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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing - Archive | March, 2013

Samruk-Kazyna may purchase Halyk Bank Pension Fund through selling its stake in BTA Bank

Posted on 28 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan’s Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund has suggested that Halyk Bank consider purchasing BTA Bank, KazTag Agency reports, citing Ms. Umyt Shayakhmetova, Halyk Bank’s Chairwoman of the Board as saying March 27.
“This morning the Bank received a letter from the Sovereign Wealth Fund asking to start talks (…) to consider purchasing BTA Bank”, Ms. Shayakhmetova said. Earlier the country’s Vice PM Kairat Kelimbetov announced in an interview that as part of the government’s plan to launch a single pension fund there is an option of exchanging Halyk Bank Pension Fund’s shares for BTA Bank’s shares [owned by Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund]………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norges Bank to sell NOK300mln-day in April for SWF

Posted on 28 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s central bank said Wednesday it plans to sell 300 million Norwegian kroner ($51.4 million) a day in April to buy foreign currency on behalf of the Government Pension Fund Global, commonly known as the oil fund.
Norges Bank also sold NOK300 million daily in the first three months of the year to obtain foreign currency for the fund’s investments. The fund, set up in 1990 to safeguard Norway’s oil wealth, had a market value of NOK3,816 billion ($654 billion) at the end of 2012–making it one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world………………………………………..Full Article: Source

My turn: Norwegian oil wealth

Posted on 28 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

How has Norway managed to create a fund, called the Norwegian Government Pension Fund now containing about $654 billion (as of September 2012) while Alaska’s Permanent Fund only contains about $42 billion (as of August 2012)?
I know the federal government’s share of the Alaskan oil revenue pie, and the Alaska budget reserve fund (among other revenue receiving destinations) need to be factored in to begin to make an apples to apples comparison of these funds, but how can the roughly $600 billion difference be accounted for?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

GIC lends helping hand to Indian developers

Posted on 28 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) has partnered with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a leading global investment firm, to establish a non-banking financial company (NBFC) to lend funds to Indian developers.
The real estate-focused NBFC will be the first of its kind in India and initially will have a corpus of US$150 million (S$186.19 million), reported news portal Livemint.GIC will be one of the anchor investors in the NBFC with KRR “putting capital from its balance sheet into it”, sources said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Central Huijin increases stakes in lenders

Posted on 28 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Central Huijin Investment Ltd, wholly owned subsidiary of China Investment Corporation, spent 2.8 billion yuan ($446.21 million) to increase its stakes in four of China’s biggest lenders in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the banks’ annual report released recently.
According to an announcement in October 2012, Central Huijin’s plan to increase its stakes on the four banks would last for six months, which means the investment company will buy more shares before April………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Clock ticking for Lend Lease

Posted on 28 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Lend Lease is under pressure to find an investor and operator for its 900-room hotel at Sydney’s Darling Harbour by mid-year, given that the project must be fully completed by 2016.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is understood to be in the front position to fund the prime twin-tower hotel, should it be interested in the project, but Lend Lease development director David Hutton says there are at least three short-listed parties intent on buying it. The hotel’s design must be decided by mid-year for Lend Lease to lodge a planning application, under a timeframe that Mr Hutton admitted was “robust”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Falkland oil claimed by Argentina sees Islanders join 1%: Energy

Posted on 28 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Falklands’ first commercial oil discovery will make the islands in the South Atlantic rich, bringing the British territory of 2,563 people $10.5 billion in tax revenue over 25 years.
The discovery “will no doubt be transformational for the islands, increasing government revenue several times over,” Mineral Resources Minister Stephen Luxton said in an interview. “What we’re looking for in a sovereign wealth fund is long-term economic security, a second string to our financial bow to the fishery,” he said, referring to the territory’s commercial fishing business………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CIC to work closely with Russia to develop Siberia

Posted on 27 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp said on Monday that it has signed a memorandum with Russia to boost cooperation in infrastructure projects to develop Siberia. The memo, signed in Moscow on March 22, set out the principles for the two nations to increase cooperation in terms of investment for major projects in Siberia.
The investments will focus on large infrastructure and logistics projects, high value-added projects in the natural resources sector and leading manufacturing and services companies, the statement said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB a giant Ponzi scheme or strategic investment fund?

Posted on 27 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Last week, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) a government-owned entity closely-linked to premier Najib Abdul Razak had a change at its helm. Hazem Abdul Rahman has now taken over the chief executive officer (CEO) role from Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, who has joined the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu).
Surprisingly, no announcements were made and it was via a news report that the update was disseminated. For a high-profile government-owned body which has made billions of ringgit in investments and issued large amounts of bonds, we would have expected more………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia to be ‘major investor’ in India

Posted on 27 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia is expected to become a significant investor in India in the next three to five years, with investors coming through their own projects and investments in India in the first phase. Invest India managing director Anupam Srivastava said the agency is working with the Malaysian government and investment champions to put together internationally benchmarked information on sectors where Malaysia is internationally competitive to invest in various projects in India.
Anupam said the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd can participate in funding of these types of activities because the rate of returns on investments in infrastructure in India was now averaging between 12% and 19%, which is “quite high” by international standards………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Super to be a key election issue: survey

Posted on 27 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Two-thirds of people believe that superannuation will be a key issue in the lead-up to the September 14 federal election, a new survey has found. More than half (57 per cent) of the 1000 Australians surveyed by Galaxy Research on behalf of superannuation fund Sunsuper, said they are concerned that rumoured super changes in the May budget will negatively impact them in retirement.
Sunsuper’s Teifi Whatley said the survey highlights concerns about the constant tinkering to the superannuation system. “These results send a message to all political parties that Australians are taking notice of the rumoured changes to superannuation, and this is eroding their confidence in the system as a way to save for their retirement,” Ms Whatley said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

FG depletes excess crude account to $7.8bln

Posted on 27 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The country’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) was last week depleted to $7.82 billion from $9.242 billion, following approval of the National Economic Council to deduct $2 billion for fuel subsidy payments and sharing among the three tiers of governments.
Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godwill Akpabio, explained at the end of the meeting held at State House, Abuja that the $2 billion deduction was to facilitate various development projects being executed by the different tiers of government across the country. “An update on the status of the Excess Crude Account was presented by Alh……………………………………….Full Article: Source

36pct dip in sovereign wealth fund investment in 2012

Posted on 26 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth fund (SWF) investments witnessed a 36 per cent dip in 2012 from 2011 levels as managers played it cautious amid global economic uncertainty. SWFs invested just $57.3 billion of fresh capital last year, in comparison with $89.5 billion in 2011, the lowest level since 2006.
As a consequence of the reduced budget, sectors such as healthcare and energy witnessed a reduction in SWF investments in 2012 vis-à-vis 2011. SWF spends on healthcare and utilities fell by more than half and their energy investments dipped by 46.8 per cent. On the other hand, SWF investment in consumer goods firms shot up by 127.9 per cent and information technology spends by 90.1 per cent in 2012 from year-ago levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China sovereign wealth fund to boost investment in Russia

Posted on 26 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp. said Monday that it has signed a memorandum with Russia to strengthen cooperation in infrastructure and the development of Siberia, the far eastern part of the country.
The memo, signed in Moscow on March 22, set out principles for the two nations to step up cooperation in investing in large infrastructure and logistics projects, the natural resources sector and leading manufacturing and service companies, the statement said. Details such as the planned investment amount and specific projects weren’t mentioned………………………………………..Full Article: Source

KKR, Singapore GIC to set up real estate-focused NBFC

Posted on 26 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. LP (KKR), one of the world’s largest private equity (PE) firms, is joining hands with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to set up a non-banking financial company (NBFC) that will lend funds to property developers in India as other sources of cash dry up. To begin with, the NBFC, for which the regulatory approvals are currently under way, will have a corpus of $150 million (around Rs.810 crore), said three people close to the development. This will be the first real estate-focused NBFC in India.
“Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GIC) will be one of the anchor investors in the NBFC, while KKR is putting capital from its balance sheet into it,” said one of the two person cited above, who did not want to be identified………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mumtalakat in deal with Japanese firms

Posted on 26 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In an effort to promote and revitalise Bahrain’s pearl industry, the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with three entities in Japan. The MoU was signed during a visit to that country by a high-level Bahraini delegation led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander, First Deputy Premier and Economic Development Board chairman.
Besides the investment arm of Bahrain, the signatories include Kinoshita Pearl, a leading specialist company in natural and cultured pearls, First Stem Cell Japan, a biotechnology research company, and Japan International Co-operation Centre (JICE)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian fund targets palm oil sector, but not its own O&G venture

Posted on 26 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The issue on sustainably-produced palm oil hogged the limelight again when the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) recently said it has sold its stakes in 23 oil palm plantation firms which are not producing sustainable palm oil. The rationale for GPFG pulling out of these investments was in support of the Western NGOs move to help reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the oil palm plantations in the developing countries.
But what is baffling is that planters claim that the GPFG disposal list shows some of the companies were in fact members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) that have been producing certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Georgia: For promoting investment, a prime minister and his billions are not soon parted

Posted on 26 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Where should the line be drawn between a government official’s personal wealth and his or her public responsibilities? Amidst promises to use his own cash to stimulate business investment, compensate storm victims and prop up the state budget, billionaire Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is making any distinction ever blurrier.
Since becoming prime minister in October 2012, Ivanishvili has repeatedly announced plans for three, new government-run investment funds: a $2-billion sovereign wealth fund, an agriculture fund and a venture capital fund. The first would control state assets like the railway and the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation; the second aid Georgia’s ailing agricultural sector; and the third provide public investment for new business……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sovereign funds increase energy and utility sector investments in the first quarter

Posted on 26 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For the first quarter of 2013, sovereign wealth funds have come out strong investing directly in energy and utility investments. Direct transaction data for the first quarter of 2013 is not fully complete; the total so far for the first quarter of 2013 is US$ 2.98 billion.
Already the direct transaction amount for this quarter is greater than fourth quarter 2012’s total of US$ 810 million. This is the highest quarterly transaction total in the energy and utility sector since the first quarter of 2012 which amounted to US$ 4.37 billion. Sovereign fund direct investments in energy tend to be opportunistic such as investing in distressed situations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway becomes petro-state as investors balk at hidden AAA risks

Posted on 25 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway, home to the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, is betting it can afford to ignore investor outrage. After shocking global credit markets in 2011 by pulling support from the once AAA and now junk (6120B)-rated lender Eksportfinans ASA, the government unveiled plans in January to cut tariffs on gas transport by 90 percent, sapping income for those funding the venture by as much as $7 billion.
Investors are now asking themselves how much risk they’re willing to accept to gain access to western Europe’s biggest oil and gas reserves. And while Norway boasts a stable AAA rating and the world’s smallest default risk, the government’s decision to ride roughshod over investors is starting to resemble actions seen in less stable democracies such as Venezuela and Russia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qataris stake their claim to a place at the top table of global dealmaking

Posted on 25 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With an eclectic list of interests united only by a belief in investing for the long term, the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund is being taken seriously at last. The Qatar Investment Authority, where HBJ is chief executive, is what most people think of when Qatar pops up on a deal, but little is known about its workings. The sovereign wealth fund rankings gives it a “transparency index” of five out of 10 – the same as Iran’s sovereign fund – while estimating it has around $115bn of assets.
Even so, the QIA is essentially a holding company and it is its various subsidiaries, mainly Qatar Holding, that have led many of Qatar’s foreign acquisitions. It is via QH that Qatar holds its stakes in Barclays, Sainsbury’s and German carmakers Volkswagen and Porsche, plus full ownership of Harrods, the luxury department store which houses the QIA’s London office………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mumtalakat signs MoU with Japanese companies

Posted on 25 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the investment arm of the Kingdom of Bahrain, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with three entities in Japan in an effort to promote and revitalise Bahrain’s pearl industry. The MoU was signed as part of the Kingdom’s visit to Japan, which was led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain, the First Deputy Prime Minister, and Chairman of the Economic Development Board.
Signatories of the MoU include, among others: Kinoshita Pearl Co., Ltd. (Kinoshita Pearl), a leading specialist company in natural and cultured pearls; First Stem Cell Japan Co., Ltd. (First Stem Cell), a biotechnology research company; and Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE). Kinoshita Pearl and First Stem Cell will be able to provide advanced new technologies and methods to determine the existence, quality and maturity of pearls. (Press Release)

Cyprus approves sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 25 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Cypriot parliament passed emergency legislation relating at setting up the groundwork for a bailout deal. These bills include the creation of a sovereign wealth fund, nationalization of pension assets and imposing strict limits on the movement of capital.
The Eastern Mediterranean Sea has offshore gas deposits; capital-intensive infrastructure is needed to extract the gas and transport it. The future sovereign wealth fund of Cyprus has a long way to go to receive funding from offshore gas deposits………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB sold US$3 bln of bonds?

Posted on 22 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Bhd, the state investment company also known as 1MDB, sold US$3 billion of dollar-denominated bonds on March 19, said a person with knowledge of the transaction. The securities are long-dated, said the person who asked not to be named as the information is private. 1MDB chief financial officer Azmi Tahir declined to comment on the matter.
The Kuala Lumpur-based company has RM10.8 billion of notes outstanding, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This is the second dollar-denominated offer by the sovereign-wealth fund. It sold US$1.75 billion of 10-year debt to yield 5.99 per cent in May 2012. The securities were rated Aa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, the fourth-highest investment grade………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mumtalakat Holding signs MoU with Japanese SBI Pharmaceuticals

Posted on 22 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mumtalakat Holding Company, the investment arm of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Japanese SBI Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. (SBI) on the sidelines of the current visit to Japan of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander, First Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Economic Development Board (EDB).
The MoU formalizes an understanding between both parties to explore various areas of cooperation in the pharmaceutical industry, including research, development, and production of pharmaceutical products………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Competing for Qatari money

Posted on 22 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Everyone wants a piece of Qatar it seems or, more specifically, Qatari money. The small Gulf state’s influence in the UK, and London in particular, is becoming more evident. It is a joint owner of London’s newest landmark, the Shard, it stepped in to provide funds for Barclays back in 2008 which helped the bank avoid being semi-nationalised, and has bought a 20% stake in the company that owns Heathrow airport.
The list of what else it owns through its sovereign wealth fund - the government-controlled investment fund - goes on. Harrods, a 20% stake in Camden market, a 26% stake in supermarket Sainsbury’s to name but a few………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar richest country in the world: IIF

Posted on 22 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar emerged as the world’s wealthiest country in 2010 with a per capita income of $88, 559, having overtaken Luxembourg, and continued with its top ranking the next year (2011). Washington-based Institute for International Finance (IIF) has reported that Qatar’s per capita GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) was $106,000 (QR387,000) in 2012, helping the country retain its ranking as the world’s wealthiest nation.
As for Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the UK-based TheCityUK ranked it 12th among the world’s sovereign wealth funds in terms of asset size in the year 2012. The assets of the QIA totalled $115bn. TheCityUK said in a report titled ‘Sovereign Wealth Funds’ released this month that the profile of sovereign wealth funds had risen considerably since 2007………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait, India hold talks on investment

Posted on 22 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

India and Kuwait on Monday held extensive discussions to explore opportunities for Kuwaiti investment in refineries in the country. Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid held talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah on various bilateral issues including ways to exploit potential Indian project exports to Kuwait.
The visiting dignitary, who is on a three-day visit to India, is accompanied by officials of the Kuwaiti Investment Authority and Kuwait Petroleum as well as Kuwait Chambers of Commerce………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia-China financial cooperation to achieve new height: official

Posted on 22 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to Russia will bring the financial cooperation between the two countries to a new height, a Russian banker says. Financial cooperation constitutes a crucial part of bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, Alexander Ivanov, deputy head of the Vnesheconombank (VEB), said.
Last June, Chinese Investment Corporation and Russian Direct Investment Fund established a 4-billion-dollar Russia-China Investment Fund. “This fund invests into infrastructural projects and contributes a lot to job creation both in Russia and China,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth fund mulled

Posted on 21 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With an improving fiscal situation, the national government is considering establishing a sovereign wealth fund that it can use for various investments, the profits of which can be tapped for various development projects.
This was according to Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., who said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas would be willing to sell dollars to the national government should the creation of the fund be pursued and should foreign currency-denominated assets be considered among the investment options. “The government is looking into it [creation of the fund]; it is very much on the drawing board right now,” the BSP governor said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BSP offers to sell dollars for sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 21 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has offered to sell US dollars to the National Government to capitalize the proposed sovereign wealth fund. On the sidelines of the national convention of the Chamber of Thrift Banks (CTB), BSP Governor Amando V. Tetangco Jr. said the country’s economic team led by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima is proposing to establish a sovereign wealth fund, which would be government’s tool to make investments in the open or international market as another instrument for raising funds.
However, the wealth fund must be capitalized with US dollars. “If the government decides to put up the wealth fund, we can sell them the dollars which they can use to fund their operations especially overseas,” Tetangco said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BSP can sell dollars to govt if sovereign wealth fund created — Tetangco

Posted on 21 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The establishment of a sovereign wealth fund is still “on the drawing board,” but if one is set up the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas can sell dollars to the government, the head of the central bank said Wednesday.
“As the Secretary of Finance has mentioned, it is still in the early stages. So it’s very much on the drawing board right now. Based on the study, they’ll be able to determine whether that is something that the government would want to establish,” BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said on the sidelines of the Chamber of Thrift Banks annual convention in Makati………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Future Fund to make $175 mln from selling Birmingham shopping centre

Posted on 21 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Australia’s Future Fund is set for a $175 million windfall with plans to sell its stake in a Birmingham shopping centre. As Britain was in the midst of the worst recession in a generation in 2009, the federal government’s investment fund gambled $300 million on a 33 per cent share buy up in the Bullring shopping centre, a futuristic shopping mall built in 2003 on the site of where a market has existed since the Middle Ages.
At the time the owner, a FTSE 100 property company, was struggling to balance its books and happy to off load a share………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NZ Super Fund worth nearly $22 bln

Posted on 21 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund is worth close to $22 billion after its investments returned 17.58 per cent in the year to February 28. The fund, which was set up in 2003 to help pay for the costs of the baby boomer retirement bubble, was up 1.31 per cent last month despite having no new financial contributions from the Government in the last three years.
The fund now has an average yearly return of 8.41 per cent per annum since its was launched in September 2003 and has added $5 billion above what it would have got if the money had been invested at the Treasury Bill rate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek, Carlyle in race for Lafarge India stake

Posted on 21 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Three private equity (PE) majors are in the final stages of negotiations with Lafarge India, country arm of the France-based multinational in building materials, to acquire a minority stake.
The three PE entities are the Singapore government-owned Temasek Holdings, Carlyle and Standard Chartered PE. According to sources in the know, these three are in the final stages of talks to invest $250-300 million (Rs 1,358-1,629 crore) in the company. There were other PE entities which were interested at one stage, such as KKR, TPG Capital and Blackstone; these have since withdrawn, it is learnt. Lazard is advising Lafarge India for the fund raising………………………………………..Full Article: Source

HCG gets Rs.130 cr from Temasek Holdings, set for greenfield project & entry into Africa

Posted on 21 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Healthcare Global Enterprises Ltd (HCG) has received a Rs.130 crore fund infusion form Temasek Holdings, a Singapore based Investment Company. The cancer care major said that the funds will be used for its next phase of expansion which includes a Greenfield project in Bengaluru, entry into Africa and expansion of its current 26 centre network of hospitals in the country.
This is the fifth fund infusion for HCG as Temasek joins HCG’s existing investors and become a shareholder in the company. The venture capitalists and private equity players have evinced considerable interest in funding oncology care………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah plans further divestments

Posted on 21 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Malaysia’s state investment company, is planning more domestic divestments while expanding overseas, managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said.
Malaysia’s initial public offering (IPO) market grew to the world’s fifth-largest last year, up from 14th in 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Almost 70 per cent of the US$6.8 billion raised through IPOs were due to the government divestments of shares in companies, the data showed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWFs poised to be aggressive with US CRE

Posted on 20 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds, it is no secret, have been steadily building up a war chest of funds and all signs point to an unleashing this year. What may take some by surprise is the level of their wealth and the aggressiveness by which they will deploy their assets—especially as they step up their property investments.
One example is Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, which recently acquired commercial real estate in the US, including Washington, DC. For 2012, the fund returned 13% on investments—specifically, its equity investments returned 18.1%; fixed income returned 6.7% and real estate investments, 5.8%. Its allocation consisted of 61.2% to equities, 38.1% to fixed income and 0.7% to real estate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

M&S jumps 9pct on back of ‘bid move’ by Qatar sovereign fund

Posted on 20 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Marks & Spencer Group Plc, the UK’s largest clothing retailer, rose the most since March 2009 in London trading on speculation the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is considering an £8bn (€9.3bn) offer.
The stock gained as much as 9.4pc to 407.4p and was up 7.9pc at 402p at the opening, boosting the company’s market value to £6.5bn. QIA has approached banks and private-equity houses, including CVC Capital Partners, to assemble a group to make a move on the London-based retailer, according to weekend reports, citing senior sources in London’s financial district………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The cost of Qatar’s punchy spending style

Posted on 20 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The resource-rich country will have a current account surplus worth 27 percent of GDP, or $51 billion, this year, according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund. The Qatar Investment Authority, its sovereign fund, boasted of having $30 billion to spend last year alone.
Qatar is not blind to criticism. Doha is planning a bonanza of initial public offerings at home, including the listing of a $12 billion investment vehicle half owned by the sovereign fund, to ward off any domestic discontent that its population isn’t sharing the benefits of the state’s spending………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) in new financing talks

Posted on 20 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the investment arm of the Government of Dubai launched the syndication of $2 billion in conventional and Islamic financing facilities on 18 March.
The new facilities, with a tenor of five years, will refinance the $2 billion five year tranche of ICD’s $6 billion three and five year facilities signed on 21 August 2008. The $4 billion tranche which was due in August 2011 was repaid in full………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Future Fund “can’t save mortgage funds”

Posted on 20 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Future Fund chairman David Murray says it is not the role of the $63 billion fund to bail out troubled mortgage-based investment funds. Some mortgage-based investment funds have had to be frozen after they experienced an exodus of funds, following the federal government’s guarantee of bank deposits.
Market-linked funds are not covered by the guarantee. Last week, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said that larger and more liquid institutions - including the major banks - could provide liquidity to various market-linked investment vehicles within the financial system by buying their securities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Could Qatar buy M&S?

Posted on 19 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Shares in Marks & Spencer surged today on speculation that the high street retailer is an £8 billion bid target for Middle Eastern investors. The stock jumped 8% at one stage, adding more than £500 million in value, after The Sunday Times said the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, is in talks with private equity and banks about an approach.
Despite the scale of the share price movement, there was no official stock market announcement to confirm or deny the speculation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar denial fails to dampen M&S takeover speculation

Posted on 19 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Marks & Spencer shares surged on speculation that a faltering turnaround effort and flagging profits have left Britain’s biggest clothing retailer vulnerable to a takeover. Investors piled into the stock after a newspaper reported that Qatar was planning a bid, sending the shares up 9.4 percent to a 12-month high.
A source close to Qatar Holding denied the report, but the stock was still up 7.4 percent. Analysts and investors said Marks & Spencer (M&S) could be a target for a private equity firm………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investment Corp of Dubai plans $2 bln loan to repay debt

Posted on 19 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investment Corporation of Dubai, the emirate’s main state-owned holding company, said it plans to raise $2 billion from a syndicated loan to refinance debt.
The facility will include both conventional and Islamic portions and have a tenor of five years, the company, known as ICD, said in an e-mailed statement today. The funds will go toward repaying the $2 billion five-year portion of an original $6 billion loan raised in August 2008, ICD said. That facility’s $4 billion three-year tranche was settled in August 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Three arguments for a Romanian sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 19 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The publicly circulated idea that, in its attempt to sort out the old dispute over Rompetrol Rafinare, the Romanian state would be well advised to jointly set up an investment fund with KazMunaiGas, is a good initiative, an ‘out of the box’ solution.
An investment fund that will start with 150 million dollars, seeking to attain one billion……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth in European property

Posted on 19 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Several sovereign wealth funds, mainly from the Mid East, have been active in European real estate for nearly a decade, focused mainly on London and Paris, the PIE Roundtable at MIPIM heard last week.
But many newcomers with different approaches are spreading around Europe and some $10bn annually will flow in over the next five years, according to one forecast………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Super funds get a boost in February

Posted on 19 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The median superannuation fund returned 2.2 per cent in February, according to the latest Morningstar Australian Superannuation Survey. Longer-term annualised results for the median growth fund were 14.1 per cent over one year, 7.1 per cent over three years, 3 per cent over five years and 7.1 per cent over the 10 years to 28 February 2013.
The returns were the result of growth assets performing strongly in February, according to Morningstar. The ASX300 rose by 5.3 per cent, international shares were up 1.9 per cent, Australian property securities rose 3.5 per cent, and global property securities were up 1.7 per cent in February………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar SWF mulls bid for Marks & Spencer

Posted on 18 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar Investment Authority, the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, is seeking backers for a potential GBP8 billion takeover of Marks & Spencer Group PLC, the Sunday Times reported, citing unidentified “senior City sources.”
The newspaper said the fund has approached several large private equity firms to gauge their interest in participation, and has spoken to lenders about financing an offer. The Qatar fund already owns 26% of J Sainsbury PLC, a major competitor of M&S in food retail and clothing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Banks lining up to offer M&S advice on potential bids

Posted on 18 March 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The big beasts of the investment banking world, including Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital, are said to have been knocking on the door of Marks & Spencer to offer the high-street retailer support in the event of a takeover bid.
The FTSE 100 company has been caught at the centre of fresh bid speculation after reports this weekend that the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, was in the early stages of putting together an £8bn bid. The reports come less than a year after speculation that the retailer could be in the sights of private equity groups………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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