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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing - Archive | June, 2009

Brazil may boost foreign currency reserves to $300 bln

Posted on 24 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Dow Jones: The Brazilian government is studying a possible increase in its foreign currency reserves to $300 billion by next year, local newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported Tuesday.

According to the report, citing an unnamed source at the Finance Ministry, the government may accelerate the purchase of dollars on the foreign exchange market, thus supporting the U.S. dollar and building reserves at the same time…….Full Article (Subscription Required): Source

Kuwait’s KIA to auction stake in Boubyan in July

Posted on 23 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, will offer its stake in Islamic lender Boubyan Bank in a public auction in July, a state-controlled firm said.

KIA has set a minimum price of 550 fils ($1.91) per share for the auction on July 22, Kuwait Investment Co, a unit of KIA, said in a statement obtained by Reuters on Monday……..Full Article: Source

ICD Galadari stakes transferred to ICD

Posted on 23 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Dubai government stakes in Galadari Group have been transferred to the Investments Corporation of Dubai (ICD) as stated in decree No 18 of 2009, issued by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The ICD is the investment arm of Dubai government and has a portfolio ranging across all spheres of the economy, including finance, transportation, utilities and energy, industrial, real estate and leisure……..Full Article: Source

Qatar may take bigger than expected Porsche stake-report

Posted on 23 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: The Qatar Investment Authority could acquire more shares in ailing German sports car maker Porsche SE than previously thought, German magazine Focus said.

In an advance copy of an article due to be published on June 22, the magazine referred to details of a paper outlining the future ownership structure that it said Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking had presented to the Porsche and Piech families……..Full Article: Source

Costello’s Future Fund career over before it started

Posted on 23 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Short-lived speculation that former Liberal Party Treasurer Peter Costello was about to be appointed by the Labor government to a leading position in running the Future Fund shows the fund is still poorly understood, three years after its launch.

Rumours about Costello’s possible appointment began to circulate during the weekend when unnamed sources, allegedly senior Labor Party advisers, said that “We [the government] are looking very seriously at Costello for the job.”…….Full Article: Source

China Investment rewards failed Blackstone Investment with more cash

Posted on 23 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From After watching their US$3bn investment in the Blackstone IPO shrink by nearly two-thirds (from $29.605 to $12), China Investment Corp is reported to be investing $500mn in Blackstone funds (not directly in the stock this time) in an attempt to get into markets while prices are cheap.
Fair enough on the market call, but I guess there aren’t any hard feelings regarding the overvalued price CIC was given previously for Blackstone shares ($29.605)……..Full Article: Source

SWFs regaining momentum

Posted on 23 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From With a global financial market showing signs of stabilization, SWFs are actively partaking in alternative investments, emerging market investments and domestic investments in order to make up for losses created in equity and bond investments last year.
The Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) is not an exception either. KIC was found to have posted an investment profitability of -13 percent in 2008……..Full Article: Source

GPF insider trading probe initiated

Posted on 23 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From The Securities and Exchange Commission is in the process of investigating possible insider trading allegations at the Government Pension Fund, according to SEC secretary-general Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala.

“We have yet to reach any conclusions in the case,” he said……..Full Article: Source

Rule would ban GPF manager from buying shares

Posted on 23 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From The Finance Ministry is assessing whether to impose a rule prohibiting the manager of the Government Pension Fund from buying shares for his own benefit.
Finance Ministry permanent secretary Sathit Limpongpan yesterday said the ministry might have to change the regulations regarding management of the GPF……..Full Article: Source

Job placement firm hired to find new GPF Chief

Posted on 23 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From PA Balance Co Ltd, a job recruitment firm, could be signed up next week to look for the new secretary-general of the Government Pension Fund, said Finance Permanent Secretary Sathit Limpongpun.
As chairman of the GPF, Sathit said PA Balance needs to submit the nomination within 30 days after contract signing……..Full Article: Source

China firms to move some state shares to National Fund

Posted on 23 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Dow Jones: China said Friday it will ask the state pension fund to take over some state-owned shares in domestically listed companies and mandatorily hold them for a longer period, in an apparent move to support a stock market that has been one of the world’s best performers this year.

The decision came just a day after the authorities cautiously reopened the floodgate of initial public offerings after a nearly year-long suspension by allowing the listing of a small medicine firm……..Full Article: Source

Angola to launch sovereign wealth fund in 2009

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Angola plans to launch a sovereign fund in 2009 to invest the oil-producing nation’s wealth abroad, Finance Minister Severim de Morais said on Friday.

Plans to create the fund, known as the Fundo Soberano Angolano, were announced in November by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, but the project has since been delayed due to the global economic downturn………Full Article: Source

Are SWFs ready to spread the wealth again?

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From WSJ: The sovereign-wealth funds are stirring. After going quiet as markets crashed and some high-profile investments in U.S. financial companies went awry, the huge pools of capital are back doing deals.

China Investment Corp. is planning a $500 million investment in Blackstone hedge funds and took part in Morgan Stanley’s recent rights issue. The Qatar Investment Authority is considering an investment in Porsche………Full Article (Subscription Required): Source

Recent GAO report on Sovereign Wealth Funds

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Government investment funds, often referred to as “sovereign wealth funds,” have become increasingly visible investors in the United States, a trend that has not escaped the attention of Congress.
A series of recent investments led the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee to raise concerns in 2008 over national security and the possible impact on the economy of large influxes of foreign governmental investment………Full Article: Source

Temasek outdid benchmarks

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Singapore investment agency Temasek Holdings may have taken a hit recently on some of its high-profile banking investments, but over the longer term it has outperformed key global benchmarks.

Figures obtained by The Straits Times show that over a 10-year period to March this year, Temasek outgunned several closely-watched equity indexes………Full Article: Source

How did the Straits Times and Temasek get their figures?

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

FromSsingaporean Skeptic: Skeptic is really skeptical about the calculation done by Temasek Holdings to show that they have ‘outperformed’ other funds. One fund which they mentioned that Temasek outperformed is Berkshire Hathaway.

Unlike Temasek Holdings, Berkshire Hathaway has far greater transparency in their investments………Full Article: Source

India’s SBI in talks with Gulf SWFs for PE play

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From State Bank of India is talking to the governments of Qatar and sovereign entities in Oman to set up a private equity fund.
“The government has designated SBI as the operationalising agency for setting up a sovereign wealth fund for the Qatar government,” said OP Bhatt, chairman, State Bank of India………Full Article: Source

South Korean wealth fund joins forces with peers

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Source Korea Investment Corporation, South Korea’s sovereign wealth fund, has signed strategic joint investment deals with its Malaysian counterpart and an Australian state-owned fund.

The Korean fund said it had signed agreements with Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Australia’s QIC “to expand co-operation” in searching for investment opportunities and sharing information. ……..Full Article: Source

Deals pave way for KIC’s return

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Joongang Daily: After years of being criticized for its inactivity, the Korea Investment Corporation is starting to move to resume overseas investment. The KIC, Korea’s sovereign wealth fund, said yesterday that it signed two memoranda of understanding with foreign firms this week to increase investment opportunities worldwide.
Lasr week, the fund inked a deal with Australia’s QIC followed by another the next day with Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Berhad………Full Article: Source

KIA may sell stake in Boubyan

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, might sell its stake in Islamic lender Boubyan Bank in a public auction, a newspaper said.

Local daily Al-Watan said KIA aims to sell its 20 percent stake in Boubyan at 550 fils per share………Full Article: Source

Qatar to float its $1bln stock exchange

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Independent: The Doha Securities Market, one of the Gulf’s biggest stock market, valued at about $1bn (£600m), is looking to float within the next two to three years. A spokesman for Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign fund that owns the exchange through Qatar Holding, confirmed on Friday night that a flotation is being considered but would give no details.

DSM, which will change its name to Qatar Exchange today, will seek a primary listing in Doha as well as dual-listings in New York and Paris. Qatar Holding’s other big investments include those in Barclays, Credit Suisse and J Sainsbury while the QIA has a big stake in the London Stock Exchange. ……..Full Article: Source

NYSE Euronext to gain Qatar stake

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From BBC: NYSE Euronext is to acquire a 20% stake in Qatar Exchange for $200m (£121.3m), as part of a deal with parent company Qatar Holdings, the investment arm of the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund.

The deal is aimed at boosting business in the Middle East for both partners. Andre Went, a senior NYSE Euronext executive, will head the new exchange………Full Article: Source

Top management changes at Singapore’s GIC

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Fom The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) announced last week a couple of top management appointments that will become effective on July 1.

GIC was set up in 1981 to manage Singapore’s foreign reserves. It currently manages in excess of $100 billion, making it one of the world’s largest fund management companies………Full Article: Source


Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Fom China Investment Corporation may have learned that politics rarely brings riches. The sovereign wealth fund’s chairman said only in December that he didn’t dare invest in financial assets, prompted by some painful losses on Western firms.
Now the CIC has topped up its investment in Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley, helped fund manager BlackRock buy rival Barclays Global Investors and is reportedly planning to pop $500 million into a hedge fund backed by buyout group Blackstone. It suggests a welcome sea change………Full Article: Source

CIC’s giant boots tread ever gently

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From After spending nine months licking its wounds as global markets plunged, China’s massive sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation is on the move once more — and this time it has Australia firmly in its sights.

This week CIC — which manages $US200 billion ($248.6bn) of China’s foreign reserves — made only its fourth offshore investment by lending $200 million to industrial property group Goodman………Full Article: Source

Chinese funds on the prowl

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From China’s $200 billion sovereign wealth fund is on the prowl and looking for solid hedge funds to invest in. We wonder whether they have dug deep enough in the silos in that case.
The Chinese Investment Corporation (CIC) seeks to select a handful of successful managers who offer superior returns across a broad spectrum of strategies. Funds-of-funds are up for consideration too according to the adviser working the funds………Full Article: Source

CIC to supervise China Reinsurance’s management

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From China Knowledge: China Investment Corp (CIC), the country’s US$200 billion sovereign wealth fund, has taken over the supervision of China Reinsurance (Group) Corp’s management team from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), the nation’s insurance watchdog, according to an online statement published by CIC on Wednesday.

CIC’s news department said that CIC will be entitled to name senior managers at China Reinsurance, which is 85.5% held by Central Huijin Investment Co, an investment arm of CIC, and 14.5% owned by China’s Ministry of Finance (MOF)………Full Article: Source

Part of state-owned shares to be transferred to social security fund

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From In a move to inject funds into China’s social security system and support an aging population, the State Council recently reached a decision requiring specific listed companies to transfer a portion of state-owned shares to the National Social Security Fund.
The measure applies to 131 state-controlled companies that have listed on the domestic stock
market after reforms introduced in 2005, their current market capitalization is nearly 64 billion yuan. The policy also applies to companies that will list in the future………Full Article: Source

Changes should stablize fund’s returns

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From The board of trustees of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation recently changed how we describe and categorize investments. We now use an allocation that groups assets based on risk characteristics, rather than by the type of investment.
The underlying investments and their proportions haven’t changed significantly and are very similar to allocations from recent years, with a similar risk profile………Full Article: Source

No plans to offer Peter Costello Future Fund job

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From There are no plans to appoint former Liberal treasurer Peter Costello to a position in the running of the Future Fund, Treasurer Wayne Swan says.

Fairfax newspapers said on Sunday the government had earmarked Mr Costello for a board position of the $60 billion Future Fund, which he helped to set up when in government………Full Article: Source

Mubadala seeking aerospace partnerships, not stakes

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Abu Dhabi state investment agency Mubadala Development said on Wednesday it was interested in partnerships with leading aerospace groups but denied a report it planned to take stakes in major European aerospace companies, Reuters said.

“Partnering with the world’s leading aerospace organizations forms an integral part of the long-term strategy we are taking,” Aerospace Associate Director Homaid Al Shemmari told Reuters at the Paris Air Show on Wednesday………Full Article: Source

Noor benefits from Dubai bailout cash

Posted on 22 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Noor Islamic Bank, which is 25 percent owned by the SWF Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) , has received a portion of the emirate’s $10 billion economic bailout bond in the form of deposits, the company’s chief executive said.

“We received part of the Dubai $10 billion bond in deposits,” Hussain al-Qemzi said in an interview Sunday. “We also received deposits from the Mnistry of Finance.”……..Full Article: Source

S.Korea’s KIC to resume overseas investment

Posted on 19 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: The South Korean government will pump an additional $3 billion into Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) to enable the sovereign wealth fund to resume overseas investment, a newspaper reported on Friday.

The Maeil Business Newspaper cited a senior KIC official as saying that the fund was considering alternative investments which would be made jointly with private equity firms and financial services companies………Full Article: Source

FSC mulls financial stabilization fund

Posted on 19 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Despite signs that the global economic crisis is on the wane, Taiwan’s top regulator is studying the feasibility of establishing a financial stabilization fund. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development also came up with operating principles for countries targeted by sovereign wealth funds for investment.
“One should be ready with fire extinguishers even if there aren’t any fires,” Financial Supervisory Commission Minister Sean C. Chen said……..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s GIC names new president

Posted on 19 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: The Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC), which manages an estimated $200 billion-plus in assets, on Thursday named Lim Siong Guan as its group president from July 1.

Lim, a former head of Singapore’s civil service, will also be chairman of GIC Asset Management, the largest of its three operating units and responsible for investments in equities, fixed income, foreign currencies and natural resources. The unit is also responsible for the fund’s absolute returns strategies………Full Article: Source

Temasek still outperforms

Posted on 19 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Singapore investment agency Temasek Holdings may have taken a hit recently on some of its high-profile banking investments, but over the longer term it has outperformed key global benchmarks.

Figures obtained by The Straits Times show that over a 10 year period to March this year, Temasek outgunned several closely-watched equity indexes………Full Article: Source

Bill proposes to reform NSSF

Posted on 19 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From The National Social Security Fund is in the process of automating its services to enhance efficiency and improve accountability. Alex Kazongo the new managing trustee says this will decongest the provident fund.

Speaking to KBC Kazongo said the much waited NSSF amendment bill will be re-introduced in the house soon………Full Article: Source

SWF silent on Sainsbury’s growth plans

Posted on 19 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From The Qatar Investment Authority, the Gulf state sovereign wealth fund that holds a 27 per cent stake in Sainsbury’s, did not comment on whether it had taken part in the firm’s plan raising £432 million to step up its expansion drive.
It would have to have contributed about £65 million to avoid dilution………Full Article: Source

Outcome from QIA talks with Porsche expected soon

Posted on 19 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From The outcome of talks for Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to buy into Porsche are expected to be known within three weeks.
The sports car maker is now in exclusive discussions with QIA for it to buy a stake in Porsche of at least 25%………Full Article: Source

Middle East companies help bail out debt-ridden UK property firms

Posted on 19 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Middle Eastern foreign investment has accounted for the most recent flow of capital into London. The Oman Investment Fund (OIF), a subsidiary of the government of Oman, recently completed the largest real estate deal of 2009 in the UK capital, with a value of Dh2.6 billion.

Companies from the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) have stepped in at the 11th hour to bail out UK companies deep in debt………Full Article: Source

Qataris may invest in $1 bln Indonesia plant

Posted on 19 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Qatari investors are interested in owning an 85 percent stake in a planned $1 billion power plant in Indonesia. The Qatar Investment Authority plans to focus more on energy and commodities, food and water in a strategic overhaul because prices for these products will pick up.

The joint venture plant to be built in Bali is one of many projects planned between Qatar and Indonesia, including investments in natural resources and infrastructure, Alwi Shihab, the President of Indonesia’s special Middle East envoy told the local daily………Full Article: Source

China SWF eyes Blackstone fund

Posted on 19 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From FT Alphaville: China Investment Corp, the country’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, is poised to invest $500m in a Blackstone Group hedge-fund unit, reports the WSJ.

A hefty injection from China would signal that some big money is stepping off the sidelines as global markets stabilise………Full Article: Source

Azerbaijan currency reserves had a fall of $2.5 bln

Posted on 19 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From The Central Bank (CB) of Azerbaijan running payment balance statistics reports that for the 1st quarter of 2009 country’s strategic currency reserves slumped by 13.5% against rise of 2.5-fold in 2008 and 68.9% in 2007.

For the reported period they formed from assets of State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan ($10.512 bn), currency deposits of the Finance Ministry ($375 million) and overall currency reserves of the NB ($5.159 bn)………Full Article: Source

Russia reserves fall for 1st time in 6 weeks

Posted on 19 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Russia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves on Thursday posted their first weekly fall in six weeks, shrinking by $2.9 billion or 0.07 percent as the central bank stopped buying dollars in currency interventions.

Russia’s reserves, the world’s third largest, stood at $406.6 billion on June 12 down from $409.5 billion a week earlier, central bank data showed………Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth funds influential: FSC chair

Posted on 18 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have generated huge discussions in the international markets and can be influential, said Sean Chen, chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), yesterday.
Chen made the statement while delivering a speech at an SWF forum held by the Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance and the law school of National Chung Cheng University………Full Article: Source

China sovereign fund starts round of global hiring

Posted on 18 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Reuters: China Investment Corp (CIC), the country’s $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, said it will start a new round of global hiring to support an expansion of its operations as it seeks new overseas investments.

CIC, which currently employs about 200 people, will seek professional staff in 33 categories, including risk management, real estate, infrastructure, commodities and hedge fund investment, according to its Website. (……..Full Article: Source

China’s SWF aims to invest in hedge funds

Posted on 18 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: Felix Chee, an adviser to China’s $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, said it aims to make investments in hedge funds.

“We will have a preference for managed accounts,” he said in an interview today at the GAIM International hedge fund conference at Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum. “The platform would like a core of single-manager funds and fund-of-funds.” ……..Full Article: Source

Cashed-up Chinese giant CIC seeks Australian bargains

Posted on 18 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Having made its first offshore foray with a $US800 million ($1 billion) investment in a global property fund, China Investment Corporation has arrived in Australia.

CIC, the world’s newest and possibly the largest sovereign wealth fund, became a strategic investor in the Goodman Group this week………Full Article: Source

CIC takes over supervision of China Reinsurance’s management team

Posted on 18 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Dow Jones: China Investment Corp., the country’s US$200 billion sovereign wealth fund, said Wednesday it has taken over the supervision of China Reinsurance (Group) Corp.’s management team from the insurance regulator.

The information, disclosed in a statement on CIC’s Web site Wednesday, didn’t say how China Reinsurance’s daily operations will be supervised following the change………Full Article (Subscription Required) : Source

Qatar’s QIA made $7bln profit in first quarter of 2009

Posted on 18 June 2009 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From Qatar’s prime minister said the country’s sovereign wealth fund realised $7 billion (Dh25.69bn) or $8bn in profits from its investments in the first quarter of 2009.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani also stressed that Qatar Holding’s – main investment arm for sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) – investment gains over the first quarter contrasted sharply with losses of more than $4bn last year………Full Article: Source

June 2009
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