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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing - Archive | April, 2013

French sovereign wealth fund buys Technicolor stake

Posted on 30 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

France’s FSI sovereign-wealth fund said it had bought a stake in Technicolor to support the digital video specialist’s plan to cut debt and boost cash flow by 2015.The FSI fund gave no financial details, but said in a statement on Monday that it and state bank Caisse des Depots together now held 7.5 percent of Technicolor’s share capital.Caisse des Depots owned 6.3 percent of Technicolor as of March 20, implying the FSI has purchased a 1.2 percent stake.
Technicolor is in the midst of a strategic plan to cut its 1 billion-euro ($1.31 billion) debt pile and boost earnings by investing in new products including consumer media-sharing applications and digital ad services………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore bets on Glencore shares with $250 mln swap

Posted on 30 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC is seeking to swap a $250 million portion of its holding in Glencore International Plc convertible bonds into shares in the company, in a vote of confidence as the commodities trader wraps up its takeover of miner Xstrata Plc .
Just days ahead of a May 2 completion date for Glencore’s tie-up with Xstrata, GIC, a shareholder in both, said it wanted to sell part of its investment in Glencore’s 2014 bond via an accelerated bookbuild………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore GIC raises US$250 mln through sale of Glencore convertible bonds

Posted on 30 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth fund Government of Singapore Investment Corp. Tuesday said that it has raised US$250 million through sale of convertible bonds of Glencore International AG.The 5% guaranteed convertible bonds 2014 issued by Glencore Finance (Europe) S.A. were guaranteed by Glencore International and Glencore AG, GIC said in a statement.GIC intends to use part of the net proceeds from the sale of the bonds to acquire ordinary shares of Glencore International.
The Singapore sovereign wealth fund, which according to analysts manages assets worth US$300 million, had subscribed to the convertible bonds of Glencore ahead of its IPO multbillion-dollar initial public offering in 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC launches accelerated bookbuilding for sale of bonds

Posted on 30 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) is launching an accelerated bookbuilding for the sale of Glencore Guaranteed Convertible Bonds worth US$250 million.
The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) is launching an accelerated bookbuilding for the sale of Glencore Guaranteed Convertible Bonds worth US$250 million.These 5 per cent convertible bonds issued by Glencore Finance and guaranteed by each of Glencore International and Glencore AG will be due in 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar commits to Russian bank’s $3bln share deal

Posted on 30 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar Holding, the Gulf country’s rich sovereign wealth fund, has made a “binding” commitment to invest in VTB Bank’s $3bn public share offering, according to the Russian lender.
VTB, Russia’s second largest lender, is issuing 2.5 trillion new shares to help boost its equity capital and strengthen its shareholder base with new strategic investors. It is expected to raise RUB102.5bn ($3.28bn)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

VTB Bank draws wealth fund investors for $3 bln SPO

Posted on 30 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

VTB Bank, Russia’s second largest lender by assets, has secured firm commitments from three sovereign wealth fund investors for its Secondary Public Offering (SPO) worth 102.5 billion rubles ($3.3 billion), the lender said on Monday.
“VTB Bank has received firm and binding commitments from a group of investors comprising existing and new shareholders, including three prominent sovereign wealth funds: Norges Bank Investment Management (the Kingdom of Norway); Qatar Holding LLC (the State of Qatar); and the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, SOFAZ (the Republic of Azerbaijan), to subscribe for the entire amount of the offering,” VTB said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway, Qatar and Azeri sovereign wealth funds buy into Russia’s VTB

Posted on 30 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russia’s second-largest lender VTB Bank said Monday its secondary public offering, scheduled for May, attracted demand from the sovereign wealth funds of energy giants Norway, Qatar and Azerbaijan.
VTB said in a statement it received “firm and binding commitments” from existing and new shareholders, including bids from Norges Bank Investment Management, Qatar Holding LLC and the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan.VTB is planning to issue 2.5 trillion of new ordinary shares worth 102.5 billion rubles ($3.23 billion) to meet capital adequacy targets and provide funding for the continued growth of the business………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ buys shares of VTB Bank

Posted on 30 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, Qatar Sovereign Fund and Norway Sovereign Fund were selected as strategic investors in placement of additional share emission of VTB Bank.According to APA-Economics, the volume of the issue is RR 102.5 bln (quantity – 2.5 trilions, face value – RR 0.041).
Note that the emission has already been registered by Russian Bank. The prices are 9% lower than market quotations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azerbaijani oil fund not to use gold for speculation

Posted on 30 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Azerbaijan’s state oil fund,SOFAZ, is not going to use gold for speculative purposes, SOFAZ Executive Director Shahmar Movsumov told reporters.According to him, speculative activity involves the purchase of gold and its sale at a higher price in the shortest possible time.
“We do not speculate. Our decision on the purchase of gold is of strategic importance. Through diversification of the state’s foreign exchange reserves we have invested some funds in gold and do not intend to sell it,” Movsumov said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azerbaijani State Oil Fund intends to purchase Russian large bank’s shares

Posted on 30 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

On April 26, 2013, the Supervisory Board of VTB Bank announced that it had resolved to attract new capital in amount of up to Rub 102.5bn through the issuance of 2.5 trillion new ordinary shares (”New Shares”) by way of an open subscription at a price of Rub 0.041 per Share (the “Offering”), VTB said.
The Bank of Russia has registered the decision on issue of the New Shares and the Russian prospectus on April 26, 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bahrain SWF Mumtalakat not joining Gulf spending spree, to focus on portfolio

Posted on 30 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahrain sovereign fund Mumtalakat said on Monday that it has no plans to sell stakes in domestic companies and could even increase its investments.
One of the smaller sovereign wealth funds in the Gulf region with $7.1 billion of assets under management at the end of September, the fund holds stakes in 40 firms in the state’s non-oil sector, including Bahrain Telecommunications Co and Aluminium Bahrain (Alba).Last year, chief executive Mahmood al-Kooheji said Mumtalakat could divest stakes in these firms to raise cash to invest in Bahrain’s economy, such as through public share sales - Alba was listed in 2010, for example………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bahrain fund won’t increase Gulf Air investment

Posted on 30 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahrain sovereign fund Mumtalakat said on Monday that it has no plans to sell stakes in domestic companies and could even increase its investments – but not in Gulf Air.
One of the smaller sovereign wealth funds in the Gulf region with USD$7.1 billion of assets under management at the end of September, the fund holds stakes in 40 firms in the state’s non-oil sector, including Bahrain Telecommunications and Aluminium Bahrain (Alba).Last year, chief executive Mahmood al-Kooheji said Mumtalakat could divest stakes in these firms to raise cash to invest in Bahrain’s economy, such as through public share sales - Alba was listed in 2010, for example………………………………………..Full Article: Source

VTB said to draw Norway, Qatar wealth to $3.3 bln share sale

Posted on 29 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

VTB Group (VTBR), Russia’s second-largest lender, received enough orders from investors including sovereign wealth funds in Norway and Azerbaijan to cover a $3.3 billion share sale, said a person with knowledge of the matter.
VTB got a firm commitment to buy new shares from Norges Bank Investment Management, the world’s largest sovereign fund, as well as from Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund and other investors, said the person, who declined to be identified as the information is private. Qatar’s wealth fund has also bought shares, Prime newswire service reported late yesterday, citing an unidentified person close to the Russian state bank’s supervisory board………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund grew by $37 bln in first quarter

Posted on 29 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $728 billion Government Pension Fund Global, the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, grew by 219 billion kroner ($37 billion) during the first quarter of 2013, due to unprecedented stimulus from central banks trying to boost economic growth.
The fund, which generates money from taxes on oil and gas, ownership of petroleum fields, and the government’s 67% stake in Statoil ASA, experienced returns of 5.4 percent over the first three months of the year, with stocks returning 8.3 percent, and bond investments climbing 1.1 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund gains as stock markets rally

Posted on 29 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, gained 219 billion kroner ($37 billion) in the first quarter as stocks surged amid unprecedented stimulus from central banks to boost economic growth.
The $728 billion Government Pension Fund Global returned 5.4 percent in the first three months of the year, the Oslo- based investor said today. Stocks returned 8.3 percent, while bond investments climbed 1.1 percent. Real estate investments lost 0.3 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund to become more active

Posted on 29 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The sovereign wealth fund of Norway, amongst the world’s biggest investors, has said that it wants to participate more actively in the management of firms it has heavy investments in, such as Volvo and other firms.
The fund has under its management totalling US$728 billion and said it is aiming to become active participants of company activities such as election of board members.According to the fund’s CEO Yngve Slyngstad, “It means having an ownership in the order of 5 percent and that we find ourselves among the top five investors. Our ownership should be significant, in the order of $1 billion,”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norwegian Pension Fund to divest from Equatorial Guinea oil operations

Posted on 29 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway has revealed plans to sell all shares owned by its sovereign wealth fund - Norwegian Pension Fund Global - in oil firms with operations in Equatorial Guinea.
“We are looking into the oil companies in which we hold shares and which are active in Equatorial Guinea,” Reuters quoted Ola Mestad, the head of the fund’s ethics council, as saying.Norway’s sovereign wealth fund attributed its resolve to the fact that oil money from these companies failed to tackle abject poverty in the country.The fund’s ethics council’s annual report states that the production of the country’s dominant natural resource seems to enrich only the country’s elite, leaving the conditions of the entire population in worst state in the world………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azeri sovereign wealth fund plans to plough $1bln into international real estate

Posted on 29 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Azerbaijan’s sovereign wealth fund is planning to invest around $1bn in international real estate in 2013, as it aims to diversify its portfolio, a senior official stated on April 25. The State Oil Fund of the Azerbaijan Republic (Sofaz), which started investing into foreign real estate in December, is looking mainly to invest in Asian and Australian real estate, Executive Director Shakhmar Movsumov told Reuters.
The $34bn fund, which accumulates revenue from Azeri oil and gas exports, put around $600m into real estate in 2012. Sofaz made its first international real estate investment with the GBP177.35m purchase of an office complex in St James Street, London. This was followed by investments in Paris and Moscow………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gao says CIC doesn’t get equal treatment from U.S.

Posted on 29 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China Investment Corp., the world’s fifth-largest sovereign wealth fund, is treated differently than other investors by U.S. regulators, the company’s president said in Washington.
CIC faces challenges in the U.S. and is “singled out as a different investor,” CIC President Gao Xiqing said yesterday at a conference after meetings with officials in the U.S. capital.“We thought we were friends,” Gao said. “All of the sudden, you’ve got people slapping you in the face and telling you, OK, we don’t like you.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Qatar’s Hassad appoints new CEO to drive growth

Posted on 29 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hassad Food Co, the agricultural investment arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, said on Sunday it has appointed a new CEO. Fahad Abdulla Turki Al-Subaiey will be based in the company’s headquarters in Doha and will report directly to Nasser Al Hajri, the chairman of the Hassad Food Company.
Al-Subaiey has now the overall global responsibility for the company’s growth strategy, investment plans and operations, a statement said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait sovereign fund to invest in infrastructure

Posted on 29 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the sovereign wealth fund, has long been known both for its integrity and cautious approach to investment. But several recent initiatives point to the growing difficulty of being conservative in a world of virtually zero interest rates and modest yields — and a world in which inflation is low today but may be much higher tomorrow.
The KIA recently joined forces with real estate developer Steve Ross’s Related Companies and with Oxford Properties, to provide equity in the first stage of the $15 billion Hudson Yards project in Manhattan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China fund chief criticizes U.S. investment review

Posted on 26 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The head of China’s $500 billion sovereign wealth fund criticized the U.S. process of reviewing foreign investment, calling it a slap in the face, at a conference in Washington Thursday.
Gao Xiqing, head of China Investment Corp ., said that China is “singled out” for challenge by the U.S. and isn’t regarded as an ordinary member of the international community………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CIC chief Gao says China’s fund treated differently by U.S.

Posted on 26 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China Investment Corp., the world’s fifth-largest sovereign wealth fund, is treated differently than other investors by U.S. regulators, the company’s president said in Washington.
CIC faces challenges in the U.S. and is “singled out as a different investor,” CIC President Gao Xiqing said yesterday at a conference after meetings with officials in the U.S. capital.“We thought we were friends,” Gao said. “All of the sudden, you’ve got people slapping you in the face and telling you, OK, we don’t like you.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China SWF: Not worried about recent econ data

Posted on 26 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The top executive of China’s $500 billion sovereign wealth fund Thursday said he is not concerned by recent data showing slower growth by the world’s second largest economy, pointing to underlining changes that show a country heading in “a much better direction.”
In a keynote speech at the Committee of 100’s 22nd Annual Conference, Gao Xiqing, Vice Chairman and President of the China Investment Corporation, also called for more action to loosen the grip of China’s powerful state-run companies on the economy, while also slamming the treatment his organization receives at the hands of U.S. regulators………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek says comfortable with Olam’s credit, prospects

Posted on 26 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd said on Thursday it was comfortable with Olam International Ltd’s credit position and its longer-term prospects.
The statement came after Olam, whose biggest shareholder is Temasek with 24 percent, announced a new strategic plan to halve its capital spending between 2014 and 2016, cut its stake in a urea plant in Gabon and reduce its debt levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s Olam to cut spending, debt after investor pressure

Posted on 26 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Olam International Ltd , propped up by Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings after worries mounted over its high debt, said it will halve its capital spending in 2014 to 2016, cut its stake in an urea plant in Gabon and reduce its debt levels.
The Singapore-based agricultural commodities company, which came under attack from short-seller Muddy Waters last November and was forced to raise cash as its stock and bond prices tumbled, has been under pressure from investors to rein in its expansion plans………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Multipolar, Temasek set to bond for expansion

Posted on 26 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Diversified holding company PT Multipolar (MLPL), the owner of Hypermart and Matahari Department Stores, looks set to forge further partnerships with Singaporean investment firm Temasek Holding Ltd. to expand its business.
According to Multipolar director Reynold Pena Ong, the two sides have the possibility to conduct projects in other sectors, including property. “Temasek is interested in venturing into other fields, but everything is still at a preliminary stage. We are looking at many sectors, one of which is property,” he said in Jakarta on Wednesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign fund would supply big investment return: expert

Posted on 26 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The government’s fiscal reserve has managed to squeeze a return of less than 1.75 percent out of its billion-dollar investments in its first year. University of Macau public economics professor Jenny Huang Bihong said the return was “too low, much lower than inflation”.
“As such its value is essentially declining.” The average rate of inflation for same period, the 12 months ending February 28, was 6.16 percent. Ms Huang told Business Daily that Macau should establish a sovereign wealth fund similar to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd. But another scholar disagrees, warning that such a move might not improve return on investment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway wealth fund focuses on corporate engagement

Posted on 26 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In 1978, Volvo and Norway unveiled an audacious proposal. The Swedish company would sell 40 per cent of itself to the government in Oslo and in return would gain access to Norway’s North Sea oil reserves. The contentious plan eventually floundered because of shareholder opposition at Volvo.
However, now the Norwegian state – through its $720bn oil fund, the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world – is the second-largest owner of the Swedish truckmaker in terms of capital………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway wealth fund mulls selling oil firms that work in E.Guinea

Posted on 26 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is looking into selling off shares in oil firms that work in Equatorial Guinea, where oil revenue does nothing to relieve abject poverty, the fund’s ethics council said, a list that includes Exxon Mobil.
The Norwegian Pension Fund Global was Exxon Mobil’s tenth-largest shareholder at end-2012 with some 16 billion crowns ($2.7 billion) worth of shares, or a stake of 0.81 percent. The fund, whose investments totalled $725 billion on Wednesday, invests Norway’s revenues from oil and gas production for future generations. Exxon Mobil was its tenth-largest equity holding at end-2012, according to its annual report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azerbaijan oil fund sets investment radar on Asia

Posted on 26 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Azerbaijan’s $34 billion state oil fund plans to spend about $1 billion on real estate abroad this year, mainly in Asia and Australia, as it further diversifies a broad portfolio of foreign assets.
The state oil fund uses investment proceeds to help finance social spending and infrastructure projects. It transferred 7.04 billion manats ($9 billion) to the Azeri state budget in the first nine months of last year. The fund spent $600 million on real estate in Europe in 2012, buying office blocks in central London and Paris and a shopping complex in Moscow………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth funds keen on Turkish markets

Posted on 26 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A $ 500 million sukuk from Turkiye Finans this week was just the latest in a flood of international debt issues from Turkey. But the identity of the arranging banks, and the investors who bought the issue, pointed to a shift in capital markets.
Of the four banks arranging the deal for Turkiye Finans, an Islamic bank majority-owned by Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank, two were based in the Gulf: NCB Capital and Dubai’s Noor Islamic Bank. And Middle Eastern investors dominated buying of the sukuk, taking 51 percent of the deal, which received just under $ 2 billion in orders………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Use oil money wisely, IMF tells Sudan

Posted on 26 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Sudanese government should use renewed oil revenue to provide a foundation to its economy, an International Monetary Fund representative said.The Sudanese government announced that oil began to flow through pipelines extending to Port Sudan in early April. South Sudan gained control over the bulk of the region’s oil reserves when it gained independence from Sudan in 2011.
Sudan controls the exports pipelines, however, and disputes over transit fees prompted the South Sudanese government to halt oil production in 2012. South Sudan gets nearly all of its revenue from oil………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway wealth fund mulls selling oil firms that work in E.Guinea

Posted on 25 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is looking into selling off shares in oil firms that work in Equatorial Guinea, where oil revenue does nothing to relieve abject poverty, the fund’s ethics council said, a list that includes Exxon Mobil. The Norwegian Pension Fund Global was Exxon Mobil’s tenth-largest shareholder at end-2012 with some 16 billion crowns ($2.7 billion) worth of shares, or a stake of 0.81 percent.
The fund, whose investments totalled $725 billion on Wednesday, invests Norway’s revenues from oil and gas production for future generations. Exxon Mobil was its tenth-largest equity holding at end-2012, according to its annual report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil fund questions oil giant’s ethics

Posted on 25 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The state-appointed ethics council that oversees investments made by Norway’s huge oil-fueled sovereign wealth fund is questioning whether operations by US oil giant ExxonMobil in Equatorial Guinea violate “fundamental ethical norms.” If so, the fund may need to sell off its ExxonMobil stock.
The council is charged with evaluating investments in individual companies in which Norway’s popularly called “oil fund” has stakes. The Norwegian finance ministry, ultimately in charge of the fund that’s tied to Norway’s central bank and long has ranked as one of the biggest investment funds in the world, makes its decisions based on the council’s recommendations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: FinMin opposes sovereign wealth fund out of forex reserves

Posted on 25 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Finance Ministry has opposed creation of a $10 billion Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) to acquire oil and gas and fertiliser assets abroad, saying the country did not have sufficient foreign currency to support the fund. At a recent meeting called by PM’s principal secretary Pulok Chatterjee, departments of economic affairs and expenditure were of the opinion that cash-rich PSUs should use their reserves and decide independently on overseas acquisition on commercial terms, official sources said.
Planning Commissioned had mooted setting aside of $10 billion from the nation’s foreign-exchange reserves and creating a sovereign wealth fund to secure energy assets overseas………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah said to pick 3 banks for $1 bln convertible Sukuk

Posted on 25 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s state investment company, selected three banks to help arrange a sale of as much as $1 billion of convertible Islamic bonds, said two people with knowledge of the matter.
The sovereign fund is working with CIMB Group Holdings Bhd., Deutsche Bank AG and Standard Chartered Plc on a potential offer, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Khazanah could raise $500 million to $1 billion, though a final decision on whether to proceed has yet to be made, one person said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Philippines: Sovereign wealth fund benefits cited

Posted on 25 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

“The sovereign wealth fund is definitely a mechanism that can break the link between these huge inflows and the exchange rate,” IMF Senior Economist Jaime Guajardo said in an interview last week.
The Philippines has been buoyed by robust BPO earnings that hit $13 billion last year, up by 18.18%. Overseas remittances totalling $21.391 billion, up 6.3% from 2011 and breaching the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) 5% growth target, also provided a boost………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why keep 1MDB’s RM7bln in the Caymans?

Posted on 25 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

What was revealed by PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli was alarming - the 1MDB had raised RM5 billion through government-guaranteed bonds for several investment ventures which were not clearly identified.According to Rafizi, 1MDB had raised the bonds for several investment ventures, for example Petro Saudi International (PSI), whose activities and origins he alleged were “dubious”.
When we raise loans of this size, we should have clear and definite investment plans, after feasibility studies concluded, on how to use the money………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Samruk-Kazyna to implement 83 projects worth over $51 bln

Posted on 25 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund plans to implement 83 investment projects worth over $51 billion, Tengrinews.kz reports citing the fund’s press-service.“The fund is currently taking part in implementation of 100 investment projects worth over $82 billion via its major branches. The fund is additionally considering implementation of another 83 investment projects worth $51.7 billion,” the message states.
According to the press-service, the fund is currently focusing on investment in the projects with high growth potential. They include alternative energy, chemistry and oil chemistry, transport, infrastructure, engineering, IT technologies and projects with innovative component and transfer of advanced technologies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azerbaijani State Oil Fund to allocate AZN 30 mln for students’ education abroad this year

Posted on 25 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund will allocate AZN 30 million for the education of Azerbaijani students abroad this year, said Minister of Education Misir Mardanov in his speech at the presentation ceremony on the development of Information Management System and new website regarding “State Program on education of Azerbaijan youth abroad in 2007-2015” held in the Ministry of Education, APA reports.
He said the funds for the education of Azerbaijani youth abroad are increased every year. The Minister said while this amount was AZN 20 million last year, it is expected to be AZN 30 million this year: “When started the implementation of program, we thought how we would afford its implementation. However, now we are concerned how to effectively spend so much money.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Graph: Sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 25 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sometimes, a picture really is worth a thousand words. Above, I show which countries have the largest sovereign wealth funds, and below, I show how these countries’ funds rank on a per capita basis. Data about the funds comes from the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Rankings, and I calculated per capita values primarily by using World Bank population data. It’s interesting to note that:
Oil rules. These sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are more or less oil-based except for a few Asian tigers and Australia. And out of the countries with the fifteen largest funds–as measured by the combined assets of all the funds whose amounts are listed–the Middle East and North Africa occupy six spots………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India Govt to discuss Sovereign Wealth Fund this week

Posted on 24 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) has been discussed several times in the past is now back on the table because government officials believe that India as a sovereign should acquire assets abroad especially in coal, oil and gold space. It is expected that a meeting later this week will be held between the Prime Minister, the National Security Advisor and officials of the finance ministry.
However, with wide current account deficit (CAD), forex reserve is a problem, so the the finance ministry is contemplating an option whereby forex reserves will not be used for the Sovereign Wealth Fund, on the other hand the fund can go ahead and raise its own capital with some amount of seed money………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ: Oil fund expects assets to remain at 2012 level

Posted on 24 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) forecasts its total assets by the end of 2013 will remain at the level of last year, CEO of the Fund, Shahmar Movsumov, told journalists on Tuesday. “If oil prices on the world markets remain unchanged, we can keep the assets at the level of the beginning of the year, although the budget has been prepared with a deficit,” Movsumov said.
In 2012, the revenues of SOFAZ amounted to about 13.674 billion manat with expenses at 10.574 billion manat. SOFAZ budget revenues were approved for 2013 to the sum of more than 11.482 billion manat and expenditure more than 13.403 million manat. In the first quarter, the revenues comprised over 3.523 million manat, and expenditure about 2.930 billion manat………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ keeps on investing in foreign real estate markets

Posted on 24 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds across the globe are looking for ways to diversify their risks by expanding investments beyond traditional asset classes. In the last decade, the state oil fund SOFAZ — an entity that accumulates and manages Azerbaijan’s oil and gas revenues — has been growing rapidly both in terms of the size of assets under management and its investment structure.
Thus, the Fund as a long-term investor is seeking stability of its real estate investments and thus aims to invest in assets in developed markets with long-term profitability. It plans property acquisitions in prime business districts of major cities around the world………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ plans to purchase real estate in three countries

Posted on 24 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) is planning to purchase real estate in three other countries. The statement came from the executive director of SOFAZ, Shahmar Movsumov. According to him, in the near future, they are expected to visit Asia.
“This year we will visit three countries - China, Korea, and Australia, and in the second half of the year will make a decision about purchasing a property in these countries. We are talking about commercial facilities,” said Movsumov not excluding the possibility of acquiring real estate in all three countries………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait Investment Authority: Integrity and caution are no handicap

Posted on 24 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Kuwait Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund, has long been known both for its integrity and cautious approach to investment.
But several recent initiatives point to the growing difficulty of being conservative in a world of virtually zero interest rates and modest yields – and a world in which inflation is low today but may be much higher tomorrow…………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Welcome, Senegal, to the SWF club

Posted on 24 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Senegal has a new sovereign wealth fund. Who knew? Not me. I only learned of the new SWF yesterday when someone asked me, “How’s Senegal’s new SWF coming along?” To which I replied: [shoulder shrug]. As it turns out, however, Senegalese MPs voted to create a new “Strategic Investment Fund” (FONSIS) back in December, and the government of Senegal now lists the new SWF as one of its Grands Projets.
So, this is clearly legit. And that means I need to do some homework! Upon further scrutiny, the FONSIS looks and feel more like a ’sovereign development fund” than a traditional sovereign wealth fund, as the motivation for launching this vehicle is to unlock foreign direct investment to revitalize the Senegalese economy……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Albertville gets more than $477,000 from Alabama Trust Fund

Posted on 24 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The city of Albertville has an additional $477,918.48 in its coffers, the City Council announced Monday at its work session. City Clerk/Treasurer Phyllis Webb told the council it had received a check for that amount from the Alabama Trust Fund.

The Alabama Trust Fund is a wealth fund established in 1985 in response to a major offshore natural gas discovery in 1978. The fund is funded by royalty payments that are received each month from oil and gas companies. Its assets total about $2.5 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bill to tap Rainy Day Fund approve

Posted on 24 April 2013 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A move to take $2 billion out of the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund — commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund — was approved in the House budget committee Tuesday morning with mild pushback to make sure transportation and education get their share of money from the fund.

The House Appropriations Committee approved the bill, HB 11, which would put money from the Economic Stabilization Fund into a bank from which communities could borrow money at low interest rates for water projects such as pipelines, aquifer development, desalination and conservation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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