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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing - Archive | July, 2008

Nigeria finalising plans for sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 31 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Guardian.co.uk: Nigeria, the world’s eighth largest crude oil exporter, is finalising plans to set up a sovereign wealth fund meant to help cushion it from the impact of a fall in world oil prices… Full article: Source

Dubai Agency seeks Multi-Billion Dollar Loan

Posted on 31 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Aawsat.com: The sovereign wealth fund, which in March failed in a bid to buy Spanish property firm Inmobiliaria Colonial, is in talks with a number of banks for a multi-billion dollar loan, five bankers who have been approached by ICD told Reuters… Full article: Source

US qualms about foreign government investors seen fading

Posted on 30 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: With a sputtering economy, the Bush administration is welcoming investment from abroad and urging U.S. corporations to seize opportunities to rebuild their capital quickly… Full article: Source

DWTC teams up with Blackstone in attempt to snatch Informa

Posted on 30 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From FT.com: A Dubai sovereign wealth fund has teamed up with Blackstone and others aiming to buy Informa from under the noses of a rival private-equity consortium, the Financial Times has learned.

The “Dubai sovereign wealth fund” appears from the article to be Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC), which it describes as “one of the largest events organisers in the Middle East… Full article: Source

Temasek says no word yet from Maybank on BII sale

Posted on 30 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: Singapore state investor Temasek said late on Tuesday that Malayan Banking (Maybank) had not provided any update on the latter’s planned purchase of Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII)… Full article: Source

Taqa eyes $3.5bn Japan credit, Samurai bonds

Posted on 30 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: Abu Dhabi National Energy Co TAQA.AD (Taqa) is establishing a $3.5 billion credit facility in Japan to fund acquisitions and is seeking a credit rating there to sell Samurai bonds, Taqa’s chief executive said.”

For those unfamiliar with the term, here is a definition of Samurai bond… Full article: Source

Alaska fund puts $750mn in infrastructure

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Pionline.com: “Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., Juneau, committed $500 million to Goldman Sachs Institutional Infrastructure Partners II and $250 million to Alinda Capital Partners Infrastructure Fund II.”.. Full article: Source

SAFE should stay out of CIC’s way

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

Michael McCormack, an executive director at Z-Ben Advisors, on Sunday had an article published at ChinaStakes.com that looks at China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), compares it with the China Investment Corporation (CIC) in the context of foreign investment, and discusses some of the issues raised by SAFE’s acting as a sovereign wealth fund.

Among other things, the article states that, “While most foreign governments accept that their peers will buy and sell their sovereign debt as an exchange management tool, they are unlikely to accept the danger that SAFE (or, indeed, similar investors) might also be tempted buy or sell company debt, shares, fund or index positions as part of that effort. Such fears makes it unclear that SAFE could pass regulatory tests designed to bar or restrict investors who have currency management responsibilities.”… Full article: Source

UK pension funds pour £18bn into bonds

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From efinancialnews.com: “UK pension schemes have channelled more than £18bn (€23bn) into bonds over the past 12 months, in what one consultancy has called the biggest investment shift for 20 years.”… Full article: Source

Abu Dhabi’s Taqa to build North Sea oil giant

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Thisismoney.co.uk: “Abu Dhabi’s energy champion [Taqa] is stepping up its acquisition spree in the North Sea as it builds itself into one of the UK’s leading oil businesses.”… Full article: Source

SWFs may not agree to IMF code of conduct by October

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: “The world’s sovereign wealth funds, which control an estimated $3 trillion (1.5 trillion pounds) in assets, may not agree to a code of conduct by October as planned, a top International Monetary Fund official was quoted as saying.”

The article quotes John Lipsky, the IMF’s deputy managing director, as saying that, “When you talk about a code of conduct, some funds are worried that someone wants to tell them what to do. But we are not talking about that … The funds are interested in the creation of such a document as it is useful in itself and it guarantees them access to the market on fair terms.”… Full article: Source

GE looks for further Middle East partners

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Meed.com: “GE is continuing to look for local partners in the Middle East to expand its presence in the region through joint venture deals similar to the one signed with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala earlier this month.”… Full article: Source

SWFs offer limited relief to investors

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From efinancialnews.com: “Investors are pinning their hopes on purchases by sovereign wealth funds. But these deals are likely to be sporadic, and not particularly generous.”… Full article: Source

QIA replaces ICD in Trillium bid consortium

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Telegraph.co.uk: “The Qatari Investment Authority [QIA] has emerged as a potential new bidder for Land Securities’ £1.4bn outsourcing arm Trillium. The Daily Telegraph has learned that QIA has replaced the Investment Corporation of Dubai [ICD] in a consortium which includes property fund manager aAIM.”… Full article: Source

QIA ups Sainsbury stake to 27.28 percent

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Thomson Merger News: “The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has been reinforcing its stake in the UK’s third largest supermarket, Sainsbury’s, over July, revealing on Monday that its stake now stands at 27.28%.”… Full article: Source

National Bureau of Asian Research paper on the CIC

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

Michael H. Cognato of the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) has published a paper on the China Investment Corporation (CIC).

According to its intro page on the NBR site, “[Cognato’s] paper provides an analysis of the political and economic debates that led to the formation of CIC, outlines what is known about the corporation’s investment objectives and management structure, and details the domestic and foreign investments that CIC has undertaken to date. He also examines some of the specific concerns that have been raised about the potential risks posed by CIC to U.S. national interests and draws some preliminary conclusions about their validity.”… Full paper: Source

Banks seeking buyers to grow as crunch bites

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Timesonline.co.uk: “The number of banks placing themselves on the auction block will increase dramatically if global financial markets continue to deteriorate, according to the banker who masterminded Santander’s £1.3 billion takeover of Alliance & Leicester (A&L).”… Full article: Source

KIC: All investors agree to Merrill preferred shares conversion

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From CNN.com: “State-run Korea Investment Corp. said Tuesday that all the investors that participated in the acquisition of $6.6 billion of newly-issued Merrill Lynch & Co. (MER) preferred shares in January have agreed to convert their stake into common shares earlier than scheduled.”… Full article: Source

Temasek invests in Merrill after getting compensation for initial investment

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg.com: “Temasek Holdings Pte., the biggest shareholder of Merrill Lynch & Co., agreed to invest a further $900 million in the securities firm after getting compensated for its initial investment in December.”… Full article: Source

KIC to be more cautious about investing in foreign banks

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From CNN.com: “South Korean sovereign wealth fund Korea Investment Corp. will be very cautious about investing in foreign banks in the future after its experience with Merrill Lynch & Co. (MER), Chief Executive Chin Youngwook said Tuesday.”… Full article: Source

South Korean National Pension Service to up stock investment abroad

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: “Financial turmoil could weigh on the global economy beyond 2008 but the head of South Korea’s $230 billion state pension fund [the National Pension Service (NPS)] said on Tuesday he saw opportunities for the fund to start boosting its share investments.”… Full article: Source

Temasek ploy pays off at Merrill’s cost

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From FT.com: Announcing Temasek’s landmark $4.4bn capital injection in Merrill Lynch last December, John Thain, the bank’s chief executive, hailed the Singapore state investment agency as a “savvy investor with a proven track record of achieving strong investment returns”. Seven months later and Mr Thain has been proved right – though at a heavy cost to the troubled US investment bank… Full article: Source

US Treasury: No comment on Temasek, investment welcome

Posted on 29 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: A senior U.S. Treasury official [David McCormick, U.S. Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs] declined to comment on Tuesday on Singapore state-run Temasek Holdings’ likely expansion of its stake in U.S. investment bank Merrill Lynch Co but said the United States welcomed foreign investment… Full article: Source

South Korean National Pension Service in talks to buy stakes in foreign banks

Posted on 25 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From FT.com: South Korea’s National Pension Service, the world’s fifth-largest pension fund with $200bn in assets, is in talks with a number of foreign financial institutions to buy a stake in them… Full article: Source

Qatar raises Barclays stake to 6.42 percent

Posted on 25 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From efinancialnews.com: Barclays said the Qatar Investment Authority increased its stake in the UK bank to 6.42% as part of its involvement in Barclays; £4.5bn (€5.7bn) capital raising launched in June… Full article: Source

Temasek stake in Merrill unchanged

Posted on 25 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek Holdings still owns 86.9 million shares in U.S. investment bank Merrill Lynch, unchanged since March, sources told Reuters on Friday… Full article: Source

Sinosteel extends Midwest takeover offer to Aug 25

Posted on 25 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: Chinese state-owned commodities trading house Sinosteel has extended its offer for shares in Australian iron ore prospector Midwest Corp by a month to Aug. 25, it said in a regulatory filing on Friday… Full article: Source

The Economist on the plan to set up a Japanese SWF

Posted on 25 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Economist.com: The [Japanese] plan is a Petri dish for a potentially much bigger investment pool… Full article: Source

China city funds tempt foreigners but no path to riches

Posted on 24 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: While sovereign wealth funds [have] been grabbing headlines, Hangzhou’s fund [the Qian Jiang Industrial Fund] is one of a growing number emerging from cash-rich Chinese cities keen to boost local economic growth… Full article: Source

OECD’s Helmut Reisen: Little need for conspiracy theories to explain SWFs

Posted on 24 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From RGEmonitor.com: Helmut Reisen, head of research at the OECD Development Centre, writes at RGE Monitor that, “From the perspective of development economics, there is little need for conspiracy theories to explain what drives the funding and motivation of sovereign wealth funds.”… Full article: Source

CIC’s Gao Xiqing becomes Duke University trustee

Posted on 23 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From BizJournals.com: Duke University has named the head of China’s sovereign wealth fund to its board of trustees. The university said in a statement that Xi-Qing Gao has joined the board for a five-year term… Full article: Source

Taiwan Labor Pension Fund to invest NT$50-60bn in stocks in H2

Posted on 23 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Quamnet.com: The [Taiwanese] Labor Pension Fund plans to appoint institutions in the second half to manage an extra 50-60 bln twd of the agency’s funds for investment in Taiwan equities, the Economic Daily News reported, citing the fund’s vice chairperson Lee Ruey-Ji… Full article: Source

Will insurance be the next SWF target?

Posted on 23 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From the Reuters Dealzone Blog: Deep-pocketed sovereign wealth funds from Asia and the Middle East have made the headlines over the past year by snapping up stakes in stock exchanges, hedge funds, banks and private equity firms. Should they now set their sights on making acquisitions in the insurance sector?… Full article: Source

Mubadala eyes renewable energy companies in Germany

Posted on 23 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Forbes.com: Mubadala Development Co. is in talks to buy renewable energy companies in Germany, Handelsblatt reported, citing chief executive Kahldoon al Mubarak… Full article: Source

Mubadala, GE launch $8bn joint venture

Posted on 23 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: Abu Dhabi state investment agency Mubadala said on Tuesday it will become a long-term shareholder in General Electric and will set up an $8 billion joint venture firm with the U.S. company… Full article: Source

Chrysler Building may be SWF aberration as funds turn away from west

Posted on 23 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg.com: William Pesak asks in a Bloomberg opinion piece, “Could the purchase of the building that was the world’s tallest until 1931 be more an aberration than the start of a new eyebrow-raising trend?”; His answer: “Yes, at least in the medium term. The reason: Sovereign wealth funds and other pools of affluence created by surging commodity prices are moving their focus more and more away from the West.”… Full article: Source

Abu Dhabi SWF looking for applicants for role of chief investment officer (private equity)

Posted on 23 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

eFinancialCareers has an interesting job posting for one of the most prestigious roles in the industry worldwide; - chief investment officer (private equity) of an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund… Full article: Source

Edwin M. Truman on why SWFs deserve special attention

Posted on 23 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From WSJ.com: Edwin M. Truman of the Petersen Institute has written a short reply to a July 18 WSJ by Douglas Rediker and Heidi Crebo-Rediker, co-directors of the Global Strategic Finance Initiative at the New America Foundation, in which they argued that SWFs should not be picked on… Full article: Source

State Street: Push for SWF transparency will fail

Posted on 23 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From efinancialnews.com: Sovereign wealth funds should not be subjected to any greater stipulations on disclosure than other market participants, despite a predicted growth in their assets to about $20 trillion (€12.63 trillion) by 2020, according to asset manager State Street… Full article: Source

State Street: SWFs could eventually own 5 percent of world firms

Posted on 23 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: Sovereign wealth funds could collectively own over 5 percent of the world’s major companies over time and their desire to diversify into equities would push real bond yields to rise, State Street said Tuesday… Full article: Source

Norwegians eye oil windfall to ease economic pinch

Posted on 22 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters India: Soaring fuel and mortgage costs are squeezing Norwegians’; wallets and stoking debate whether Norway should spend more of its record oil and gas windfall instead of investing it abroad… Full article: Source

Abu Dhabi’s IPIC creates $1bn fund to invest in Kazakhstan

Posted on 22 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From TheNational.ae: The International Petroleum Investment Company [IPIC], an Abu Dhabi Government investment fund, and the government of Kazakhstan will invest US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) in oil and gas projects in the Central Asian country… Full article: Source

Brad Setser on just how much money the Chinese have

Posted on 22 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Blogs.cfr.com: Brad Setser offers an answer to the question of just how much money China has, how fast its foreign assets are growing, and how much is hot money… Full article: Source

No threat from SWFs, says Indian finance ministry

Posted on 22 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Livemint.com: Four months after it set out to find whether foreign sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) pose a threat to India’s interests, [India's] finance ministry has decided that they don’t and, consequently, that there is no need to restrict their investments [in India]… Full article: Source

Trouble at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stirs concern abroad

Posted on 22 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From NYTimes.com: Richard Hofmann, an analyst with CreditSights, an independent research house, is quoted as saying that, “No less than the international perception of the credit quality of the U.S. government is at stake.”… Full article: Source

Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP may hike commodities, infrastructure investment

Posted on 22 July 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From PIonline.com: The €205 billion ($325 billion) Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, Heerlen, Netherlands, is considering an increase in investments with inflation-hedging characteristics such as commodities, infrastructure and real estate, confirmed spokesman Thijs Steger… Full article: Source

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