of the Libyan Financial Institutions for the benefit of all Libyans,” the ministry said in a statement. Libya’s U.N.-backed government said on Monday it was appointing a five-member caretaker committee to run the $67 billion sovereign wealth fund………………………………………..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

How Brexit hit a non-EU member

Posted on 18 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s giant sovereign wealth fund has adjusted the value of its UK property holdings down 5%, blaming Brexit uncertainty.The wealth fund, the Government Pension Fund Gobal, run by Norges Bank Investment Management, has only a fraction of its £654 billion investments in property — 59.6% is in equities, 37.4% in fixed income and just 3.1% in real estate.
The fund returned 1.3% overall in the second quarter of 2016, it was reported today. But the fund’s second quarter report said it had chosen to revalue its UK property, and blamed Brexit for a loss on its UK equities holdings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Silk Road revival drives Chinese investment push

Posted on 09 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Beijing’s ambition of reviving trade along the ancient Silk Road is rapidly opening up new markets to Chinese investors looking for opportunities away from their slowing domestic economy.
In Kazakhstan, where Chinese companies control about a quarter of the country’s oil production, China Investment Corporation, a sovereign wealth fund, led a group of minority investors in KMG EP, the exploration arm of state oil company KazMunaiGas, to boycott a proposed buyout that would have resulted in large capital losses for the Chinese fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Of $40 oil and forced SWF selling

Posted on 09 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

You know who doesn’t like a falling oil price? Sovereign wealth funds for countries dependent on high oil prices and in love with their (endangered) petrodollars. And a risk based on that dislike is a presumption of forced selling and equity market weakness becoming self-fulfilling as/ if oil prices slide. Stable oil prices means SWFs don’t have to suddenly liquidate but the opposite would also seem to be true…
A $40 average oil price, and assuming that these reserve managers and SWFs sell in accordance to their average allocation, would imply selling of $118bn of government bonds and $45bn of public equities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will the Oil Retreat Shift Sovereign Fund Allocation?

Posted on 03 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For the first time since April 2016, the price of oil dipped below US$ 40 per barrel – causing headache among some oil-based sovereign funds. Tumbling down from a June 2016 high of US$ 51.23 per barrel, oil prices then reversed course. The price of oil is an essential ingredient that impacts commodity-based economies, translating into pleasure or pain for a country’s citizens.
For example, Russia’s Reserve Fund was marked down to US$ 38.18 billion at the end of July 2016, versus having US$ 38.22 billion in assets in the beginning. Oil industry analysts predict the crude price drops can be explained by an overall decrease in global trade, mixed in with the buildup of excessive storage of crude oil and gasoline………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Avoiding the Pitfalls: Invest in Skills for Deal Evaluation

Posted on 03 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Venture and private equity investment are important components of the portfolios of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). However, access to these asset classes has come with hefty management fees. For SWFs, there are several advantages to direct investment in venture and private equity deals.
Direct investment allows more control over the timing of actual investments. It also allows the SWFs to have more flexibility in their portfolio construction. And most importantly, there are significant savings on management and performance fees. SWF managers need to be adept at analyzing whether their returns will beat the realized return (after fees) offered by venture capital and private equity firms. Unfortunately, ample evidence has shown that this can be very challenging for many SWFs making direct investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWF safety net disappears amid commodities rout

Posted on 02 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

According to a report from Bocconi University in Milan, the flow of funds from Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) that formed a safety net during the last financial crisis of 2008/09 in the form of direct investment has disappeared. SWFs are investing less money now, compared to last five years. In 2015, the SWFs invested only $48 billion directly which is 57 percent lower compared to 2008, when they invested $112 billion.
World’s largest SWFs belong to countries producing natural resources, mainly oil. Norway, which is major oil exporter has world’s largest SWFs, followed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Small emirate in UAE accuses businessman of embezzling $1.5B

Posted on 02 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A small sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates on Monday accused a businessman who once had ties to its ruler of stealing $1.5 billion while serving as the head of its local sovereign wealth fund.
The allegations against Khater Massaad, who also helped Ras al-Khaimah create a major, eponymous ceramics company, came in an unusually strongly worded dispatch carried by the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore wealth fund warns of tough investment decade

Posted on 01 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore multibillion-U.S.-dollar sovereign wealth fund GIC on Thursday reported a substantial dip in returns and warned of “difficult” global investment conditions over the next decade. GIC said in a statement its annualized rate of return, excluding global inflation, for the past 20 years fell to 4.0 percent in the year to March 2016, from 4.9 percent in 2015, adding future returns will be challenged by uncertainties caused by the low-yield environment.
“These difficult investment conditions can stretch for the next 10 years,” said Lim Chow Kiat, deputy group president and chief investment officer………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Alaska’s $53 Billion Permanent Pool to Exit Funds of Hedge Funds

Posted on 29 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Alaska’s $53 billion wealth fund plans to exit all of its funds of hedge funds and will instead make investment decisions in-house. Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. plans to pull all of the $2 billion it has invested in liquid assets across Crestline Investors, Mariner Investment Group and Lazard Asset Management, according to Marcus Frampton, its director of private markets.
Alaska will instead rely on its own five-person alternatives team to select hedge funds. “We’ve decided to move to a 100 percent direct program,” Frampton said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Singaporean wealth fund warns of hard investment decade

Posted on 29 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s multibillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund GIC yesterday reported a substantial dip in returns and warned of “difficult” global investment conditions over the next decade. The fund said in a statement its annualized rate of return, excluding global inflation, for the past 20 years fell to 4 percent in the year to March, from 4.9 percent last year, adding that future returns would be challenged by uncertainties caused by a low-yield environment.
“These difficult investment conditions can stretch for the next 10 years,” deputy group president and chief investment officer Lim Chow Kiat said………………………………………..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

GIC ‘more defensive’ in investing stance

Posted on 28 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth fund GIC said it had been more defensive in its investing stance in the past year, owing to more challenging investment conditions. The fund’s approach was reflected in its move to increase its holdings of bonds and cash, at the expense of developed market equities, which are seen as more risky.
“It reflects our caution on the overall environment. All those reasons we talked about: low growth, high debt and expectation of high volatility,” said GIC deputy group president and group chief investment officer Lim Chow Kiat………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Future Fund and Cbus see big opportunities in direct lending

Posted on 28 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The potential for super funds to be direct lenders is enormous, according to a panel that included the Future Fund, Cbus and AustralianSuper that are all lending directly. Rob Leck, manager debt and quantitative solutions at Cbus, which is about to enter the private debt market, said that not only do investors have to be lenders, but they have the potential to assist in the development of a high yield market in Australia.
The Future Fund has been involved in the direct lending landscape since 2009, and first made an investment in 2010 in the European corporate middle market. It is viewed as a credit allocation and makes up around 30 per cent of the credit portfolio………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi royal oil group at heart of 1MDB case

Posted on 28 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

US justice department claims $1bn of Malaysian funds for PetroSaudi venture was siphoned off. It is the tale of a little-known but well-connected oil company that was co-founded by a Saudi prince and claims to be a “partner of choice” for multinationals.
But US authorities have now left PetroSaudi International grappling with questions over its dealings with the scandal-racked 1MDB, the Malaysian state wealth fund. US investigators last week threw their weight behind longstanding claims that $1bn of Malaysian public money meant for 1MDB’s joint venture with PetroSaudi was instead siphoned off to a Malaysian businessman, who splurged millions on art, partying and a Hollywood film………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore to further boost money laundering controls amid 1MDB-linked probe

Posted on 26 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s central bank said it will enhance controls against money laundering and take swift action against banks following damaging findings that financial institutions in the city-state handled money flows linked to Malaysian state fund 1MDB.
“There is no doubt that the recent findings have made a dent in our reputation as a clean and trusted financial centre,” Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said at its annual news conference on Monday. “MAS is determined to fix the problem, working together with the industry.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Fund return hit by commodities, strong dollar

Posted on 25 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China Investment Corporation announced on Friday that its overseas investments generated a net return of negative 2.96 percent in dollar terms in 2015, falling from a positive 5.47 percent return for 2014, due to volatilities in international financial markets and foreign exchange losses triggered by an appreciating dollar.
The $814 billion Chinese sovereign wealth fund posted a net cumulative annualized return of 4.58 percent since its establishment in September 2007, compared with 5.66 percent in 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB’s German Connection

Posted on 25 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Two German banks are named by the U.S. Justice Department in connection to Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, and Volkswagen halts sales of most of its models in South Korea as it is investigated for falsifying emissions and noise data.
In the fallout to Asia’s version of the Panama Papers scandal, the U.S. Justice Department named two German banks in its investigation into money laundering from Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1 MDB. Deutsche Bank allegedly transferred $700 million, and investigators found $55 million in fund money sitting in BHF, a Frankfurt bank. Neither bank is accused of wrongdoing, but any connection to Malaysian officials who used a public trust as private bank accounts is one too many………………………………………..Full Article: Source

White House calls for Malaysian transparency in wake of fund scandal

Posted on 22 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The White House urged Malaysia on Thursday to demonstrate good governance and a transparent business climate, a day after U.S. prosecutors sued to try and seize $1 billion in assets they said were bought with money stolen from a state development fund.
The civil lawsuits present a potentially thorny issue for the two countries that have grown closer during the administration of President Barack Obama, who has visited the southeast Asian nation twice in the last two years. The lawsuits will likely affect relations, but they did not come as a surprise, said a U.S. congressional aide. “It has been a concern of a lot of people for a long time. Corruption in Malaysia is a huge problem,” the aide said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi wealth fund goes in house

Posted on 21 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi’s main sovereign wealth fund has brought more of its portfolio buying activity in house as it seeks greater value amid slower growth across increasingly volatile global markets.
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has its portfolio managed by external firms overseen by the sovereign wealth fund’s staff to 60 per cent from 65 per cent in 2014. The amount of its assets tracking indexes has fallen from 55 per cent in 2014 to 50 per cent this year……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Adia renews faith in China and India’s growth prospects amid market tumult

Posted on 21 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) remains focused on China’s and India’s long-term growth prospects, even after emerging markets were hit last year by a slowing global economy. The emirate’s main sovereign wealth fund said in its annual review, released on Wednesday, that long-term returns declined last year amid volatility in markets, although it said the lower rates were mainly caused by statistical averaging over the long periods it uses to measure returns.
The fund’s managing director, Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed, pointed to the continued long-term growth prospects of China and India, despite economic headwinds and the need for huge structural reforms undertaken by the former in the past couple of years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors Go Bargain-Hunting for U.K. Property After Brexit Vote

Posted on 20 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global investors are on the hunt for U.K. property bargains, expecting that Brexit-fueled economic turmoil could weaken real-estate values. The drop in the value of sterling has only increased the appeal.
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund announced it bought a retail and office property on Oxford Street, one of London’s main shopping destinations from Aberdeen Asset Management for £124 million ($164.3 million). Aberdeen, which resumed trading in its U.K. property fund last week, declined to comment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Gets New Stab at Infrastructure Bid

Posted on 19 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway is reconsidering whether to let its $870 billion sovereign wealth fund invest in unlisted infrastructure after parliament requested a more detailed study into the move. The government, which three months ago rejected the fund’s bid to make such investments, will consider expanding its mandate in a white paper in the first half of next year, according to a letter to Norges Bank from the Finance Ministry obtained by Bloomberg.
The shift follows a vote by a parliamentary committee in May to keep the option on the table, the document showed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Push for Tech Deals Stirs Silicon Valley Debate

Posted on 18 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As Saudi Arabia and its oil-rich sovereign-wealth fund prepare to become bigger players in tech deal making, Silicon Valley insiders are weighing the consequences. Technology investors like to tout the social benefits of the companies they support. But the industry often overlooks investors’ own principles and beliefs, focusing more on their investment record and size of their checks.
To some venture capitalists and founders, Uber’s agreement with Saudi Arabia represented its tacit endorsement of that government. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women aren’t allowed to drive, and one of several countries where homosexuality is illegal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWFs curb cross-border investments

Posted on 13 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Temasek shifts focus to tech amid global search for yield

Posted on 13 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Telecommunications, media and technology have overtaken financial services in Temasek’s portfolio. Taking bets in the tech sector entails higher risk. Stock markets can be capricious, and even Temasek Holdings is at their mercy, as the company’s latest results show.
Amid a volatile year on global bourses, the Singapore investment company suffered its first portfolio decline since the 2009 global financial crisis, pointing to more tough times ahead. The firm’s net portfolio value fell to $242 billion for the financial year ended March 31, down from $266 billion a year ago………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek Holdings may invest in distressed assets

Posted on 13 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s state-run investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd is open to investing in distressed assets in India either through an asset reconstruction firm or directly, a senior executive said.
“We are an equity-only investor. So, if there is a business that could be a non-performing asset (NPA) hypothetically, which is outsourced by a bank to an asset reconstruction (ARC) and that needed an equity infusion, we would look at it just as any other investment opportunity,” said Ravi Lambah, co-head, India and head for telecom, media and technology at Temasek International Pte. Ltd………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s Temasek remains upbeat on India even in the middle of global rough ride

Posted on 13 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The continued focus on local consumption and bets on emerging champions that have a distinctive advantage of being Indian remains the overriding thread of Temasek, even though the investment company of the Singapore government has suffered its first portfolio decline since the 2009 global financial crisis, pointing to more tough times ahead.
The firm’s net portfolio value fell to Singapore $242 billion for the financial year ended March 31, down from Singapore $266 billion a year ago. The one-year total shareholder return came in at a negative 9.02% in Singapore dollar terms, reflecting the decline in the mark-to-market valuation of its listed investments, particularly in China and the financial services sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors warming up to managed accounts

Posted on 12 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., Juneau, is redeeming its $2 billion in hedge funds of funds as part of a move to bring all hedge fund decisions in-house. Investment officials at the $53 billion sovereign wealth fund already have invested $3 billion directly in hedge funds and intend to increase the target to $5.9 billion from $5.4 billion.
The fund’s investment staff is considering a move to a managed account format, said two industry sources with knowledge of APF’s plans who asked not to be identified. Marcus Frampton, director of private markets for the fund, did not return a call seeking confirmation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth funds are circling for Brexit deals

Posted on 11 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global sovereign wealth funds are waiting to pounce on bargains instead of paring stakes in the U.K. following the Brexit vote, a senior industry expert said. “Sovereign wealth funds are patient capital. They have a long term investment horizon,” Michael Maduell, president of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, said.
“When everyone is freaking out about the pound sterling going to a 31-year low, wealth funds can come in and tactically purchase assets and tactically place bids on companies.” In the wake of the U.K.’s referendum vote to exit the European Union (EU), the pound has plunged to its lowest levels since 1985 and a leadership vacuum has emerged in the wake of the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek’s portfolio drops by $14 billion

Posted on 08 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings saw its net portfolio value tumble by around 24 billion Singapore dollars ($14 billion) wiping around 9 percent off the Singapore dollar value of its holdings in the year to March 31.
The value of Temasek’s portfolio fell to around S$242 billion, or $180 billion, in the last fiscal year, from around S$266 billion, or $194 billion, in the year-earlier period. It was the first time the portfolio value declined since 2009, during the global financial crisis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s Temasek mulls over US deals to offset drop in portfolio performance

Posted on 08 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings (Temasek) is eyeing US deals and co-investments with private equity partners to offset what is expected to be the first annual decline in the value of its assets in seven years, according to Reuters.
Temasek, which holds a 16% stake – and is the biggest shareholder – in London-based Standard Chartered, has seen the value of its stakes depressed by 55% over the past financial year, aggravated partly by the Brexit effect. Meanwhile, its Asian investments have been hit by the effects of China’s economic slowdown………………………………………..Full Article: Source

HKMA unit aims to tap into belt and road

Posted on 05 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority launched the Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office yesterday to tap into “one belt, one road” opportunities, for which an estimated HK$62 trillion is needed for infrastructure development in Asia from 2010 to 2020.
Eddie Yue Wai-man, deputy chief executive of the HKMA and also the director of the IFFO, said Hong Kong can help bridge the funding gap in Asia and belt and road countries and the office will look into turning projects bankable through effective financial intermediation and collaboration………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IFC and HKMA sign pact to facilitate infrastructure financing

Posted on 05 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, signed a memorandum of understanding today to set up a strategic framework of co-operation to strengthen the ability of investors, banks and the financial sector to facilitate investment in infrastructure projects in Asia.
The MOU was signed shortly before the launching ceremony of the Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office of the HKMA. The IFFO will facilitate information exchange and experience sharing among the key stakeholders, such as multilateral development agencies, private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds and banks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oman Investment Fund calls public to generate ideas for the future of Yiti and Yenkit

Posted on 04 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oman Investment Fund (OIF), a Sovereign Wealth Fund of the Sultanate of Oman, has launched an idea generating initiative called ‘Fikrati’ to seek the opinions and insights of the public and spur their imagination and creativity for the integrated planning of Yiti and Yenkit. People are invited to submit their creative ideas and views on the future of Yiti and Yenkit.
Covering over 12 million square meters of land combined, Yiti and Yenkit are national assets full of natural treasures with unique features. They will be developed as communities and destinations that celebrate and honor the Sultanate’s heritage, culture, and environment and at the same time enjoy the advantages of a modern lifestyle………………………………………..Full Article: Source

London and Arab investment: What is the draw?

Posted on 04 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) Wealth Fund has been diversifying its portfolio away from Europe towards more investments in the United States and Asia in the last couple of years, it is still heavily invested in Britain and holds stakes in Barclays, Royal Dutch Shell and Sainsbury’s.
The QIA has $256 billion of assets under management globally, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI). It has at least $7 billion directly invested in equities traded on the London Stock Exchange, in which it also holds a 10.3 percent stake, according to Thomson Reuters data. Kuwait Investment Authority, which has $592 billion in assets under management according to SWFI, is also a major investor though its London-based Kuwait Investment Office………………………………………..Full Article: Source

$135bn Merger of UAE Funds Shows How Tough Times Are For Middle East Economies

Posted on 30 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The surprise announcement from Abu Dhabi that it is to merge two of its sovereign wealth funds, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and Mubadala Development Company, has highlighted the tight corner that even the richest Middle East governments are in these days.
The merger was announced on June 29, following a decision by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the most important political figure in the UAE. According to the announcement by the official news agency WAM, the merger will allow for “synergies”, which is a polite way of saying cost-cutting………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Fund Withdrawals Remain Headwind For Fund Companies

Posted on 29 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds continue to pull money out of investments with global asset managers, reports Attracta Mooney at Financial Times. SWFs, government-owned investment pools, sopped up petrodollars when oil prices were north of $100 a barrel. In turn, this money was pumped money into funds run by the world’s biggest asset managers.
But after oil prices plunged in summer 2014, governments of oil-producing countries that were sitting on comfortable budget surpluses suddenly were facing deficits. In turn, SFWs, which own a lot of property and private equity investments, have selling their liquid assets (stocks and bonds) first………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign funds continue to pull billions from asset managers

Posted on 27 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds have pulled billions of dollars from asset managers for the seventh consecutive quarter, piling further pressure on an industry battling falling profits and disappointing performance.
State-backed funds, which countries use to save for a rainy day or to provide money for future generations, withdrew at least $8.8bn from fund houses during the first quarter of this year. The redemptions follow record outflows last year, when state funds collectively withdrew at least $46.5bn from asset managers as the price of oil collapsed and governments raided state funds to prop up their economies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore GIC is prepared for a period of heightened market uncertainty post-Brexit

Posted on 27 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC said on Friday it runs a long-term and diversified portfolio even though about 7 per cent of its portfolio is invested in the United Kingdom, making it the most exposed among Asian state investors after Britain’s shock exit from the European Union (EU).
According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, GIC manages US$344 billion in assets, of which US$24 billion or 7 per cent of its portfolio is invested in the UK based on its latest annual report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Can a new owner take ‘Balmania’ to the next level?

Posted on 24 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

So, Mayhoola for Investments — the Qatari sovereign wealth fund that owns Valentino, Anya Hindmarch and Pal Zileri, and that is backed by Qatar’s royal family — has bought Balmain, the Paris fashion house backed by the Kardashians (well, not exactly backed, but they are its biggest cheerleaders). This could have big repercussions on what we all wear.
Since 2005, when the designer Christophe Decarnin transformed the couture house to haute rock ‘n’ roll hotness, Balmain has been a brand whose buzz — with its own name, “Balmainia” — is significantly bigger than its bite of the market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

More public listings needed to boost growth - Norway’s wealth fund

Posted on 23 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Developed economies must reverse a two-decade decline in stock market listings to attract investment and revive growth, Norway’s $870 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, said on Wednesday.
Governments must convince firms to go public by offering tax breaks and slashing red tape, while bankers should cut the cost of initial public offerings and index providers must include more stocks in benchmarks, the chief investment officer of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) told Reuters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GCC sovereign wealth funds adjusting long-term strategies

Posted on 20 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Libya Seeks to Free Up Sovereign Fund But Banks Face Risks

Posted on 16 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Libyan Investment Authority isn’t only pursuing its interests through legal action against top global financial firms, but also lobbying the United Nations Security Council to soften an asset freeze on its funds to halt their declining value.
The LIA’s actions are sending a clear message to financial institutions eager to engage in business with the multi-billion dollar fund: tread carefully, said compliance and sanctions experts. Not only has the LIA become very litigious, but the licenses to transact with the conflict-torn and financially-sanctioned African nation are hard to get and quite restrictive, they said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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