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Norway Fund to Exclude San Leon Energy from Portfolio

Posted on 07 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has excluded London-listed oil and gas explorer San Leon from its portfolio of investments, Norway’s central bank said on Friday. The company was excluded on the basis of a recommendation from the fund’s ethics council.
“The Council recommends the exclusion of San Leon Energy Plc from the Government Pension Fund Global because the company contributes to serious violations of fundamental ethical norms through its onshore hydrocarbon exploration in Western Sahara on behalf of Moroccan authorities,” the ethics council said in a separate statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ireland’s SWF joins Strathclyde in L&G wind-energy fund

Posted on 02 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and Strathclyde Pension Fund are investing in a wind-energy strategy managed by Legal & General and NTR.
Ireland’s sovereign wealth fund committed €35m to the NTR Wind 1 vehicle, which will build an onshore wind portfolio in the UK and Ireland. Strathclyde committed €50m. The fund has closed, with a hard cap of €250m………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB Foundation to send 150 from S’wak for haj programme

Posted on 29 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A total of 150 imam and Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) chairpersons from Sarawak will be picked to take part in a special haj programme under the 1MDB Foundation. Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said 75 imam and 75 JKKK chairpersons would be picked from the state.
The programme was started by the 1MDB Foundation in 2011 with 111 pilgrims nationwide. The number was boosted to 400 people in 2012, 800 (2013), 1,000 (2014) and 1,200 (2015)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Giant & Activist Investor Focused on Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility

Posted on 12 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Many nations have created what can be defined as a “Sovereign Wealth Fund,” which hold assets in portfolio that are supposed to benefit the entire population, and usually, future generations of the country’s citizens. The first such fund was launched in 1954 by the oil-producing nation of Kuwait. Today, the largest such “SWF” is that of Norway – officially, the Norway Government Pension Investment Fund – with “wealth” now approaching US$1 trillion in Assets Under Management.
The Fund, managed by Norges Bank, invests in literally thousands of public companies. Consider: The fund invests in 9,000 companies in 75 countries (1.3% of the world’s listed companies; 2.4% of Europe’s listed companies). The funds come from Norway’s North Sea oil royalties………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s oil-based wealth fund sells out of more fossil fuel companies

Posted on 08 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, has sold out of 73 companies in the past year because their social or environmental policies could hurt profitability. The Norwegian state pension fund’s annual report relating to “responsible investment” did not give the names of companies, but it indicated that most were coal or energy companies using coal, as well as those involved in mining, producing cement and heavy construction.
“We want to measure the risk in our investments,” said the head of the fund, Yngve Slyngstad, in a statement on Thursday. “We expect companies to communicate the impact of their activities on the environment and the factors that could affect their long-term profitability,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s $810bn wealth fund to question companies on human rights

Posted on 08 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $810-billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, said on Thursday it would raise its focus on global human rights to ensure that companies it invests in follow ethical standards. “We’re publishing our expectations for how companies manage human rights,” the fund said in a statement.
“Norges Bank Investment Management, as a financial investor, expects companies to respect human rights, and address human rights issues in their business practices.” The fund’s ethical rules prevent it from investing in companies that produce nuclear weapons, anti-personnel landmines, cluster bombs or tobacco, among other criteria………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s massive wealth fund pulls out of 73 companies

Posted on 05 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, announced on Thursday it had sold out of 73 companies last year because their social or environmental policies could hurt profitability.
The Norwegian state pension fund’s annual report relating to “responsible investment” did not give the names of companies, but it indicated that most were coal or energy companies using coal, as well as those involved in mining, producing cement and heavy construction. “We want to measure the risk in our investments,” said the head of the fund, Yngve Slyngstad, in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s oil fund steps up pressure on multinationals

Posted on 05 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $810bn oil fund has revealed that it voted against proposals from some of the world’s biggest companies — including Apple, General Electric and JPMorgan — as it stepped up its push for more responsible investing.
On Thursday, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund disclosed that it voted against 9,000 company-backed resolutions at annual meetings, with other companies sanctioned including ExxonMobil, AB InBev and Toyota………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund just announced a groundbreaking human rights policy

Posted on 05 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s pension fund, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, has made it clear that it expects companies to respect human rights in all of their operations and across their entire supply chains. Norway’s pension fund, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, has made it clear that it expects companies to respect human rights in all of their operations and across their entire supply chains.
Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) announced a new policy this morning that outlines how it expects companies it invests in to address human rights issues in their business practices. NBIM manages the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, which has funds invested in some 9,000 companies in 75 countries………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK: Create Sovereign Wealth Fund for Renewables Support, Calls Industry

Posted on 05 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For renewables to be a commercial success and a sustained contributor to the UK’s energy mix, subsidy support needs to be delivered by the creation of a Sovereign Wealth Fund, agreed key stakeholders at a roundtable event hosted by environmental PR specialist, Prova.
Continual change and uncertainty surrounding renewables policy has seen clean energy investment stall in the UK. However, such technology plays a vital role in our national energy mix, particularly in terms of providing security against a fractious global market and achieving the low carbon future envisioned at the recent Paris COP………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s oil fund wary of corruption in Brazil firm

Posted on 29 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s state pension fund, the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, said on Thursday it had placed Brazilian oil group Petrobras “under observation” because of corruption fears following a kickbacks scandal. The move means that the ethics council that advises the Norwegian central bank on the fund’s investments will follow developments closely, which could lead to the fund divesting its holding.
“Should further cases of gross corruption be revealed in Petrobras’ operations in the future and the company cannot satisfy that the anti-corruption programme is being complied with and effectively improved, the condition for exclusion may be met,” the council said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway wealth fund’s ethics watchdog probing 14 corruption cases

Posted on 29 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The ethics watchdog for Norway’s $800 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, is stepping up its scrutiny of companies the fund invests in to make sure they are not involved in corruption, an official at the watchdog told Reuters.
Eli Ane Lund, administrative leader of the ethics council, said the watchdog was currently investigating 14 companies for suspected corruption across nine countries. These include Brazilian oil firm Petrobras, which is currently mired in the country’s biggest ever corruption scandal, she said, while declining to name the other companies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Fund of Angola supports social projects in seven provinces

Posted on 22 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Angola Sovereign Fund for Development (FSDEA) is financing 10 projects in health, education, water supply and entrepreneurship in the provinces of Cabinda, Bengo, Huambo, Bié, Cunene, Benguela and Kwanza Norte valued at US$12 million.
The Director of the FSDEA funded African Foundation for Innovation (FAI), Carlos Figueiredo, said that about 3,000 farming households and 15 micro and small businesses are being formed by the FAI to supply essential goods and services to communities, in partnership with the FSDEA………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian State Fund with Assets of 1 Qn Won Will Not Invest in Five Korean Companies: Why?

Posted on 20 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG, Norway-owned investment fund), the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund with assets of 1 quadrillion won is not investing in five South Korean companies including POSCO and Daewoo International. The Norwegian state investment fund does not invest in companies producing tobacco or inhumane weapons of mass destruction such as cluster munitions, companies destroying the environment and companies with serious corruption problems.
On January 7, the GPFG announced that it would exclude ZTE, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, from its investment portfolio due to issues of corruption. Now the number of companies throughout the world that the Norwegian fund refuses to invest in has increased to sixty-five………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway SWF blacklists China’s ‘corrupt’ ZTE

Posted on 08 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund, the world’s largest, said Thursday it has excluded China’s ZTE Corporation from its portfolio after assessing corruption allegations made against the telecom equipment maker in several countries.
“The company is excluded based on an assessment of the risk of severe corruption,” said Norway’s central bank, which has the final word on ethically-based exclusions. The decision was based on an assessment by the fund’s Council on Ethics, which said the Chinese company is facing corruption allegations in 18 countries and is under formal investigation in 10 countries. In addition, the company has one conviction for corruption, it said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Youth volunteers get cash grants from GIC

Posted on 04 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC is trying to encourage youth volunteerism by offering cash grants in return for 25 hours of community work. It has set aside $2 million for the scheme, called GIC Sparks & Smiles, and hopes to attract 200 students over four years.
The programme is open to those studying in universities, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education here. They also must come from households with a per capita income of below $2,000. They will be put through a one-day training course and will then be required to serve the community for 25 hours. In return, they get a cash grant of $3,000 to $5,000 that is up to them to spend………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s oil fund takes France’s Alstom off ethics risk list

Posted on 28 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $837 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, has removed French engineering group Alstom SA off its ethics monitoring list, the fund said on Tuesday. The fund said Alstom was put on the list in 2011 when Norway’s finance ministry also put the French company under observation based on an assessment of possible risks of corruption in its operations.
The observation period was set for four years with the ministry asking the fund’s ethics council to monitor the company and follow developments in its anti-corruption efforts. The Norwegian central bank, which supervises the sovereign wealth fund, said on Tuesday that it had decided to end the monitoring on the advice of the fund’s ethics council………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway oil fund to make green investments

Posted on 16 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s oil fund has asked to shift part of its vast $830bn holdings into green infrastructure projects such as wind turbines and solar energy parks in the wake of last week’s climate deal in Paris. Yngve Slyngstad, manager of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, made the request in a letter to Norway’s Ministry of Finance, published in Norway’s Dagens Næringsliv business newspaper on Tuesday.
“The bank believes it will be possible to carry out investments in infrastructure for renewable energy with the same profitability requirements as other investments,” wrote Slyngstad and Jon Nicolaisen, the deputy governor of Norges Bank, which manages the fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway oil fund to target green energy, infrastructure if allowed

Posted on 09 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $850 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, would invest in renewable energy, transport and grids if it were allowed to put money into unlisted infrastructure projects, the fund’s CEO told Reuters on Tuesday.
His comments came after the Norwegian central bank recommended the fund should be allowed to invest in such projects and to put a higher share of its assets in real estate, changes that could represent the biggest shift in the fund’s strategy since it was allowed to invest in real estate in 2010. “From our point of view the focus will be on the energy transition, renewable energy,” Yngve Slyngstad said in an interview on the margins of the Paris global climate talks, when asked what kind of infrastructure projects the fund could consider………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rockefeller-inspired climate action mobilizes $3.4 trillion

Posted on 03 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global; Glasgow University; the London School of Economics; the city of Muenster, Germany; and the Church of England are also divesting from the most heavily polluting fossil fuels.
“The movement started at college campuses”, observed Ellen Dorsey, executive director of Wallace Global Fund, one of the driving forces behind the Divest/Invest initiative. “The snowball is rolling,” she said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dutch fund PFZW to divest from high carbon companies

Posted on 18 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

PFZW, a Dutch pension fund with 161 billion euros ($172 bln) of assets under management, said on Tuesday it will sell down investments in companies with relatively high carbon dioxide emissions. PFZW is the latest high-profile investor to cut exposure to fossil fuel-linked investments this year.
California passed a bill in September requiring the state’s two largest pension funds to divest from coal. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, said in February it would divest from thermal coal companies. ABP, the largest Dutch pension fund, said in October it would exit all investments that don’t meet “sustainability” criteria by 2020………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakh Sovereign Wealth Fund Seeks $106 Million Solar Expansion

Posted on 06 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A unit of Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund agreed to double capacity of a solar power plant to 100 megawatts at a cost of about $106 million. TOO Samruk-Kazyna Invest signed a deal with United Green Group to expand the capacity of their venture in the Zhambyl region of southern Kazakhstan, the Astana-based fund said by e-mail on Wednesday. Samruk-Kazyna didn’t say how the expansion will be financed.
Last year, Kazakhstan’s government set tariffs for energy produced by renewables in a bid to get 3 percent of electricity from cleaner sources by 2020. Kazakhstan, the largest oil producer in Central Asia, has sought development of renewable energy, including investment in solar panel production by state-run uranium producer Kazatomprom………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway eyes oil wealth to cover extra migrant costs

Posted on 02 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway will need to dip into its massive sovereign wealth fund and cut refugee benefits to pay for rising costs linked to the record influx of asylum seekers, the government said Friday, AFP reported. The government, which expects 33,000 asylum seekers in 2016 or roughly three times the annual number in recent years, estimated that the large number of migrants would cost it 9.5 billion kroner (one billion euros, $1.1 billion) more than it had forecast in its October 7 budget.
To finance the extra cost, the right-wing government — which includes the populist, anti-immigration Progress Party — proposed to withdraw 1.2 billion kroner from its public pension fund, which is the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Digs Deeper Into $860 Billion Fund Amid Refugee Costs

Posted on 02 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Just three weeks after announcing it will dip into its massive $860 billion piggy bank for the first time, the Norwegian government is at it again. The government will use 209 billion kroner ($24 billion) of its oil revenue in its budget next year, up from the 207.8 billion it planned to spend in its initial proposal released Oct. 7. It’s also scaling back planned income tax cuts and a reduction to its wealth levy to cover 9.5 billion kroner in extra costs from an expected inflow of about 33,000 refugees next year.
“In September Norway received a larger number of asylum-seekers than in the entire first half of the year, giving rise to practical and economic challenges,” Finance Minister Siv Jensen said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign fund calls for transparency on water lobbying

Posted on 28 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has urged companies to be transparent on lobbying surrounding water management and risks. Companies should also promote best practice of water usage and consider putting in place a mechanism that allows third parties to consult with them directly on matters of water management, according to a revised paper released by Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM).
The manager for Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, long active in the area of water management and a supporter of charity CDP on the matter, also urged companies to engage directly with local communities about water reclamation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India’s ReNew Power sells stake to Abu Dhabi sovereign fund

Posted on 28 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Indian solar and wind energy company ReNew Power Ventures Pvt Ltd sold a “significant minority stake” to a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) for $200 million, the company said in a statement.
ADIA’s investment was part of a broader $265-million fundraising by new and existing investors in ReNew Power Ventures, it added. Financial adviser Rothschild advised the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek-controlled Olam refinances with $1B in new loans

Posted on 28 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agri-trader Olam International has secured $1 billion in funding to refinance existing debt, just a couple of months after Mitsubishi Corp snagged a 20 percent stake in the company.
Olam said the new revolving credit and term loan facility will comprise an $850 million 364-day revolving credit facility and a $150 million 5-year term loan. Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings owns 51.4 percent of Olam………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Japan joins Oman in setting up food and agribusiness fund

Posted on 27 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oman’s biggest sovereign wealth fund has agreed with Japanese institutions to set up a joint $400 million fund that will invest in food and agribusiness industries, Omani officials said on Sunday. The fund will facilitate direct investment in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states by Japanese food and agribusiness firms, ranging from grains and feed to vegetables, milk and dairy products, logistics and research firms, they said, aiming to spend at least 35 percent of the money in Oman.
The Gulf Japan Food Fund will be owned 37.5 percent by Oman’s State General Reserve Fund. State-run Oman National Investments Development Co and Gulf Investment Corp, owned by the six GCC states, will hold a combined 12.5 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oman, Japan to form $400 mln fund to invest in food sector -Omani officials

Posted on 26 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oman’s biggest sovereign wealth fund has agreed with Japanese institutions to set up a joint $400 million fund that will invest in food and agribusiness industries, Omani officials said on Sunday. The fund will facilitate direct investment in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states by Japanese food and agribusiness firms, ranging from grains and feed to vegetables, milk and dairy products, logistics and research firms, they said, aiming to spend at least 35 percent of the money in Oman.
The Gulf Japan Food Fund will be owned 37.5 percent by Oman’s State General Reserve Fund. State-run Oman National Investments Development Co and Gulf Investment Corp, owned by the six GCC states, will hold a combined 12.5 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Fund Sets Tougher Water-Use Requirements on Companies

Posted on 23 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund, the world’s largest by assets, has decided to impose tougher requirements on how businesses it invests in manage water resources. The fund, which is run by Norges Bank Investment Management, an arm of Norway’s central bank, will ask companies to come up with clear strategies and risk-management plans for water resources.
Until now, the fund only required companies to report on their water use. “We want our expectations to be very clear,” William Ambrose, a senior manager at NBIM told The Wall Street Journal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC to invest S$350m in Indian clean energy projects

Posted on 20 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An affiliate of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC will invest about £162.8 million (S$350 million) to buy over clean energy assets in India. This will be done via the proposed acquisition of Greenko Group PLC’s majority interest in Greenko Mauritius, which is the holding company for Greenko’s business in India. Greenko operations in India include wind power, run-of-river hydropower, natural gas and biomass assets.
Mr Stuart Baldwin, global head of Infrastructure at GIC, said in a statement on Monday (Oct 19): “We look forward to working closely with Greenko’s management to develop the company to be the leading owner and operator of clean energy projects in India.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Greens Build on Wealth Fund Win to Ban Oslo From Fossil Fuels

Posted on 20 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Green Party is forcing the capital city’s $9.3 billion pension manager to sell out of fossil fuel companies, building on momentum from helping re-shape guidelines for the nation’s $860 billion sovereign wealth fund.
The party surged in municipal elections last month, winning 8.1 percent of votes in Oslo, making it the third largest party. They will now for the first time form a government with the Labor Party and the Socialist Left. “Oslo will take responsibility for the climate, both through our own policies and our investments,” Lan Marie Nguyen Berg, first candidate for the city’s Green Party, said in an e-mailed statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s Green Party to ban Oslo pension fund from investing in fossil-fuel companies

Posted on 20 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Green Party is forcing the capital city’s $9.3 billion pension manager to sell out of fossil-fuel companies, building on momentum from helping reshape guidelines for the nation’s $860 billion sovereign wealth fund, Government Pension Fund Global, Oslo.
Officials at Oslo Pensjonsforsikring AS, the city’s pension fund, are working on how they will implement the proposed ban and are compiling a list of companies the fund will need to sell, CEO Aamund Lunde said by phone. Mr. Lunde declined to say how much will be sold or how many companies would be covered………………………………………..Full Article: Source

John Hewson Attacks Coal-Loving Peter Costello Over Future Fund’s Fossil Fuel Investments

Posted on 15 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Former Treasurer Peter Costello has previously said it would be “a very strange thing” for the nation’s sovereign wealth fund to divest from fossil fuels. Dr John Hewson’s not so sure. Former Liberal leader Dr John Hewson has launched a scathing attack on Peter Costello for being “wilfully blind to the risks of climate change” in his management of Australia’s massive sovereign wealth fund, even accusing the Howard-era Treasurer of “a clear breach of fiduciary duty”.
Dr Hewson is the Chair of the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP), a non-profit which ranks the top 1,000 asset owners for their exposure to investments that risk the climate and, increasingly, their returns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Oil Fund Puts Astra International Under Observation

Posted on 14 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s central bank, which oversees Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, said it had put Indonesia’s Astra International Tbk PT under observation, after the company assured in June that it would take steps to mitigate environmental concerns. Last year the fund’s Council of Ethics had recommended the exclusion of Astra International.
However after the company said it would cease all logging and land conversion while developing a sustainability strategy, the ethics council decided to recommend placing the company under observation. The council recommended an observation period of four years to assess the impact of Astra’s new policy. Astra is the second company on the fund’s observation list, joining Alstom SA………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s wealth fund to review stake in palm oil producer

Posted on 14 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund should monitor its investment in Indonesia’s Astra International to ensure its palm oil operations don’t break ethical guidelines, the Norwegian central bank said on Tuesday. The decision gives the company four years to meet the $856 billion fund’s ethical standards. If it fails, Norway could sell its 0.3 percent stake, worth $73 million according to Thomson Reuters data.
Astra International is one of the biggest companies listed on the Jakarta stock exchange, with a market value of around $18.5 billion and businesses spanning auto distribution and palm oil to mining equipment and financial services. It held a 79.7 percent stake in palm oil producer PT Astra Agro Lestari Tbk as of end-June, the data shows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar’s wealth fund said interested in Glencore agriculture sale

Posted on 12 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The sovereign wealth fund of Qatar has joined investors expressing an interest in buying a minority stake in Glencore Plc’s agriculture business, according to three people familiar with the conversations.
The talks are preliminary and a sale would take as long as six months, said the same people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Qatar Holding LLC, the direct investment arm of the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, is already the largest investor in the Swiss-based commodities trader-cum-miner, with an 8.9 per cent stake, people said earlier this week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar wealth fund said to be interested in Glencore’s agricultural business

Posted on 09 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The sovereign wealth fund of Qatar has reportedly joined investors expressing an interest in buying a minority stake in Glencore’s agricultural business, which deals in commodities such as wheat, cotton, soybeans and sugar.
Bloomberg cited people familiar with the matter as saying that talks are in the preliminary stage and a sale could take as long as six months. Qatar Holding, which is the direct investment arm of the state’s sovereign wealth fund, is already the largest investor in the London-listed commodities trader with an 8.9% stake………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway wealth fund zeroes in on textile industry

Posted on 05 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The ethics council that makes recommendations for the $820 billion (Dh3 trillion) Norwegian sovereign wealth fund is zeroing in on companies in textile manufacturing for breaching its standards, the head of the watchdog said. In a study of about 400 textile manufacturers the group has chosen to concentrate on “two handfuls” that it has contacted, said Johan H. Andresen, chairman of Norway’s Council on Ethics, in an interview Thursday at his office on the outskirts of Oslo.
“We will see whether we think that they are willing and able to make changes in their conduct,” he said. The world’s biggest wealth fund takes into account ethical rules encompassing human rights, some weapons production and the environment. It has excluded more than 60 companies after recommendations from the council………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BTA Bank completes buyback of common shares from Samruk-Kazyna and terminates trust management agreement

Posted on 30 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

JSC BTA Bank announces on September 28 on completion of buyback of 27,351,461,050 common shares representing 4.26% of outstanding common shares from JSC National Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna and on termination of the Trust management agreement in respect these common shares.
Buyback of common shares and its conditions were approved by the Board of Directors of BTA on 5 January 2015 based on recommendations of the extraordinary general meeting of BTA shareholders after approval of KKB and BTA integration model by shareholders. Due to buyback of common shares from Samruk-Kazyna, the Trust Management Agreement signed on 31 January 2014 between KKB as Trustee and JSC Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna as Trustor was terminated………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Olam plans to go big on Africa coffee plantations

Posted on 29 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Olam International, a commodity trader controlled by investment company Temasek Holdings, plans to more than double coffee-plantation space in Africa to improve quality control there. The company, 51.4 per cent held by Temasek, targets total African coffee farmland at 5,000ha, up from 2,200ha already planted in Zambia and Tanzania, Mr Deepak Kaul, senior vice-president for coffee, said by e-mail in response to questions.
In Zambia, where Olam already has 1,200ha planted, it plans to increase estates to 2,700ha through its subsidiary, Northern Coffee, one of the biggest large-scale producers in Africa, Mr Kaul said without providing a timeframe. “As Africa is a central part of our business, we are committed to investing and expanding on the continent,” he said. Customers increasingly want “single-estate, certified and traceable coffees”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Skancke aims to make sustainability integral to asset management

Posted on 28 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Martin Skancke looks as though he is growing a beard in an attempt to look older, but his youthful looks are deceiving. Approaching his half-decade, Skancke has 20 years’ experience setting up and running sovereign wealth funds and is spearheading a campaign to make sustainable investment an indispensable part of asset management, as chair of the Principles for Responsible Investment, the UN-backed group of 1,380 investors.
His involvement with sovereign wealth funds started when he was head of the section for monetary policy and public finances at the Norwegian Ministry of Finance. As one of the few civil servants there with a background in finance, he was a natural choice to lead the development of the Government Petroleum Fund (later known as the Government Pension Fund)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar wealth fund may be down $4.6bn on VW and Glencore

Posted on 25 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund may have lost $4.6 billion in just two days from its stakes in Volkswagen and Glencore. Qatar Investment Authority, the biggest holder of VW’s preferred shares and the third-largest owner of its ordinary stock, stands to have seen €3.8 billion evaporate from its holdings in the automaker.
QIA is also the largest investor in Glencore. The ownership data are based on compilations from regulatory filings dated April 2015 in the most recent case. A QIA media representative declined to comment on the current stakes. VW and Glencore tumbled more than 15 per cent in the first two days of the week, leading slumps in European shares. The carmaker said it cheated on emissions rules in the US, while Glencore closed at a record low as metals prices sank on concerns that China’s economy is slowing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar’s Volkswagen stake slumps $3.73bn amidst fallout from the emissions scandal in the US

Posted on 25 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar Investment Authority, one of Volkswagen’s top shareholders, has seen the value of its holding fall by 3.35 billion euros ($3.73 billion) since the carmaker was hit by an emissions scandal at the end of last week.
Below is a table of the top five holders of Volkswagen’s preference and ordinary shares, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data, showing losses as of 1417 GMT for preferred shares, and 1423 GMT for ordinary shares………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund calls for companies to focus on energy efficiency

Posted on 25 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has called for a greater focus on energy efficiency, arguing that companies should disclose their renewable energy consumption targets and report on use of low-carbon products.
Responding to changes proposed by CDP – formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project – to its climate change questionnaire, which gathers comparative data on the water, energy and carbon footprint of around 5,000 companies, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) said it welcomed the move to improve data quality………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek Cares committed S$12.2m in grants in FY2014/15

Posted on 24 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Cares, the philanthropic arm of Temasek Holdings, has committed S$31.6 million in grants to-date to fund its various social programmes. Temasek Cares’ latest annual report showed that S$12.2 million in grants was committed for FY2014 to 2015. It went to funding 15 programmes which benefited groups such as disadvantaged families, the elderly and children with special needs.
About 4,900 individuals benefitted from the various programmes. “FY2014 to 2015 saw Temasek Cares funding 15 programmes through 26 community partners that directly impacted 4,900 Singapore citizens,” said Temasek Cares chairman Richard Magnus………………………………………..Full Article: Source

‘Greenko to help GIC tap clean energy opportunity in India’

Posted on 21 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Clean energy company Greenko will remain an important entity for Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC to tap renewable power generation opportunities in India, Fitch Ratings said. Greenko Group Plc has signed an agreement GIC for selling its stake in Greenko Mauritius for around Rs 1,650 crore.
“Fitch believes GIC’s move will improve Greenko’s access to banking and capital markets. We also believe GIC will drive tighter risk management practices and financial policies at Greenko,” the ratings agency said in a statement……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Investing in socially responsible companies makes sense

Posted on 18 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

What do CalPERS, and many of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds from Scandinavia to the Mideast have in common? They’re betting big on sustainability. In May, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, a $307 billion retirement fund, said it will require its asset managers to factor environmental and social risks into their investment decisions.
Norway’s giant national sovereign wealth fund, with $890 billion in assets built off its oil and gas reserves, is divesting from companies that mine or burn coal. A majority of the world’s largest institutional investors — pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds — incorporate considerations about a business’s environmental and social track record into their investment decisions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Green Party Rise Shows Oil Economy Losing Support

Posted on 16 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s Green Party, which wants to halt oil production, emerged as a winner in municipal elections, building on support that has helped shape investment guidelines for the nation’s massive wealth fund.
Since entering parliament for the first time in 2013, the Greens have spurred a shift amid lawmakers to question how the energy industry works. They were also the catalyst for Labor to gather support across eight parties to ban Norway’s $840 billion sovereign wealth fund from coal investments, a move the fund has said could trigger $6.6 billion in divestments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway oil fund could sell coal-related shares worth $6.6 bln

Posted on 07 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $828 billion sovereign wealth fund believes a new rule curtailing its investments in coal-dependent businesses could lead it to sell shares in companies across the world worth about 55 billion Norwegian crowns ($6.6 billion), it said.
Around 120 companies are likely to be affected, it said in a letter to the country’s finance ministry. Under a deal struck in parliament in June, the fund will divest from companies that get more than 30 percent of their turnover from coal, including both mining firms and power generators. The business of buying, selling or transporting coal should, however, be exempted from exclusion, as should the distribution and trading of power, the fund said in its letter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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