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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing - Archive | August, 2008

Taiwan’s Labour Pension Fund mulls SRI principles

Posted on 31 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Asianinvestor.net: Following a recent ruling from the Executive Yuan (Taiwan’s executive branch of government), the Labour Pension Fund says it is looking to adopt a set of SRI principles and formulate appropriate investment policies that will be gradually introduced in its $24 billion portfolio… Full article: Source

Sainsbury at centre of trading frenzy amid QIA bid talk

Posted on 31 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From FT.com: J Sainsbury jumped to the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard [Thursday] as bid rumours swirled. Shares in the food retailer finished 7.9 per cent higher at 344p amid talk of a 500p a share bid from its 29 per cent shareholder the Qatar Investment Authority… Full article: Source

Australian Future Fund posts gain of $652m in first year

Posted on 31 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From TheAustralian.com: The $64 billion Future Fund has earned a $652 million, or 1.54 per cent, return in its first full year of operations, in a period when the median, balanced superannuation fund lost 6.4 per cent… Full article: Source

IMF International Working Group of Sovereign Wealth Funds to meet on September 1-2 in Santiago, Chile

Posted on 31 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From IMF.org: The International Working Group of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IWG)—comprising 26 member countries—will meet for the third time on September 1-2 in Santiago, Chile, to agree on a common set of voluntary principles and practices intended to guide investment practices by sovereign wealth funds (SWFs).

The meeting aims to reach an understanding on the Generally Accepted Principles and Practices (GAPP) on SWFs in advance of the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings on October 10-13. The GAPP is expected to be presented to a meeting of the IMF’s policy-guiding body, the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), on October 11 when it convenes during the Annual Meetings in Washington… Full article: Source

The CIC and interest payments

Posted on 28 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Chinastakes.com: August 29 is the second interest due date for the RMB 600 billion special national debt number 0701, and the total payment will be as high as RMB 12.9 billion. Around the first interest due date, the market worried the heavy interest would bring unbearable pressure to bear on China Investment Corporation (CIC), China’s sovereign wealth fund. It didn’t.

The interest on special national debt number 0701 is, in fact, not paid by CIC but by the Ministry of Finance, in return for which CIC pays a portion of its profits to the Ministry… Full article: Source

UAE central bank: US rules may deter sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 28 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: Restrictions by the United States and others may lead sovereign wealth funds to invest closer to home instead of in the West, the head of the central bank for the United Arab Emirates [Sultan Nasser al-Suweidi] was quoted as saying on Thursday… Full article: Source

Irish National Pensions Reserve Fund adds emerging markets

Posted on 28 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From PIonline.com: National Pensions Reserve Fund, Dublin, Ireland, hired three managers for active emerging markets equities, said Adrian O’Donovan, senior manager for the €19.5 billion ($29 billion) fund… Full article: Source

Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief on emerging economies’ foreign reserves

Posted on 28 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Quamnet.com: Joseph Yam, chief executive of Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), “The impact of foreign-reserves accumulation on global finance should generally be favourable because the management of official reserves is usually more stable than the management of private capital.”… Full article: Source

Siemens in talks with Gulf and Russian SWFs

Posted on 28 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From FT.com: Europe’s biggest engineering group, has held talks with sovereign wealth funds from the Gulf, Russia and other regions in an attempt to expand its long-term investor base… Full article: Source

Japan seeks UAE`s sovereign investments

Posted on 28 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Khaleejtimes.com: Tokyo is looking to attract SovereignWealth Funds (SWFs) in the UAE to make long-term investments in Japan, particularly in sectors offering high returns, as both countries stress the importance of human and economic development. The investments shall be in the form of joint ventures on financial services, photovoltaic or solar power, water desalination, energy-saving IT products, biotechnology and real estate, according to Japan’s Hiroyuki Ishige, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)[, speaking at the 33rd Japan Cooperation Forum for the Middle East in Dubai on Wednesday]… Full article: Source

Dubai Group plans insurance company

Posted on 28 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Gulfnews.com: Dubai Group, the leading diversified financial services company of government-owned Dubai Holding, is planning to launch an insurance company in December, its chief executive officer said… Full article: Source

Temasek bullish on India

Posted on 28 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Economictimes.com: Temasek India head Manish Kejriwal says that, “India cannot escape the global contagion but the impact will be different here. Despite all negative sentiments globally, India is still expected to grow by around 7% so we are very positive on India… Full article: Source

China setting up CFIUS-like review process

Posted on 27 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From WSJ Deal Journal: China is creating a merger law to protect its national security–setting up a review process similar to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS… Full article: Source

China’s pension fund in talks on private equity fund launch

Posted on 27 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From AFP/Google.com: China’s national pension fund [the National Social Security Fund] is in talks with CITIC Capital Holdings to set up a private equity fund worth up to five billion yuan (730 million dollars), state media reported Wednesday… Full article: Source

How are SWFs faring in the current market?

Posted on 27 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Blogs.cfr.org: Reports from [Norway’s Government Pension Fund-Global and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings]… give us some clues as to how other, less transparent sovereign investors might be faring in the current market. [Apparent losses by these investors] might call into question the expected rate of growth of such funds. Furthermore they raise the question of whether the risk management operations of these funds are up to the challenge… Full article: Source

Singapore`s Temasek gets approval to up Merrill stake

Posted on 27 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From AFP/Google.com: Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings has received approval from US anti-trust regulators to raise its stake in Merrill Lynch, a source said Wednesday… Full article: Source

Sovereign funds still see value in banks - State Street

Posted on 27 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: Sovereign wealth funds will likely plough more money into capital-starved financial firms if they see long-term value, said a regional executive on Wednesday at one of the world’s biggest institutional money managers [Hon Cheung, regional director of the Official Institutions Group in Asia at State Street Global Advisors]… Full article: Source

Qatar signs railway study deal with Deutsche Bahn

Posted on 27 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: German railway operator Deutsche Bahn, which is planning an initial public offering, has signed a deal [with Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co, a unit of the country’s sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA),] to help design a multi-billion dollar rail network in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar… Full article: Source

German union open to Chinese ownership of Dresdner

Posted on 27 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: German services trade union Verdi is open in principle to a takeover of Dresdner Bank by China Development Bank (CDB), it said on Wednesday. The article quotes a union spokesperson as saying that, “ The main thing for us is jobs preservation. Any plan that eliminates jobs is for us a bad plan… Full article: Source

French state bank urges caution on sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 27 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Guardian.co.uk: Countries including France need to be pragmatic and open their arms to sovereign wealth funds but must tread cautiously to weed out the good from the bad, the chief executive of state bank Caisse des Depots said on Wednesday… Full article: Source

Temasek`s growing stake in Merill

Posted on 26 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg.com: Singapore’s slowest economic growth in five years hasn’t stopped the city-state from expanding its stake in a shrinking Merrill Lynch & Co… Full article: Source

The raiding of Iran’s Oil Stabilisation Fund

Posted on 26 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From FT.com: The Oil Stabilisation Fund was established in 2000 to collect windfall earnings. But the OSF’s assets are a mystery… Full article: Source

Norwegian oil fund takes `minor` hit from US mortgage crisis

Posted on 26 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Aftenposten.no: [The Norwegian Government Pension Fund–Global’s] chief Yngve Slyngstad said Tuesday that the fund’s total Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exposure amounts to about NOK 88 billion (USD 16.36 billion).

It quotes Slyngstad as saying that, “Eighty-eight billion (crowns) is relatively little in relation to other central banks, but it is that big because we consider this the second most secure investment in the United States… Full article: Source

Temasek says credit crunch will last two more years

Posted on 26 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg.com: Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s $130 billion sovereign wealth fund, said the global credit crisis will last two more years, drying up investment opportunities and constraining economic growth… Full article: Source

Does moral hazard apply to sovereign wealth funds?

Posted on 26 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Seekingalpha.com: [S]hould concerns about moral hazard apply to central bank reserve managers and sovereign wealth funds? Full article: Source

Temasek, unpredictable asset cycles and contagion

Posted on 26 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Guardian.co.uk: Anshukant Taneja, who covers Temasek for ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, said [Temasek Holdings] had increased its exposure to unpredictable asset cycles and contagion… Full article: Source

Hong Kong Monetary Authority forms alternative investment group for Exchange Fund

Posted on 25 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: Sources say the Hong Kong Monetary Authority [HKMA] has formed a new group dedicated to bringing in high-risk alternative investment products to the Exchange Fund portfolio in a bid to boost its investment return… Full article: Source

South Korea’s financial regulator warns KDB against buying Lehman

Posted on 25 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From FT.com: South Korea’s top financial regulator [the Financial Services Commission] on Monday warned that Korea Development Bank should take a “cautious” approach to buying an overseas bank, following the state-run group’s expression of interest in Lehman Brothers… Full article: Source

Singapore`s Temasek outpacing country ETF

Posted on 25 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Seekingalpha.com: Temasek, Singapore’s second-largest sovereign wealth fund, [SWF] is certainly doing far better than Singapore exchange-traded funds such as the iShares MSCI Singapore (EWS) that is down almost 17% year-to-date. The lesson is that it pays to play as a big boy with lots of cash and negotiating leverage… Full article: Source

Norway eyes eco investment role for wealth fund

Posted on 25 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: Oil-rich Norway is pushing ahead with plans to use part of its $400 billion sovereign wealth fund to invest in renewable energy development, a deputy finance minister said on Monday… Full article: Source

China`s stake in Rio gets Swan`s all-clear

Posted on 24 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From TheAustralian.com: [Australian treasurer] Wayne Swan has given approval for the Chinese government-owned mining giant Chinalco to acquire up to 11 per cent of the Rio Tinto group in the first high-profile test of the Rudd Government’s stance on more than $30 billion of Chinese foreign investment bids… Full article: Source

China`s Rio move just one in a bigger game

Posted on 24 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From TheAustralian.com: Chinese investment in Australian resources is like a political chess game, full of subtle moves and counter-moves for a long-term strategic play… Full article: Source

US set to tighten scrutiny of Russian investment

Posted on 23 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From FT.com: Investments by Russian companies and sovereign wealth funds into the US are likely to face tougher scrutiny in Washington in the wake of the country’s conflict with Georgia, experts predict.

The article adds that, “Gazprom, the energy giant majority-owned by the Russian government, said in June that it was considering building its presence in the US through acquisitions. Any attempt by Gazprom to invest in the US was already likely to be closely examined by the Committee on Foreign Investment, or Cfius, the executive branch agency that investigates sensitive deals on national security grounds. But Cfius is now likely to view such a transaction even more sceptically… Full article: Source

Qatar eyes $2.5bln loan for Cegelec acquisition

Posted on 23 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: Qatar’s property investment arm Qatari Diar is close to launching syndication of a 1.7-billion-euro ($2.5 billion) loan to finance the Gulf state’s acquisition of French engineering company Cegelec, [London-based Middle East Economic Digest (MEED)] reported [on Friday]… Full article: Source

Japanese SWF to focus on innovative energy technologies

Posted on 23 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Yomiuri.co.jp: The [Japanese] government is planning to establish a sovereign wealth fund in fiscal 2009 that would place priority on innovative technologies using new energy sources and natural resources, government sources said Saturday… Full article: Source

China`s central bank buys stake in UK`s Prudential

Posted on 23 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Telegraph.co.uk: China’s central bank [the People’s Bank of China (PBOC)] has acquired a secret [1 percent] stake in Prudential, Britain’s second-­largest insurer, as part of Beijing’s increasingly active plans to deploy its vast pool of foreign currency reserves in overseas markets, The Sunday Telegraph has learned… Full article: Source

Beijing to speed rationalisation of state enterprises

Posted on 22 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From FT.com: China will speed up restructuring of its state-owned enterprises in the second half of the year, forcing mergers of large conglomerates and accelerating sales of non-strategic assets across a wide range of sectors, say senior government officials… Full article: Source

South Korea official says KDB considered Lehman buy

Posted on 22 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: A South Korean government official confirmed on Friday that Korea Development Bank [KDB] had considered buying a stake in Lehman Brothers, but talks with the U.S. bank had not developed to the point of discussing details… Full article: Source

Background: Korea Develeopment Bank

Posted on 22 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From NYTimes Dealbook: The New York Times’ DealBook blog has published a backgrounder on the Korea Development Bank (KDB)… Full article: Source

Lehman attempted to sell 50 percent stake to South Koreans or Chinese

Posted on 21 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From FT.com: Lehman Brothers, the beleaguered US investment bank, held secret talks to sell up to 50 per cent of its shares to South Koreans and Chinese in the first week of August but failed to reach agreement with either… Full article: Source

Nakheel to seek US investments

Posted on 21 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Gulfnews.com: Senior executives of Nakheel are scheduled to go to the United States [Thursday] to meet with a number of top US developers and investors seeking investment opportunities in Dubai… Full article: Source

Middle Eastern SWF may be interested in buying Glasgow Airport

Posted on 21 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From TheHerald.co.uk: Senior business figures have speculated that one of the big Middle Eastern sovereign funds may also be interested… Full article: Source

CITIC quickly issues denial on Lehman talks

Posted on 21 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: CITIC Securities, China’s biggest brokerage, said it had held no formal talks about buying a stake in Lehman Brothers and will focus on its domestic business this year due to concerns about snowballing U.S. credit problems… Full article: Source

Korea Development Bank mum on Lehman share buy talks report

Posted on 21 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: State-owned Korea Development Bank (KDB) on Thursday declined to comment on a report that it had held secret talks to buy shares in Lehman Brothers but had walked away from the discussion due to pricing disagreements… Full article: Source

Singapore`s Temasek says assets worth $131bln

Posted on 21 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: Singapore sovereign fund Temasek’s assets were worth S$185 billion ($131 billion) at the end of March, Temasek’s chairman S Dhanabalan said on Thursday, up 13 percent from a year earlier… Full article:

UK shadow chancellor bemoans fact that British SWF is `distant dream`

Posted on 21 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Conservatives.com: UK shadow chancellor George Osborne said in a speech at the UK think tank Demos yesterday that, “A third of developed countries now have a national investment fund instead of national debt. Yet sadly the idea of a British Sovereign Fund investing for the generation who come after us is a distant dream”… Full article: Source

Tatweer to launch foreign investment vehicle

Posted on 21 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: Dubai leisure and entertainment giant Tatweer is to launch a new company to focus on the development of its international investment strategy, its executive chairman has told Arabian Business… Full article: Source

Temasek prepared to invest more in Western banks

Posted on 21 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Reuters.com: Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, which has pumped billions of dollars into ailing lenders such as Merrill Lynch & Co Inc, said it may invest more in Western banks if the opportunity arose… Full article: Source

Dubai Properties to double investment to $272bln

Posted on 21 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: State-owned Dubai Properties is set to almost double its real estate investment to 1 trillion dirhams ($272.2 billion) within the next five years from 565 billion dirhams currently, its group CEO has said… Full article: Source

GIC continues stake building in British Land

Posted on 21 August 2008 by admin  |  Email |Print

From Propertyweek.com: The UK’s second largest quoted property company [British Land] revealed today that GIC had increased its stake to just above 5%, buying more than 5m shares to increase its holding to 26m shares valued at £184.9m… Full article:

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