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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

Modi effect: SWFs and Pensions Intensify Direct Investments in India

Posted on 14 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Narendra Modi was sworn in as Prime Minister of India on May 26, 2014. Somewhat stronger private property rights, slightly-loosened regulation and friendlier foreign investment laws have increased the flows of foreign institutional investor capital. Since 2013, direct investments by sovereign funds and public pensions into India have ramped up, according to time-series data from SWFI.
This data is adding in both sovereign wealth funds and large public pensions (mostly Canadian public investors). In 2006, just US$ 101 million was directly invested into India by public institutional investors. Most capital flowing in before the global financial crisis were private equity investors. In 2012, US$ 1.38 billion was directly invested into India by public institutional investors. By 2015, the number amounted to US$ 5.44 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Angola’s sovereign fund steps up local private equity push

Posted on 13 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Angola’s $5 billion sovereign wealth fund is stepping up private equity investments at home and in sub-Saharan Africa as low commodity prices and currencies give it a cheap way in to hotel, farming and infrastructure projects, its chairman said.
Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the 38-year-old London-educated son of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, said the fund had earmarked 60 percent of its capital to regional private equity, a shift in focus towards its own back yard………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund draws up contingency plans for war

Posted on 13 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth fund is prepared to protect its assets from extreme political events. The $850bn Norwegian oil fund has drawn up contingency plans to protect its assets from extreme political events such as a military invasion or coup. This comes at a time when the stability of several international sovereign wealth funds is in question.
Norges Bank Investment Management, which oversees the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, told FTfm that the oil fund had “drawn up contingency plans for various scenarios that represent a threat to the fund’s holdings”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

After shock of redemptions, sovereign funds rethink strategies

Posted on 10 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Having gone from bumper cash inflows to redemptions in just two years, many sovereign wealth funds have been forced to shake up their investment strategies to embrace both super-liquid safe assets with more esoteric illiquid plays to bolster returns.
If the price of retaining easy-to-sell assets to meet sudden government cash calls is near-zero yields in cash deposits or Western government debt, then the $6.5 trillion sovereign fund sector will have to claw back returns by simultaneously moving deeper into riskier, less-liquid territory………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth funds throw funding lifeline to tech ventures

Posted on 08 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A succession of funding deals by deep-pocketed sovereign wealth funds have thrown a life preserver to some of the world’s biggest private tech firms whose high valuations have come under scrutiny in the past year. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States along with state-backed investors in Singapore and China have ploughed money into hot tech investments such as ride-sharing company Uber and Chinese Internet giant Alibaba and its private affiliates.
With overall funding for start-ups slowing down by a third to $25.5 billion in the last two quarters, according to data from CB Insights, high-profile ventures are turning to government funds or institutional money to create “private IPOs” rather than to venture capitalists or chancing public listings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Sovereign Wealth Funds Should Look at Currency Alpha

Posted on 08 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Steady globalization, government interventions and increased investment into rapidly developing economies are key factors influencing emerging market currencies. Sovereign funds and large Canadian pensions, such as the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), continue to invest capital into markets such as India, Brazil and China.
Sizable portfolios of listed securities have accumulated for wealth fund investors in non G-7 economies, thus exposing them to currency risk. Public institutional investors continue to weigh the benefits of currency management and alpha opportunities versus the cost. According to SWFI Compass, an RFP and opportunity tracker, there continues to be compelling demand in 2016 for allocation to emerging market external fund managers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Uber deal marks more aggressive Saudi investment drive

Posted on 06 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia’s surprisingly high-profile injection of $3.5 billion into Uber signals a more aggressive global investment presence by a kingdom trying to wean its economy off oil. San Francisco-based Uber, a smartphone app that connects passengers and drivers around the world, said on Wednesday the funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund would help Uber’s global expansion.
The PIF acted roughly six weeks after Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced a wide-ranging plan to transform the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will more start-ups follow Uber in taking cash from sovereign wealth funds?

Posted on 03 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Start-ups have long been the domain of venture capitalists. But with this week’s staggering $3.5-billion investment in Uber from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the tech world has been put on notice — sovereign wealth funds are loaded with cash and ready to do business directly.
Paltry interest rates and volatile oil prices have made technology companies attractive to these government investment vehicles, which have assets of $7.2 trillion today, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The secret to how startups like Uber raise billions

Posted on 03 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Just when you thought the startup market can’t possibly get any crazier, Uber goes and raises another $3.5 billion in funding. That jaw-dropping amount of money, the single largest round of funding ever raised by a private U.S. company, highlights both the insatiable appetite certain startups have for capital and the little-discussed way they get that money.
Uber’s $3.5 billion in funding didn’t come from the usual collection of venture capital firms, technology giants or even the mutual funds who have been flooding the market with cash. Instead, all of that Uber money came from one source: Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Follow Norway’s Lead Into Infrastructure

Posted on 02 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Built from oil and natural gas profits, Norway’s fund is an $850 billion behemoth. It’s said that the Government Pension Fund of Norway owns shares of every stock listed on the planet in some capacity. So when the fund decides to shift its investing strategy and policies, regular Joes may want to take notice. And this time, dividend investors may want to pay really close attention.
Norway has infrastcture on its mind. And why not? Investing in pipelines, toll roads, timberlands and other public pieces of infrastructure has plenty of benefits — especially for those looking for dividends………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB scandal taking toll on Malaysia stock market as foreigners sell

Posted on 31 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

One of the worst global financial scandals is taking its toll on the world’s longest bull market run. Deepening concerns over 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), the embattled state investment fund at the center of probes from Switzerland to Singapore, has spurred the biggest outflow of foreign funds in eight months.
Malaysia’s benchmark stock index has erased most of its gains after climbing to this year’s high in April. The prolonged impact of 1MDB is prompting investors to seek out other markets in Southeast Asia, according to Baring Asset Management………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil slump blamed for falloff in assets

Posted on 31 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

SOFAZ to increase profitability through long-term investments

Posted on 30 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Azerbaijan’s state oil fund SOFAZ, which is in charge of accumulating and managing the country’s oil and gas revenues, plans to increase the profitability of asset management in the coming years.
Ziya Kangarli, chief investment advisor at SOFAZ announced about this while addressing the Forum on “Decrease in oil prices and economic reforms: Challenges and Opportunities” held at Khazar University on May 24. Kangarli noted that SOFAZ plans to achieve this goal by increasing the share of long-term instruments in its investment portfolio………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs’ Malaysian deals dry up in 1MDB fallout

Posted on 26 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When Malaysia’s largest sovereign wealth fund asked bankers to pitch for work arranging a US$750 million (S$1 billion) bond sale in December, one big name was conspicuous by its absence - Goldman Sachs Group.
Khazanah Nasional omitted the Wall Street firm from the list of banks invited to bid on that and other bond transactions in the past three years, according to a person familiar with the matter. During that time, Goldman Sachs slid down the Malaysian deal league tables, cold-shouldered by potential clients concerned about negative publicity from its dealings with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Angola SWF raised private equity investment, trims debt exposure in 2015

Posted on 20 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Angola’s sovereign wealth fund increased the amount of funds earmarked for private equity investments focused on sub-Saharan Africa last year and sharply cut exposure to developed market bonds, the fund’s chairman said on Thursday. The fund had $4.7 billion under management at the end of last year, chairman Jose Filomeno dos Santos said, while audited results posted on its website showed it had $4.88 billion at the end of 2014.
The fund, known by its Portuguese acronym FSDEA, had $2.7 billion or 58 percent of its portfolio allocated for investments in private equity - unlisted securities and debt - in infrastructure, real estate, agriculture, timber, healthcare, mining and mezzanine capital, according to dos Santos………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Funds Investing In Infrastructure

Posted on 20 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

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

Indonesia weighs up introducing sovereign investment vehicle modelled after Singapore’s Temasek

Posted on 19 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Southeast Asia’s largest economy with a GDP of US$888.54 billion – is mulling over creating a sovereign investment company modelled after Singapore’s Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited (Temasek), in a bid to drive continuous development in the country, says Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Bambang was quoted as saying that the proposed investment holding company would constitute four or five state-owned entities, which could then buy shares in Indonesian companies. “A super-holding of our state-owned enterprises (SOEs), that could be a very good sovereign wealth fund (SWF) for Indonesia,” he says………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Domestic Focus May Limit Clout of $2 Trillion Saudi Fund

Posted on 18 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia aims to create the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, a $2 trillion behemoth that can throw its weight around global markets, but the fund’s growth abroad is likely to be slowed by its responsibility for aiding the economy at home.
Building the Public Investment Fund (PIF) into “the largest fund in the world by far” is a cornerstone of radical economic reforms announced by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last month to cut the kingdom’s reliance on oil. The PIF, founded in 1971 to finance development projects in Saudi Arabia and until now little known abroad, is to grow from 600 billion riyals ($160 billion) to over 7 trillion riyals, helping make Riyadh a global “investment power”, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar wealth fund ‘to create $100bn unit in revamp’

Posted on 18 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is undergoing its biggest overhaul since 2014, grouping $100bn of investments in local companies into a new unit and abandoning the Qatar Holding name synonymous with its highest-profile deals. About $100bn of the Qatar Investment Authority’s stakes in companies such as Qatar Airways and Qatar National Bank will be placed into a new internal division named Qatar Investments, they said.
The fund is seeking to bring greater oversight by having a single person in charge, the sources said. The Qatar Holding name, under which the state gained an international profile after investing in companies ranging from Glencore to Barclays, will now be replaced by the QIA name on international investments, according to the sources………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Who is Dipping Into Their Sovereign Wealth Funds Now Oil is Cheap?

Posted on 17 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As many as 44 of the world’s countries have at least one sovereign wealth fund set up for a rainy day, and now it seems that for many of them that day has arrived. Let’s take a look at which of these countries have made use of their piggy banks.
Norway, the owner of the largest of the funds, set up in 1990s to safeguard the country’s oil wealth for future generations, announced in January that it had made its first withdrawal from the country’s sovereign wealth fund while trying to counter the economic slowdown………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azerbaijan to exploit trade crossroads potential as Iran sanctions ease

Posted on 13 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the wake of the lifting of Iranian sanctions, Azerbaijan is determined to exploit its key location at the crossroads of the East-West silk road from China to Europe and the North-South axis from Iran to Russia.
The strength of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund, its sovereign wealth fund, is helping to prop up the country despite its oil-related woes. While its foreign currency assets declined 9.5% from 2014, they still remain at $33.6bn. Moody’s says that fund largely offsets the country’s underlying fiscal vulnerabilities which have stemmed from the government’s reliance on oil………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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