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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing - Category | Ethical/Green Investments more

Malaysia sovereign fund plans $279 mln “social impact” sukuk

Posted on 27 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia’s $40 billion sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional plans to issue a sukuk worth up to one billion ringgit ($279.17 million) to help fund schools, its managing director said on Thursday.
Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of an Islamic finance event in London, the fund’s head Azman Mokhtar said the planned “social impact sukuk” is awaiting regulatory approval from Malaysian financial regulators. The move is aimed at opening funding for education to a broad pool of investors rather than financing it out of its own reserves, he added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar’s Hassad Food eyes Brazilian sugar, poultry assets

Posted on 26 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hassad Food, the agricultural arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, said it was looking at possible purchases of Brazilian sugar and poultry assets as structural problems in those industries in the South American country created opportunities.
“We have a lot of stuff in our pipeline and Brazil is definitely part of that, not only sugar but also poultry,” Youssef Hegazy, vice president for business development at Hassad Food, said on Wednesday. Hassad Food, wholly owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, was set up in 2008 to boost the Gulf country’s food security………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Greens want NZ Super Fund to drop fossil fuels

Posted on 16 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Greens are calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels, as it accuses its guardians of betting on a climate disaster. The fund currently has $676 million in fossil fuel companies - about 2 per cent of the fund’s assets under management. “The guardians are meant to be investing for the long term, but by investing over $676 million into fossil fuel companies, they’re hedging that the world will take no action on the climate - a world for our kids where it’s not worth living to retirement age,” Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said.
“It is now a well-established fact that if all the world’s known reserves of coal, oil, and gas are burned, our climate is toast. At least three-quarters of these reserves will have to stay in the ground, wiping much of the current value of the fossil fuel sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Takes the High Ground on Climate Change

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There was some dramatic news out of Norway this week, showing what is possible on the climate front if the political will is there. The Norwegian government announced that they would cut their carbon emissions by no less than 40% from 1990 levels by the year 2030. This puts them in line with the ambitious target set by the European Union (EU).
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund happens to be the largest in the world. So the fact that they have chosen to dump the stocks of those 32 coal-related companies and those of any other companies that contribute disproportionally to climate change is quite a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investing and Divesting for the Climate

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A recent study from WWF Sweden and PwC has revealed exactly that. Through the social security system, sovereign wealth funds and church funds, among other, all of us are investors. This crucial piece of information has been picked up by many, not least by professional investors and future pensionists.
Just this week the world’s wealthiest sovereign wealth fund Norges announced its divestment from 114 companies with the aim to strengthen its work on responsible investment. Norges argued there to be “high levels of uncertainty about the sustainability” of the companies’ business models it divested from………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil Fund allocates AZN 300m for needs of refugees

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In 2014, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) allocated AZN 300 m to improve social and living conditions of refugees and internally displaced, Oxu.Az reports with reference to SOFAZ.
According to the approved budget for 2015, the expences of the Oil Fund to finance activities in connection with the improvement of social and living conditions of refugees and internally displaced persons are provided in the amount of AZN 150 m………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fossil Fuel Divestment: Smart Bet or Losing Strategy?

Posted on 11 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Just last week, Norway announced that its sovereign wealth fund — an $850 billion pension reserve that was built on the Scandinavian nation’s oil and gas resources — had jettisoned more than 49 companies, many involved in coal and unconventional oil extraction, from its portfolio in 2014.
The reason: “Uncertainty about the sustainability of their business model.” To be sure, Norway is still investing heavily in fossil fuels. But the move nonetheless adds to the more than $50 billion that proponents of divestment say has been pulled out of the fossil fuel sector by both institutional and individual investors since the movement was launched by climate activists in 2012………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s Pension Fund Discloses Divestment Practices

Posted on 10 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global revealed those companies it divested from in 2014, judging “there to be high levels of uncertainty about the sustainability” of these companies’ business models. Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, the Norwegian bank which manages the country’s Government Pension Fund Global, commented on its decisions in a press release announcing a report investigating responsible investment in 2014:
“Our aim with this report is to provide a full overview of the many different areas we are working on and so increase transparency on the management of the fund. We recognise that there is still much to be done, and that we will encounter a number of challenges in the years ahead. Our role is to think long-term and protect value for future generations.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Farvel coal, says Norway SWF

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Thirty two coal mining companies were eliminated by the world’s richest sovereign wealth fund from its portfolio in 2014. The Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) in its first report, revealed that 114 companies were taken off its portfolio. The fund which is worth $850 billion (£556 billion) and founded on the nation’s oil and gas wealth indicated that the reasons for the elimination were purely due to the adverse climatic and environmental conditions created due to the operations of these companies.
A study revealed that only a small quantity of the fossil fuel can be burned when temperatures are kept below two degrees Celsius. Governor and President of the Bank of England and the World Bank, Mark Carney Jim Yong Kim together with others raised concerns to investors that a lot of the assets of fossil fuel can lose their value due to climatic changes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund writes to companies over low-carbon transition

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has written to energy companies, asking them to outline their plans to deal with the transition to a low-carbon economy. In a letter to the Ministry of Finance accompanying its inaugural responsible investment (RI) report, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) noted a recent decision not to use the Government Pension Fund Global as a tool for enacting climate policy by mandating a blanket divestment of fossil fuel holdings.
NBIM contrasted the blanket exclusion of one or more sectors with its ability to monitor companies actively and potentially not invest in them, noting that sector-wide bans would directly conflict with the “basic premise” of its approach to management………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund steps up pressure for ethical behaviour

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $860 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, will put extra pressure on companies to behave more responsibly on social and environmental matters, its chief executive said on Thursday, targeting coal users in particular.
The fund has been accused of having too large exposure to coal by both environmental groups and some Norwegian politicians calling for the fund to revamp its portfolio. Yngve Slyngstad told Reuters on Thursday after a presentation of the fund’s first annual report on responsible investments that it is systematically divesting companies delivering coal to power generation companies, but that it is still exposed to those using coal for steel production………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s biggest sovereign wealth fund dumps dozens of coal companies

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s richest sovereign wealth fund removed 40 coal mining companies from its portfolio in 2014, citing the risk they face from regulatory action on climate change. Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), worth $850bn (£556bn) and founded on the nation’s oil and gas wealth, revealed a total of 114 companies had been dumped on environmental and climate grounds in its first report on responsible investing, released on Thursday.
The companies divested also include tar sands producers, cement makers and gold miners. As part of a fast-growing campaign, over $50bn in fossil fuel company stocks have been divested by 180 organisations on the basis that their business models are incompatible with the pledge by the world’s governments to tackle global warming. But the GPFG is the highest profile institution to divest to date………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway asked to divest from company linked to Malaysian official

Posted on 05 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Activists have petitioned the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund to drop its investment in a company they say is linked to large-scale corruption in the Malaysian state of Sarawak.
In a letter published this week, the Switzerland-based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) and Norway-based FIVAS recommended that Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global sell its $11 million stake in Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS), a Sarawak-based infrastructure majority-owned by relatives of former Sarawak chief minister and current governor Taib Mahmud. The holdings represent 2 per cent of CMS………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund offloads firms over environmental, human rights records

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s NOK6.7trn (€764bn) sovereign wealth fund has divested from three firms after concerns were raised over their environmental, ethical and human rights records. The fund’s Council of Ethics revealed in its 2014 annual report that Tahoe Resources, Innophos Holdings and Noble Group had been recommended for exclusion from the Government Pension Fund Global’s investment universe.
Tahoe, a mining company headquartered in the US, was criticised for activities in Guatemala that allegedly run an “unacceptable” risk of human rights violations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

STB to partner Temasek Holdings for Mandai nature project

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will partner with Temasek Holdings to create a large-scale nature project in the Mandai precinct, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced in a press release on Wednesday (Jan 14).
Temasek is the majority shareholder of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), which operates the existing stable of Mandai attractions - the Singapore Zoo, the Night Safari and the River Safari - and Jurong Bird Park. It submitted a “compelling proposal to build on their existing attractions to shape Mandai into a leading nature destination in Asia”, said MTI………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund to disclose voting intentions to illustrate ‘principle’

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund will publish its voting intentions where it feels the intervention can help illustrate an important principle, rather than focusing on the companies in which it has the largest stakes, according to the head of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM).
Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive at NBIM, said the decision to publicise voting intentions was reached independently from a move to double the number of firms in which the NOK6trn (€658bn) Government Pension Fund Global holds a stake larger than 5%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway finalises oil fund’s RI framework and appoints new ethical council

Posted on 22 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Norwegian finance ministry has finalised new guidelines for responsible investment at the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), which include setting up a new advisory Council of Ethics.
In April this year, the Ministry of Finance said in its proposals on the matter that it was disbanding the existing Council of Ethics, which had been in place for 10 years, and that current ethical exclusion criteria would be integrated into the management mandate given to Norges Bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s Pension Fund Is Advised to Keep Fossil Fuel Shares

Posted on 11 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If the decision had been different, it might have made a dramatic headline: “Norway to sell out of oil companies.” Instead, a panel of experts advising Norway’s Finance Ministry recommended last week that the giant sovereign wealth fund that invests the country’s petroleum wealth remain an active investor in oil and coal companies.
The six-person group was set up by the government this year in response to pressure from opposition parties for the fund to divest its holdings in companies that extract coal. Of all the fossil fuels, coal produces the highest emissions of greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change. Environmental groups have been urging curbs on coal and tar sands as initial steps to a broad exit from all fossil fuels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian fund opts not to exclude coal and oil

Posted on 08 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund will not be forced to sell coal and oil stocks but will try to influence better ethical behaviour on a case-by-base basis by shareholder engagement. Opposition parties in Norway had called for the fund, which, ironically, exists to invest Norway’s income from selling oil, to divest from fossil fuel companies.
Other institutional investors including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Stanford University and Glasgow University have committed to selling fossil fuel stocks in response to environmental concerns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s oil fund will continue to invest in fossil fuels

Posted on 05 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A government panel has rejected calls for Norway’s $870 billion (£555bn) wealth fund to divest from polluting fossil fuels, instead advocating an engagement approach.
The Government Pensions Fund of Norway is the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. The fund owns around 1.25% of the world’s stocks, with 10-15% of its portfolio being invested in oil and gas, earning it the name ‘oil fund’. Of the 200 companies holding the majority of fossil fuel reserves, the oil fund invests in 147………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway To Assess Fossil Fuel Assets Case-By-Case

Posted on 05 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $870 billion sovereign wealth fund announced the findings of a government commission Wednesday of its current coal, oil, and gas investments, stating that the most harmful of these climate offenders would be excluded from the Fund on a “case-by-case basis.”
“We believe active ownership and engagement are appropriate primary tools for the [fund] to use to address climate-related issues,” the Ministry of Finance wrote in a press release Wednesday. Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance propose that the fund will continue to support relevant climate change research………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Experts urge Norway oil fund to consider climate

Posted on 05 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An expert panel recommended on Wednesday that Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, give more consideration to climate change in its investments but stopped short of calling for it to spurn fossil fuels as demanded by environmentalists.
The panel was appointed by the government to examine calls by environmental groups and some politicians for the fund to divest from coal, oil and natural gas companies. The group of six independent experts recommended that climate change be added to the list of ethical criteria governing the six trillion kroner (€700 billion, $865 billion) fund’s investments but said it should not be the basis for a blanket exclusion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway: oil fund climate change action should be case by case

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $870 billion wealth fund is not an effective tool to fight climate change, a government commission said on Wednesday, rebuffing opposition calls that it should be forced to sell out of all coal investments.
The fund, which holds stakes in around 8,000 companies on all continents, should instead strengthen its active ownership, putting more weight on climate change and sell out of the worst offenders, the commission said in a statement. The fund, the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, owns more than 1 percent of all global shares and many other long-term investors take their cue from its decisions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Oil Fund Urged to Exclude Firms on Climate Grounds

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, should be allowed to exclude companies whose acts or omissions are “severely harmful to the climate,” an expert group said on Wednesday, amid mounting pressure for the fund to exit fossil assets, especially coal companies, to counter global warming.
However, the group said the $870 billion Norwegian fund shouldn’t immediately sell all its oil, gas and coal holdings, previously estimated at about 10% of its value, but rather exercise its ownership. “We believe active ownership and engagement are appropriate primary tools for the Government Pension Fund Global to use to address climate-related issues,” the group said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund should divest firms ‘harmful’ to global climate – report

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund should be allowed to exclude any business that is “severely harmful” to the global climate, according to a new report, but should not categorically exclude fossil fuel companies.
The report, commissioned by the Ministry of Finance in April following pressure from the Norwegian Parliament, said the NOK6trn (€699bn) Government Pension Fund Global should not be viewed as an instrument of climate policy and rejected the concept of stranded assets as one that should guide investment policy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund sticking with oil

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s oil fund is set to stay invested in oil. An expert committee set up by the Norwegian government recommended on Wednesday that the $870bn oil fund should not automatically sell out of all fossil fuel companies, reports Richard Milne.
Instead the fund should be an active and ethical owner and use its influence as the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund to change the behaviour on climate change of oil, gas and coal companies, the report said. Hopes of environmentalists had been raised when Norway’s political parties agreed last year to the panel - headed by former finance ministry bureaucrat Martin Skancke - to examine the oil fund’s fossil fuel holdings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil fund’s coal investments ‘OK’

Posted on 04 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An expert commission thinks its perfectly fine for Norway’s huge oil fund to keep investing in coal and other fossil fuels. Environmentalists objected immediately, but the commission argued that the fund can have more influence and control over coal production if it continues to be a major owner in coal companies.
Martin Skancke, leader of the commission, believes coal companies would simply continue to produce coal if the oil fund pulled out of them. Members of the commission, assigned to evaluate how Norway’s giant oil fund should handle its investments in coal and oil, thus recommended on Wednesday that the fund should hang on to them………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Wealth Fund Targets $3 Billion in Green Technology Stakes

Posted on 02 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, will invest almost $3 billion into green technology stocks next year, Chief Executive Officer Yngve Slyngstad signaled. tarting Jan. 1, the $870 billion fund will accelerate investments in renewable energy, waste management and energy-storage companies, among others, Slyngstad said last week in an interview after giving a speech in Geneva. The shift will take place over a “shorter time frame,” he said.
The fund is under political pressure to boost investment in environmentally friendly areas and reduce its exposure to the coal industry. Yet the shift has proved challenging as investments in the cleanest technologies have generated low returns or even losses……………………………………….Full Article: Source

A Green Future For Kazakhstan

Posted on 28 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan, which inherited many wasteful industries and inefficient processes from the old Soviet Union, has not escaped this sad legacy. But as the country’s economy develops rapidly, we are also determined to do all we can to repair the damage and avoid any future mistakes.
The urgent need to develop a green economy is at the heart of the EXPO exhibition which Kazakhstan is hosting in Astana in 2017. Our country’s sovereign wealth fund “Samruk Kazyna” is investing heavily in the knowledge and technology needed to support innovative and sustainable development…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian Oil Fund’s dirty investments continue

Posted on 27 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Sovereign Wealth Fund’s stakes in the coal industry are higher than previously acknowledged. These holdings amount to NOK 82.2bn in the coal sector, a study conducted by a handful of environmental organisations reveals. Report “Dirty & Dangerous” was a collaborative effort between three environmental organisations.
These were the German organisation Urgewald, Norway’s The Future in our Hands, and Greenpeace Norway. Head of the Norwegian Pension Fund, Yngve Slyngstad told parliamentarians at a parliamentary hearing earlier this year that, “Our investments in coal are limited and falling. They have been halved over the last two years”…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oil fund grilled over its coal holdings

Posted on 27 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund, known as the oil fund since it’s fueled by the country’s oil revenues, is being grilled once again, this time over its investments in coal. While environmentalists want the fund to dump its coal mining stakes, some economists do, too, warning that they can become unprofitable as well as damaging for the planet.
Oil fund officials have themselves claimed that the fund’s coal holdings are “limited and in decline.” Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive officer of the fund, said in January that they’d been cut in half over the past two years. Next week, a special commission is due to evaluate whether the fund, a powerful player in international investment circles, should sell off or at last drastically reduce its remaining stakes in fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, for the sake of the environment…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norwegian fund may shed BHP stake

Posted on 26 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $US870 billion ($1.02 trillion) sovereign wealth fund may be forced to shed assets such as Coal India, BHP Billiton and China Shenhua Energy next year as pressure mounts for Parliament to act on fossil fuel divestments.
A report presented in Oslo on Tuesday by three environmental organisations urged Norway to shed the fund’s coal holdings. A second report, due next week, could put the fund under still more pressure to cut back on its coal investments. It will examine if climate change is more effectively addressed by preventing the fund from investing in certain coal related companies than by trying to affect change at the companies themselves………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway oil fund’s coal exposure bigger than claimed -environment groups

Posted on 26 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $860 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, has more exposure to coal than it said earlier and should sell out, three environmental groups said, potentially re-igniting calls for the fund to revamp its portfolio.
The fund had investments worth 82 billion crowns at the start of the year in companies that are either major producers or consumers of coal, and the investment rose in 2013, contrary to the fund’s claims that coal exposure was falling, Germany’s Urgewald, Greenpeace and Norway’s Framtiden said on Tuesday………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWF Apologizes to Citizens for Merrill Lynch Investment

Posted on 26 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The head of South Korea’s $77 billion sovereign wealth fund has apologized to the country’s citizens for its disastrous $2 billion investment in Merrill Lynch, made shortly before the corporation merged with Bank of America.
“I believe that it was a poor investment and apologize to the people of Korea,” Hongchul Ahn, CEO of the Korea Investment Corporation (KIC), told reporters in a news conference Monday. “I promise that Korea Investment Corporation will remember the painful lesson from the Merrill Lynch investment and become a global sovereign wealth fund.”……………………………….Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Fund Divestment as an Environmental Protection Strategy

Posted on 24 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Divestment (also known as disinvestment) generally entails the use of economic means to pressure an entity, such as a corporation or government, towards a change in its policies or practices. It usually involves the reduction of an asset to achieve an ethical objective.
Organized economic boycotts have been utilized in a variety of situations where the practices of the impugned entity have been deemed to violate the norms of society, such as in the case of the tobacco industry, arms manufacturers and governments that support policies of apartheid. More recently, divestment strategies have made their way into the environmental protection sphere…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s largest pension fund vows to drop coal mine holdings

Posted on 24 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s largest pension fund has vowed to drop its holdings in coal miners, intensifying pressure on the coal industry from global investors. The NKr470bn ($70bn) KLP pension scheme, which manages the retirement assets of Norway’s public sector workers, will blacklist companies that derive more than 50 per cent of their revenues from coal-based activities.
The pension fund expects the withdrawal to lead to the sale of shares and bonds worth approximately NKr500m. It will publish a list of the companies affected on December 1…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Future Fund invests in fossil fuels but not tobacco

Posted on 21 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Former treasurer Peter Costello has defended the Future Fund’s investment decisions during a sometimes feisty Senate estimates hearing in Canberra. Mr Costello, who is the chairman of the fund, was questioned about why the fund continued to invest in fossil fuels given its decision to stop investing in tobacco companies.
Mr Costello said the fund concluded that no amount of tobacco was safe and its decision to divest those shares would not affect other investment decisions.”I think it would be extraordinary if the government of Australia in its sovereign wealth fund said it was going to pull out of coal or gas or oil,” he said………………………………….Full Article: Source

Irish sovereign fund to consider social housing investment

Posted on 18 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ireland’s sovereign wealth fund would be open to investing in social housing but will be careful not to allocate too much of its €7bn capital to low economic impact projects, according to its head of infrastructure and credit.
Donal Murphy, previously head of project finance at Bank of Ireland and part of an in-house team that has grown from 13 to 35, said the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) was initially examining domestic investment propositions on the binary basis of providing an economic impact, or lacking one………………………………..Full Article: Source

Putrajaya must explain how 1MDB benefits Malaysians, says Dr M

Posted on 28 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today urged Putrajaya to explain how the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had benefited Malaysians, after a news report exposed the extent of the sovereign wealth fund’s debts.
“A government spokesman said that the money from 1MDB is used for Bumiputras,” wrote the former prime minister in his blog, chedet.cc. “What I know is that one scholarship was given to a music student. It’s impossible that the scholarship cost RM38 billion?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Mubadala launches 24 hour healthcare phone service

Posted on 14 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mubadala Healthcare, a business unit of Abu Dhabi investment and development company, Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala), today announced the opening of Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre, an innovative medical service provider offering expert medical consultations to patients over the phone.
Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre is a joint venture between Mubadala and Switzerland’s leading telemedicine provider, Medgate, with medical teleconsultation services offered exclusively through the National Health Insurance Company, Daman, to its Thiqa and Enhanced plan members………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah’s UEM Environment eyes listing

Posted on 13 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

UEM Environment Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned unit of sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd, aims to be listed on Bursa Malaysia within the next five years, said its chief executive officer Khalid Bahsoon.
“Now is the time for some housekeeping as we gear up for the next phase of growth. Ultimately, and subject to the right market conditions, the end-goal is to list the company, hopefully in the next five years. The valuation is being considered and it should be quite similar to other players in the market,” he told The Edge Financial Daily in an interview………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Super fund to look at climate risks

Posted on 23 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund is backing a global investment study to better assess the risks and and opportunities associated with climate change. The British-based, global investment consulting firm, Mercer, is analysing the investment risks and returns under various climate change scenarios, with the support of global fund managers, including the New Zealand fund.
With total assets under management of $US1.5 trillion the group wants to better understand the scientific and policy issues around climate change and how they will impact investment decision-making now and in the future. The New Zealand fund, which was set up to make investments to help pay for New Zealanders’ future superannuation entitlements, was valued at $26.8 billion at the end of August………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakhstan approves program of Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund

Posted on 09 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The board of directors approved a program to transform the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, the press service of the fund said Sept.8. The Board of Directors of Samruk-Kazyna JSC at a meeting under the chairmanship of the prime minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov in Astana endorsed the program of transformation.
The program involves the implementation of the three main objectives: increase of the value of existing assets, portfolio optimization, and improvement of corporate governance,” the statement said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Future Super - The Fossil Fuel Free Super Fund

Posted on 05 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It may be a solar supporter’s and green investor’s dream come true - Australia’s first superannuation fund free of fossil-fuel investments. Ethical investing can be a minefield and given the complexity, it can be one many people understandably choose not try and navigate when it comes to their superannuation.
Future Super may change that. It will not invest in fossil fuel companies or companies that provide services or finance to significant fossil fuel projects. But the no-invest list doesn’t end there - also excluded are investments involved with tobacco, gambling, cruelty to animals, animal exports, slave labour, old growth forest logging, nuclear and uranium projects to name a few………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ, UN Working Group on business and human rights discuss cooperation

Posted on 28 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Executive Director of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) Shahmar Movsumov met a delegation of the UN Working Group on business and human rights. During the meeting, Movsumov spoke about management of the fund`s resources, its investing activities and projects financed by SOFAZ.
The SOFAZ Executive Director also highlighted the Fund`s activities, as well as issues related to the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Angola SWF to send students to Switzerland as it ‘invests in investing’

Posted on 21 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Angola’s sovereign wealth fund, the Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA), has launched a scholarship scheme for young Angolans to study business management, banking and finance in Switzerland with a view to improving the country’s capacity to invest its oil revenues wisely.
The programme, in partnership with the School of Management and Law of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), will send talented young Angolans to Zurich to undertake “an intensive and exclusive management course with a focus on international business management and banking and finance”, according to a joint ZHAW and FSDEA statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Super Fund building in lockdown as Gaza protest escalates

Posted on 15 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Police are guarding the New Zealand Superannuation Fund building in downtown Auckland as pro-Palestinian protesters gather outside. ONE News reporter Helen Castles understands six activists are inside and have chained themselves to an office on level 12.
Staff have been told the building is in lockdown. The protesters are chanting ‘Occupy’ and ‘Free Palestine’. Earlier this week there were calls for the Super Fund to drop its shareholding in an Israeli chemical company that produces a lethal chemical allegedly used in fighting in Gaza………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will Sovereign Wealth Funds Become Activist Shareholders?

Posted on 14 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There are some concerns as to whether Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) will become activist shareholders because of an equivocation of the term “activist”, notes Harvard Law School Forum. June Rhee, Co-editor of HLS Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation in the recent post dated August 7, 2014 titled: “Sovereign Shareholder Activism: How SWFs Can Engage in Corporate Governance” notes activism is linked to the increasing importance of corporate governance.
The author notes with respect to equity investments in publicly traded firms, there are some concerns that Sovereign Wealth Funds will become ‘activist’ shareholders. The author points out there are primarily two threshold issues that need to be addressed before one develops policy responses to sovereign shareholder activism………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NZ Superannuation fund linked to fighting in Gaza

Posted on 13 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There are calls for the NZ Superannuation Fund to drop its shareholding in an Israeli chemical company that produces a lethal chemical allegedly used in fighting in Gaza. Labour’s foreign affairs and energy spokesman David Shearer and the Peace Foundation are calling for the NZ Superannuation Fund to immediately drop its shareholding in Israel Chemicals Ltd, a manufacturer of white phosphorus.
NZ Superannuation Fund says they are monitoring the conflict between Israel and Palestine and expect all the companies they invest in to obey international and local laws………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakhstan wants to host Tour de France stage

Posted on 06 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan will bid to host a Tour de France stage, Tengrinews reports citing AFP. Nibali’s triumph on the Champs Elysees on Sunday concluded an eight year campaign by his Astana Pro Team — named after the Kazakh capital and funded by the country’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk Kazyna — to get people talking about the world’s biggest landlocked nation.
“This has been a very successful project, if you took the mathematics, how many times Astana was named in social media and in newspapers and on TV,” said Kairat Kelimbetov, president of Kazakh Cycling, governor of the country’s central bank and a former deputy prime minister……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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