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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing - Archive | January, 2014

Biggest sovereign fund excludes Sesa Sterlite on ethical grounds

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s finance ministry has told its $810-billion oil fund, the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, to stop investing in two Israeli firms and one Indian company on ethical grounds.
The ministry instructed the fund for a second time to exclude Africa Israel Investments and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebus from its investments and also said it should not invest in Sesa Sterlite - India’s biggest zinc and aluminium maker. After the decision, 63 firms stand on the exclusion list, including some of the world’s biggest miners, tobacco producers and makers of certain weapons such as cluster bombs……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norway wealth fund bans investing in 2 Israeli firms

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund in Norway has put two Israeli firms on its blacklist over their contribution to the construction of illegal settlements in the occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Norway’s Finance Ministry announced the decision on Thursday and named the companies as Africa Israel Investments, an Israeli real estate developer, and its construction subsidiary, Danya Cerbus. The huge sovereign wealth fund deplored the firms for “contributing to serious violation of individual rights through construction of settlements” in the occupied East al-Quds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Government Pension Fund Global excludes three companies for ethical reasons

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Ministry of Finance has decided to exclude the companies Sesa Sterlite, Africa Israel Investments and Danya Cebus from the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG).
On the 13th of September 2013, the Ministry of Finance received a recommendation from the Council of Ethics to exclude the company Sesa Sterlite from the GPFG. The recommendation builds on an earlier recommendation to exclude the company Vedanta Resources Ltd. (Vedanta ) and two of its subsidiaries, which operate in India. The Ministry followed the Council’s recommendation to exclude Vedanta and its two subsidiaries in 2007………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya’s sovereign wealth fund to sue Goldman over $1bln trades

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Libya’s sovereign wealth fund has taken formal legal action in London against Goldman Sachs over allegations that the investment bank “exploited” the fund’s limited financial experience, forcing it into risky and ultimately lossmaking investments.
The claim, made in legal papers submitted by the Libyan Investment Authority on Thursday, rests on disputed equity derivatives trades amounting to in excess of $1bn………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund is world’s second largest

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF), the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), is the world’s second largest in terms of overall assets, according to a quarterly list published by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.
The ADIA, which has more than 773 billion US dollars in assets, previously occupied the top spot in 2012. It is now followed in third place by Saudi Arabia’s SAMA Foreign Holdings (SAMA) fund, which has some 675.9 billion dollars in assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi investor seeks to exit Mongolia bank after governance row

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A foreign investor has moved to sever ties with Mongolia’s largest private lender, Golomt Bank, because of its concerns over the lender’s weak corporate governance standards, according to documents and a source familiar with the matter.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC), which lent Golomt $25 million in 2010, is seeking to call in the loan after a turbulent 15 months inside the bank, in which auditors identified serious management failings, according to the source and an external audit report reviewed by Reuters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi fund part of lawsuit against Norway government

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi is part of a group of investors in Norway’s offshore gas pipeline system who have filed lawsuits against the Oslo government over a plan to reduce tariffs for using the network, a move which would dramatically reduce the estimated return on investment.
Companies representing several international investment funds, such as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the Canadian Pension Fund and German insurer Allianz, have spent $5.1 billion in recent years acquiring stakes in Norwegian pipelines, then considered a solid investment bet………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mideast SWFs invest in European industrial market

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European industrial and logistics real estate market saw more investment from sovreign wealth funds (SWF) in the Middle East, said a report.
It has attracted more than 14 billion euros ($19.1 billion) of investment in 2013, the highest single year since 2007, up 50 per cent on the previous year, according to the latest research from global property advisor CBRE………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zimbabwe: SWF Bill crucial for long-term economic development: AAG

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Affirmative Action Group Manicaland chapter has applauded the recently gazetted Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill as a key measure to support the future macro-economic stabilisation programmes by Government, including long-term economic and social development objectives.
Government on January 10 gazetted the Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill which is set to be tabled in Parliament for debate. The Bill seeks to establish a fund to be administered by a board whose objective is to secure investments to support the developmental objectives of the Government………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Min Chinamasa tables SWF Bill

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa tabled the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe Bill in the National Assembly. The Bill seeks to establish a fund administered by a board whose objective is to secure investments for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.
The Bill was read for the first time and National Assembly speaker, Cde Jacob Mudenda, referred it to the Parliamentary Legal Committee which scrutinises all proposed legislation to ensure it is consistent with the Constitution………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC sues Merck over fraudulent share prices

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

GIC has filed a fraud claim against one of the world’s largest drug companies, claiming it misled the market on two statin drugs, pushing the price of the stocks up as a result. In particular, GIC has accused Merck and subsidiary Merck-Schering-Plough, the makers of cholesterol-lowering drugs Zetia and Vytorin, of failing to tell the market about the “unqualified disaster” results of clinical trials, which found both drugs had no additional benefit to slowing the progression of arteries being clogged up by high cholesterol levels.
The case relates to a 15-month investment period between December 6, 2006 and March 28, 2008, during which GIC bought millions of shares in Merck, according to court documents filed at New Jersey’s district court………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Uncertainties in power tender cast shadow on 1MDB IPO

Posted on 31 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A power plant tender that sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is keen to win before a US$2bil (RM6.69bil) initial public offering (IPO) of its power assets has been delayed after bids came in too close to call, Government sources said.
1MDB has begun the process of choosing underwriters for what is likely to be one of South-East Asia’s largest IPOs of the year. It was expected to bundle 15 power plants it bought over a two-year shopping spree in a bid to a capitalise on growing electricity demand in Malaysia, the Middle East and South Asia, financial sources said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Costello set to chair Future Fund: report

Posted on 30 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Federal Cabinet is set to confirm former treasurer Peter Costello’s appointment as chairman of the Future Fund, The Australian Financial Review reports. According to the newspaper, outgoing chairman David Gonski has recommended Mr Costello, who has been acting in the role, as his replacement.
Mr Costello created the $90 billion sovereign wealth fund in 2006 to cover the federal government’s unfunded public service superannuation liabilities. The former treasurer was appointed to the fund’s board in 2009 but the Gillard cabinet ignored the board’s advice that he should be its chair, hoping to resolve board divisions by instead appointing a business outsider, the AFR reports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah’s 10 years of reform

Posted on 30 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Over the past decade, Khazanah Nasional Bhd has seen some hits and some misses in its efforts to transform the government-linked companies (GLCs) in its stable into regional champions. Khazanah expects to see the seven GLCs in its stable — CIMB Group Bhd, Axiata Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, UEM Sunrise Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) — “graduate” in July 2015 and become high-performing entities.
Many are likely to point out that loss-making MAS has yet to qualify for graduation. The national carrier is still a long way from the finishing line in its transformation journey………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC and Macquarie invest in Australian student dorm developer

Posted on 30 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s GIC and Australia’s Macquarie Capital said on Wednesday they have formed a joint venture that bought a majority stake in an Australian student accommodation group. The investment into Iglu is the largest transaction of its kind in the Australian student accommodation sector, GIC and Macquarie said in a statement.
The statement, however, did not give the value of the investment. Iglu, a specialist developer of purpose built off-campus student accommodation, currently has three properties in Brisbane and Sydney offering 900 beds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s giant wealth fund deals $405mln blow to coal industry

Posted on 30 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, may have to withdraw funding from coal following a likely vote in the Norwegian parliament, fueling the hopes of environmentalists that new mines and infrastructure will struggle to find finance.
If minority parties in Norway’s new coalition government back an opposition motion to withdraw from coal, then the country’s wealth fund would be the latest high profile investor to block funding for an industry that accounts for a third of the world’s power generation and is blamed for being the main cause of climate change………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oman India Joint Investment Fund picks additional 5.3pct stake in NCDEX for $8mln

Posted on 30 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oman India Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF), a private equity fund sponsored by Oman’s sovereign wealth fund State General Reserve Fund and India’s largest lender State Bank of India, has picked up another 5.3 per cent stake in India’s largest agri-commodity derivatives exchange National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Ltd (NCDEX) from Jaypee Capital Services Ltd for Rs 49.56 crore ($7.87 million).
The deal was closed late last month and came as a second leg of a transaction where previously OIJIF teamed up with other investors to buy a stake in NCDEX………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign fund halves coal exposure

Posted on 29 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $817 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, has halved its exposure to coal producers, with most of its remaining interest in the sector in Chinese companies, its chief executive said on Tuesday.
Oslo has been at diplomatic loggerheads with China since the award of its Nobel Peace Prize to human rights activist Liu Xiaobo in 2010. Norway’s parliament is studying a proposal to ban the fund from coal, which has the backing of a majority of parties, but not that of the minority government………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ’s assets reach $36 bln

Posted on 29 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Budget revenues of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) for the period of January-December, 2013 reached 13,600.5 million manats, while budget expenditures constituted 12,302.7 million manats.
Revenue of 13,119.9 mln. manats was received from implementation of oil and gas agreements, including 13,108.0 mln. manats from the sale of profit oil and gas, 1.8 mln. manats as acreage fees, 8.1 mln. manats as transit payments, 1.9 mln. manats as bonus payments and 0.1 mln. manats from the sale of assets received from foreign companies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ increases assets by over 5 pct

Posted on 29 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The assets of Azerbaijani state oil fund SOFAZ has increased by 5.1 percent as of January 1, 2014, compared to the same period of 2013 and stood at over $ 35.877 billion. SOFAZ said the budget revenues of the fund exceeded 13.6 billion manats while the budget expenditures amounted to over 12.3 billion manats in January-December 2013.
Some 13.12 billion manats of the budget revenue was received from the implementation of oil and gas agreements in the reported period………………………………………..Full Article: Source

In 2013 the Oil Fund of Azerbaijan allocated AZN 372.6 million for the construction of “STAR” Oil Refinery Complex

Posted on 29 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In 2013 the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) allocated 3.02% of its expenditures for the construction of “STAR” Oil Refinery Complex in Turkey. According to the Fund, its allocations for this complex constructed by the SOCAR (the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) made up AZN 372.6 million last year.
Budget revenues of the Oil Fund in 2013 reached AZN 13,600.5 million, while budget expenditures constituted AZN 12,302.7 million. As a result, the SOFAZ budget was executed with the surplus of AZN 1,297.8 million Over the last year the assets of the Oil Fund grew from $34129.4 million up to $35877.5 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC, Macquarie buy majority stake in Australian student accommodation firm Iglu

Posted on 29 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd and Macquarie Capital have formed a joint venture which has bought a majority stake in Iglu, an Australian student accommodation provider with a property portfolio worth about $132 million.
The deal is the largest of its kind in the Australian student accommodation sector, GIC said in a statement, without disclosing the investment value. Macquarie Capital is a unit of Macquarie Group Ltd………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s GIC sues Merck and Schering-Plough

Posted on 29 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Pte Ltd (now known as GIC Private Limited), one of Singapore’s sovereign wealth funds, bought millions of shares in Schering-Plough Corporation common stock through both self-managed and externally managed accounts. Schering-Plough was a U.S. pharmaceutical company, until its merger with Merck on November 3, 2009.
The GIC is being represented by NY-based law firm Kirby McInerney LLP. The GIC is suing Schering-Plough and Merck, alleging the Schering stock purchases were at artificially inflated prices as a result of the pharmaceutical’s misconduct………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s Temasek to be ‘model’ for SOE reform

Posted on 29 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China will learn from Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, using the government investment corporation as a model for the reform of asset management, sources at the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission told the China Securities Journal.
Starting this year, SASAC will establish three types of State-owned asset management entities: industrial investment corporations, investment holding companies and asset operating companies. “Some local governments are also proposing to set up State-owned asset operating companies and industrial investment companies,” the anonymous sources said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK embraces Chinese investment

Posted on 29 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The UK is seemingly standing on the brink of a transformative phase in its infrastructure development. Currently the country is wrestling with a number of divisive issues, particularly around the future of its transport and energy networks.
China Investment Corporation has also been particularly active in the UK; the company acquired a stake in each of Heathrow airport and Thames Water in recent years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China loses manager of its cash hoard

Posted on 29 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The invisible man behind China’s $3.8 trillion foreign-cash hoard is disappearing. Zhu Changhong, a former star bond trader in the U.S. who was recruited by Chinese officials about four years ago from investment firm Pimco to manage the country’s foreign-exchange reserves, resigned unexpectedly, officials said Tuesday. The move comes as China grapples with boosting returns at a time of turbulence in global markets.
China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the division of the central bank that manages the foreign currency the bank buys to control the value of the yuan, said the 44-year-old Mr. Zhu is set to wrap up his mission at the agency at the end of the month………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mongolia mulls sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 28 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mongolia is mulling a plan to use its mounting income from the mining sector to establish a sovereign wealth fund. An apparent reaction by the president to concern that the country is not leveraging that revenue to the benefit of the wider population, the fund would be used to promote long-term economic development.
President Tsakhia Elbegdorj’s bill on launching the “Treasury Fund”, was discussed in the President’s Civil Hall on January 24, UB Post reports. Presidential Advisor Luvsandash Dashdorj criticised the government’s lack of a “clear system and policy” to handle the income from Mongolia’s rising raw materials exports……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Move to ban coal shares in Norway’s $815 bln fund gains support

Posted on 28 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An opposition proposal to prohibit Norway’s $815 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, from investing in coal companies has won the support of two minority parties whose backing the government needs.
The fund, commonly known as the oil fund, is the sixth-largest investor in BHP Billiton and the ninth-largest in Anglo American, among other companies that produce coal. The proposal by the opposition Labour Party calls on “the government to conduct a thorough investigation with a view to remove the fund’s investments into coal companies”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Allianz, Abu Dhabi Fund’s Solveig sues Norway in tariff dispute

Posted on 28 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Three more owners of Norway’s gas-pipeline network, including a company backed by Allianz SE (ALV) and Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund, sued the government over tariff cuts they say will reduce income by about $6.5 billion.
Solveig Gas Norway AS, which is also backed by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, filed a writ of summons to start legal proceedings against the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, the company said in a statement today. Infragas Norge AS and Silex Gas Norway AS, which also own stakes in the pipeline network, are part of the lawsuit, Infragas Chief Executive Officer Knud Noerve said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait state fund joins $1.5bln QFII club

Posted on 28 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kuwait Investment Authority has become the fourth entity to hold more than $1 billion in quota under China’s qualified foreign institutional investor scheme.
The sovereign wealth fund obtained an additional $500 million QFII quota in January, bringing its total to $1.5 billion, alongside three other institutions. KIA has $410 billion in assets, according to the Sovereign Wealth Institute, and is the world’s oldest SWF, set up in 1953………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait buoyant on infrastructure, but cool on stocks

Posted on 28 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

One of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds has announced it will expand its investments in western infrastructure. The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), which is thought to have $386 billion under management according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, will increase its infrastructure investments in the US, the UK, and other European markets in the coming months.
The KIA is a well-known player in infrastructure already. Last year, the fund was part of a Canadian-led consortium that bid for the UK’s Severn Trent water company, but eventually walked away after the company refused to engage in talks before a bid deadline expired, according to media reports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigeria: FG, states withdrew N802.9 bln from Excess Crude Account in 2013

Posted on 28 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

About N802.9 billion was withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) in 2013 to shore up shortfalls in monthly revenue collections as well as settle arrears.
The ECA, which was created to provide succor during the rainy days, had been depleted to about $2.5 billion by January 17, 2014 from about $11.5 billion in December 2012. Analysts have argued that its depletion could not be justified because there has not been any serious economic shock to warrant the decimation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CIC-backed hedge fund PCA Investments closes doors

Posted on 28 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A hedge fund with financial backing almost entirely from China’s giant sovereign wealth fund closed last week less than three years after it was launched, according to people familiar with the matter.
PCA Investments was formed in 2011 and attracted notice for the involvement of China Investment Corporation, the country’s $US575 billion ($659bn) sovereign wealth fund, which is tasked with investing part of China’s vast foreign exchange reserves. PCA had operations in both Hong Kong and Beijing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gao and other sovereign funds in Davos

Posted on 28 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Some sovereign wealth funds and mega pensions have converged on Davos, the Swiss city where the World Economic Forum is held. Bahrain’s Mumtalakat Holdings, a frequent Davos delegate sender, had their CEO Mahmood al-Kooheji representing Bahrain.
Kooheji gave an optimistic update on Gulf Air citing layoffs and restructuring changes. In addition, Kooheji told Reuters reporters in Davos,”This year we will be more active in investments. We are looking across the globe and open for investments in all sectors except aviation and real estate.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Canadian sovereign-wealth funds: The year of the ant

Posted on 27 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Twenty years before Norway began stashing away oil and gas revenue for future generations, the Canadian province of Alberta set up a sovereign-wealth fund (SWF), as such state-owned hoards are known. Sadly, the Heritage Savings Trust Fund has not lived up to expectations.
Although it has been around since 1976, it contains only C$16.8 billion ($15.3 billion). Norway’s stripling SWF, in contrast, has already accumulated a national nest-egg of $800 billion. Other Canadian provinces are now setting up SWFs—and trying to learn from Alberta’s mistakes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Venezuela has failed to put aside money from oil revenue surplus

Posted on 27 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

By mid-1999, under Jorge Giordani’s tenure as planning minister, the Investment Fund for Macroeconomic Stabilization (FIEM) was implemented as a saving scheme. Back then, Giordani said that the Chávez’s government approach was “that of squirrels, who save up their bounty for future use when they can’t find food.”
By December 2001, the FIEM totaled USD 7.1 billion. But in 2003, after a two-month general strike against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, the government dipped into the FIEM to cover the budget. More than USD 6 billion were withdrawn, and only USD 700 million remained in the fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait wealth fund favours infrastructure sector in West

Posted on 27 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund, one of the world’s largest, will focus on increasing its infrastructure investments in British, U.S. and European markets and is also looking at the international real estate sector, its managing director said.
Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) managing director Bader al-Saad also told pan-Arab channel al-Arabiya that growth in capital and real estate markets was unlikely to carry on.“It is difficult for this growth to continue because the actual circumstances aren’t likely to align again,” he said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

SWF has midas touch

Posted on 27 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kuwait , one of the world’s richest countries per capita, is investing a large share of its oil revenues abroad to provide for future generations. The assets managed by sovereign wealth fund, the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), have increased from an estimated $260 billion in 2008 to more than $400 billion today, making it one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds.
Nearly half of the total is invested In stocks, with the rest mainly in real estate and infrastructure assets in Europe , the United States and, increasingly, Asia . Closer to home, Kuwaiti investors are actively involved with the rebuilding of Iraq . The two countries have resumed direct flights and are collaborating on energy projects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Moody’s affirms Kuwait Investment Company’s Baa3 issuer ratings; outlook stable

Posted on 27 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Moody’s Investors Service has today affirmed the Baa3 issuer ratings of Kuwait Investment Company S.A.K. (KIC). At the same time, Moody’s noted that the company’s baseline credit assessment (BCA) of b3 has remained unchanged. The outlook on the ratings is stable.
This affirmation primarily reflects the high probability of government support in case of need, KIC is considered a government-related issuer (GRI), recognising (1) KIC’s 76 per cent ownership by the Kuwaiti government’s sovereign wealth fund (Kuwait Investment Authority or KIA), and (2) KIA’s continuous contribution to KIC through funding support and business generation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Money talks for Gulf SWFs

Posted on 27 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds in the oil-rich Gulf will seek to raise allocations for private equity, infrastructure and real estate this year, while funnelling cash into local infrastructure, as part of a broader strategy to diversify their portfolios and spur the regional economy.
While none of these funds disclose the extent of their assets, they are widely perceived as ranking among the world’s richest institutional investors, not to mention the most secretive. According to estimates from the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, Saudi Arabia’s SAMA Foreign Holdings’ assets total $675.9bn, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s (ADIA) $627bn, Kuwait Investment Authority’s (KIA) $386bn and Qatar Investment Authority’s (QIA) $170bn………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mumtalakat eyes new investments

Posted on 27 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The finances of Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat are improving, allowing it to look for new investments more agressively this year, its chief executive said.
With $7.1 billion of assets under management at the end of September, Mumtalakat is one of the smaller sovereign funds in the Gulf, but it plays an important role in Bahrain’s economy: it holds stakes in 40 non-oil firms, including Bahrain Telecommunications and Aluminium Bahrain………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah stays vigilant on market uncertainties

Posted on 27 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Caution is the word for Khazanah Nasional Bhd when it comes to investment decision-making for 2014. This is because the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, whose portfolio value rose to a record last year, believes that the uncertainties that have been plaguing the financial markets in recent years have yet to recede.
“Since 2008 (after the collapse of US banking giant Lehman Brothers triggered a global financial crisis), the general outlook has been uncertain… but it is okay. Our investment stance has always been cautious,” Khazanah managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar says………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Asia hedge fund PCA Investments has shut down

Posted on 27 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A hedge fund with financial backing almost entirely from China’s giant sovereign-wealth fund closed down last week less than three years after it was launched, according to people familiar with the matter.
PCA Investments was formed in 2011 and attracted notice for the involvement of China Investment Corp., the country’s $575 billion sovereign-wealth fund, which is tasked with investing part of China’s vast foreign-exchange reserves………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hong Kong’s wealth fund is doing a lousy job investing our money

Posted on 24 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

You may not know about it, but Hong Kong has a sovereign wealth fund.It’s called the Exchange Fund. It manages assets of HK$3 trillion, and its investment performance is abysmal. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced the Exchange Fund’s results for 2013. It managed a return of just 2.7 per cent.
When you consider that consumer inflation in Hong Kong last year was 4.3 per cent, that’s really not very impressive. In real terms the Exchange Fund’s return was negative………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will China Investment Corp. presidency change affect bias to alternatives?

Posted on 24 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As Gao Xiqing, the president of China Investment Corp., steps down, those who work in alternative investments are waiting to see if there will be any changes in strategy at the world’s fourth largest sovereign wealth fund, which in the last few years has favored such investments.
In the last couple of years, the $575 billion fund has shifted its focus toward long-term investments. In 2012, the wealth fund said in its annual report that long-term investments including private equity, energy, mining, real estate and infrastructure would be a priority, with a bias towards fund investment, co-investment and direct investment. CIC is an investor in Chinese private equity firm Citic Capital………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait wealth fund favours infrastructure sector in West

Posted on 24 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund, one of the world’s largest, will focus on increasing its infrastructure investments in British, U.S. and European markets and is also looking at the international real estate sector, its managing director said.
Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) Managing Director Bader al-Saad also told pan-Arab channel al-Arabiya that growth in capital and real estate markets was unlikely to carry on………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bahrain’s Mumtalakat eyes new investments as portfolio improves

Posted on 24 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The finances of Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat are improving, allowing it to look for new investments more agressively this year, its chief executive said on Thursday.
With $7.1 billion of assets under management at the end of September, Mumtalakat is one of the smaller sovereign funds in the Gulf, but it plays an important role in Bahrain’s economy: it holds stakes in 40 non-oil firms, including Bahrain Telecommunications and Aluminium Bahrain………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigeria: Excess Crude Account - Okonjo-Iweala raises the alarm over revenue

Posted on 24 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Finance minister and coordinating minister for the economy Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has raised fresh alarm over the massive decline in the excess crude account (ECA) which is increasing the country’s risk of having a revenue crisis.
She echoed the concerns raised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, on Tuesday. “We’re a little more vulnerable now than we were in the past,” Okonjo-Iweala said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Francine Lacqua at the World Economic Forum in Davos………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shell and UAE’s Mubadala swap Malaysian offshore field stakes

Posted on 24 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Royal Dutch Shell and Mubadala Petroleum have swapped equity stakes in two exploration blocks off Malaysia, the companies said on Sunday. Mubadala has taken a 20 percent interest in the Shell-operated deepwater Block 2B and Shell has taken a 20 percent interest in the Mubadala-operated Block SK320 in return.
“The equity swap agreement is an important step for Mubadala Petroleum’s growth strategy in Malaysia and marks our first partnership in Southeast Asia with Shell, an important player in deepwater exploration,” Maurizio La Noce, chief executive of Mubadala Petroleum, said in a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What was Goldman Sachs doing with Libya’s options bets?

Posted on 24 January 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If you more or less believe in the fundamental efficiency — that is, randomness — of markets, a lot of things get a lot easier. For instance you take losses more philosophically. If you lose money on an investment, that is not a sign that you should double down to make it back, nor is it a sign that you should stop investing altogether.
It is a sign that a weighted random number generator has produced some random numbers and now one of those numbers lives in your bank account. Later more numbers will be produced, but you cannot make them bigger numbers just by wishing for it to be so, or by yelling about it, or by filling your days with stress and lawsuits………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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