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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing - Archive | March, 2014

Trinidad and Tobago appoints new sovereign wealth fund chairman

Posted on 28 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Minister of Finance and the Economy Larry Howai (left) presents Dr Ralph Henry (right), newly appointed Chairman of the Heritage and Stabilization Fund with his instrument of appointment. Dr Ralph Henry has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Heritage and Stabilization Fund (Trinidad and Tobago’s sovereign wealth fund), a release from the Ministry of Finance and the Economy said.
Henry “has served as a lecturer at the University of the West Indies and as a consultant to a number of regional and international organizations which include the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the World Bank and the CARICOM secretariat to name a few. Dr Henry was also appointed the first Chairman of the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad & Tobago.”…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Planned sovereign wealth fund may well be only Zim entity able to pay for stakes in mines

Posted on 28 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The introduction of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) by the Zimbabwe government could not have been more timeous, according to experts, as it will be used for much-needed infrastructure development. This also comes amid investor dissatisfaction in the Zimbabwean mining industry, owing to the country’s Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act and mining royalties policies.
In his speech at the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines’ (CoM’s) seventy-fourth annual general meeting in May last year, CoM president John Chikombero said the operating environment for the mining industry in 2012 was, to a large extent, similar to that of 2011: the country’s mining industry remains a primary contributor to Zimbabwe’s gross domestic product and was expected to provide impetus for economic growth……………………………………Full Article: Source

NEC demands details of spending on Excess Crude Account

Posted on 28 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The National Economic Council (NEC) Thursday requested the federal government to give the details of the spending on Excess Crude Account (ECA) to the states. Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State made this known after the NEC meeting presided over by the Vice-President Namadi Sambo in Abuja.
NEC, which is the highest economic decision-making body statutorily presided over by the vice-president with all state governors,had not been held in the last six months. Other members of the council include the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Attorney-General of the Federation and some ministers……………………………………Full Article: Source

Russia to aid banks, businesses in case of crisis – Finance Minister

Posted on 28 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russia will support banks and businesses with large external debts in the event of a financial crisis by dipping into an $88 billion emergency sovereign wealth fund, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told the Prime news agency Thursday.
“The National Wealth Fund is an emergency resource that can be used in the case of a crisis to help banks and big companies that have large obligations to external creditors,” Siluanov said at the Moscow stock exchange, adding that he so far saw no grounds for such a move……………………………………Full Article: Source

RDIF taps Middle East and China investors to buy stake in Sodrugestvo

Posted on 28 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russian Direct Investment Fund , the Kremlin-backed investment fund, is teaming up with Middle Eastern and Chinese investors to acquire a stake in Sodrugestvo Group SA, an oilseed processor and trader in Russia.
Although a news release didn’t provide the names of the Middle Eastern and Chinese investors, the fund has teamed up with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development and China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp . in recent years………………………………………Full Article: Source

Sovereign funds wary of emerging market volatility

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds see emerging market turbulence as a long-term buying opportunity, but are wary of excessive exposure via some of their Western holdings such as luxury goods makers, a top investment official at Franklin Templeton said.
David Smart, who heads a team managing sovereign funds and supranational clients at Templeton, said the US$5 trillion sector could afford to ride out volatile swings thanks to its long-term horizons. “In terms of our client base, we haven’t seen any evidence of de-risking,” he said. “If anything we’ve seen willingness to take advantage of opportunities. They have the ability to withstand volatility. They see it as a long-term acquisition opportunity.”………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth funds make up more than 25pct of U.S. retirement assets

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Investment Company Institute published retirement data stating that December 31, 2013 retirement U.S. assets amounted to US$ 23 trillion. These assets increased 5% from 3 months ago. Employer-based defined contribution assets in the U.S. totaled US$ 5.9 trillion, in which US$ 4.2 trillion were in 401(k) plans.
sovereign wealth funds total US$ 6.357 trillion in assets surpassing 401(k) assets, U.S. government pensions and U.S. private defined-benefit plans. Increasingly, asset managers and private equity funds are courting sovereign wealth funds, mainly due to the massive growth of the investor class in the past decade………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s sovereign wealth fund to buy $40 mln stake in IKang

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s sovereign wealth fund agreed to pay $40 million for a stake of about 4.6 percent in iKang Healthcare Group Inc., the Beijing-based provider of preventive care that filed earlier this month for an initial public offering in the U.S.
China Investment Corp., which had about $575 billion in assets as of January, will buy iKang shares at the IPO price, according to documents filed yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission…………………………………Full Article: Source

China growth unsatisfactory, but it’s early: CIC

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A senior official in China’s sovereign-wealth fund said the country’s economic growth so far this year has been disappointing but it is too early to draw alarm. China’s “first-quarter growth is not satisfactory but it is like a trial run–it does not represent the entire year,” said Li Xiaopeng, head of China Investment Corp.’s supervisory board, at a Credit Suisse investment conference in Hong Kong.
CIC’s supervisory board is responsible for monitoring the behavior of the sovereign-wealth fund’s directors and executives. “The very real growth takes place in [the second quarter], so don’t worry,” he said, noting the Lunar New Year holiday that traditionally skews China data in the first quarter…………………………………Full Article: Source

CIC eyes agriculture, tips H2 China growth

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s sovereign wealth fund has singled out global agricultural investments as a particular area of interest, with other favoured sectors including information technology, real estate and infrastructure.
We are interested in agricultural industry-not only in emerging markets but also in other markets,” said Li Xiaopeng, chairman of the board of supervisors at China Investment Corporation. “We hope agricultural investment can provide CIC with stable returns over the long term.”………………………………..Full Article: Source

China CIC sovereign wealth fund worried over US QE

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth fund (CIC) Chairman Li expressed concern that it is becoming more difficult to find investible long-term projects, also noting that while QE may weigh on emerging markets in the short term, those challenges would likely be temporary. Li also said Q1 GDP in China thus far appears to be unsatisfactory, but Q2 will likely see “very real growth.”
China’s Ag Bank is up over 3% after reporting FY13 results overnight. Profits were in line, Rev above expectations, and NPL ratio fell 11bps to 1.22%…………………………………Full Article: Source

Temasek diversifies from China Banks with Watson: Update

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Holdings Pte’s plan to buy a stake in the retail arm of billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa will help the investment firm extend its reach in China and ease its reliance on the nation’s banks.
Singapore’s state-owned investment company agreed on March 21 to buy 25% of A.S. Watson & Co. for HK$44 billion ($7.2 billion), marking its biggest acquisition based on data compiled by Bloomberg. The health and beauty chain has stores in more than 20 Chinese cities including Shanghai and Beijing, according to its website…………………………………Full Article: Source

China Huiyuan to issue $150 mln bonds to Temasek

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China Huiyuan Juice Group Ltd will issue $150 million worth of convertible bonds to a unit of Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, as China’s top pure fruit juice producer aims to expand its investor base.

Huiyuan said it will issue the bonds due 2019 to Temasek’s Baytree Investments (Mauritius) Pte Ltd. Temasek will indirectly hold 7.68 percent of the enlarged share capital of Huiyuan on full conversion of the bonds………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mubadala, France’s CDC launch $414mln fund

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi state-owned investment fund Mubadala Development Company and France’s CDC International Capital on Tuesday launched a 300 million euro ($414 million) investment vehicle to invest in a wide range of sectors in France.
The investments will mainly target equity stakes in private companies as well as other asset classes including real estate or infrastructure, a statement from Mubadala said. Both companies have agreed to commit 150 million euros each for joint investments to be managed by senior executives from the companies…………………………………Full Article: Source

Suit: Dutch firm laundered money for Libyan regime

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Palladyne International Asset Management BV was a “kickback and money laundering operation” for the former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, a former executive alleged in a lawsuit filed this week.
Palladyne is a focus of investigations into whether Goldman Sachs Group Inc. broke anticorruption laws in its dealings with the Libyan sovereign-wealth fund, said people familiar with the matter………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK spent its oil legacy: Norway couldn’t

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway thus created what is now the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund at $840bn. It’s almost three times the size of the Kuwait Investment Office and that oil-rich state started building its nest egg 60 years ago.
Britain, by contrast, just poured its oil revenues into healthcare, education and other government expenditure. The UK has no sovereign wealth fund. Without the oil, our budget deficit would be even bigger, but we, unlike Norway, have 60m-plus people demanding a share…………………………………Full Article: Source

Sovereign funds wary of hidden emerging market exposure: Templeton

Posted on 26 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds see emerging market turbulence as a long term buying opportunity, but are wary of excessive exposure via some of their Western holdings such as luxury goods makers, a top investment official at Franklin Templeton said.
David Smart, who heads a team managing around $85 billion for sovereign funds and supranational clients at Templeton, said the $5 trillion sector can afford to ride out volatile swings thanks to its long-term horizons………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mubadala and France launch Dh1.5bln investment fund

Posted on 26 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development has announced the creation of a €300 million (Dh1.51 billion) investment platform in conjunction with CDC International Capital (CDC I Capital), the investment arm of France’s sovereign wealth fund Caisse des Dépôts.
The agreement between the two parties was signed in Paris on Tuesday, each agreeing an initial commitment of €150m. Mubadala said the as-yet unnamed platform “has been created to target attractive long term returns through investments across a diverse range of sectors, primarily in France”………………………………..Full Article: Source

ZANU PF ploughs ahead with the sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 26 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As Zimbabwe forges ahead towards creating a Sovereign Wealth Fund, observers fear the ZANU PF government is not ready for such an undertaking given its history of economic mismanagement.
Ideally the fund is supposed to be created through pooling together profits from the exploitation of non-renewable resources, such as minerals, into a savings pot for use by future generations. The idea is to harness excess wealth from depleting resources so that it can be enjoyed by future generations………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigeria: SWF- FG, states’ out-of-court settlement collapses

Posted on 26 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The federal government yesterday informed the Supreme Court that the out-of-court settlement with the 36 states of the federation over dispute arising from the maintenance of the Excess Crude Account and the transfer of $1 billion from the account to the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) has collapsed.
After the apex court was told that talks between the parties involved in the matter had broken down, the presiding justice of Supreme Court (JSC) Walter Onnonghen set the case down for definite hearing on September 23, 2014………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nigeria court adjourns sovereign wealth fund suit

Posted on 26 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Supreme Court in Nigeria has been told that the out-of-court settlement between the Federal Government and the 36 states of the federation over the dispute arising from the maintenance of the Excess Crude Account and the transfer of one billion dollars from the account to the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) has collapsed for the second time.
At the resumed hearing, counsel to the Federal Government, Austin Alegeh, told the court that settlement between parties have collapsed and in view of that brought an application requesting that the court should amend his statement of defence. Lawyer to the state governors, Mr Adegboyega Awomolo, however, told the court that the application filed by the Federal Government was only a ploy to delay the hearing of the suit………………………………..Full Article: Source

FG briefs Supreme Court on inability to settlement dispute over Excess Crude Account, Sovereign Wealth Fund with states

Posted on 26 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Federal Government on Monday briefed the Supreme Court about its inability to reach an amicable settlement with governors of the 36 states in the dispute over the maintenance of the Excess Crude Account and its plan to move $1 billion from the account for the establishment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).
Lawyer to the Federal Government, Austin Alegeh told the court that the office of the Vice President, saddled with the co-ordination of the settlement meeting, briefed him that the settlement has failed to yield any desired result. The court had delayed hearing in the case to enable parties explore the out-of-court settlement option………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC backs Intelligent Energy with £38mln

Posted on 26 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC has sunk $63m (£38m) into Loughborough-headquartered Intelligent Energy Holdings, the company’s second major fundraising in the past six months.
Intelligent Energy provides efficient and clean energy technology for the consumer electronics, automotive and stationary power markets. It develops fuel-cell technology powered by hydrogen, which is zero emission………………………………..Full Article: Source

Asian investors want $1bn farm deals but sector not ready

Posted on 26 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

International companies, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds are ready and willing to invest in the Australian farm sector, but many parts of the industry are still not investment-ready and lack the depth in management to facilitate deals.
“China Investment Corporation (China’s giant sovereign wealth fund) would like to do deal sizes of minimum $500 million,” said CBRE Asia regional director Danny Thomas. He added that because Chinese companies often only wanted to take a 50 per cent interest in deals, the transaction had to be worth at least $1 billion………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says there’s no decision on when to launch Futures Fund

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Premier Brad Wall says he hasn’t decided whether his administration will begin directing resources to a new sovereign wealth fund before the provincial government has paid off its sizable debt. “You’re going to see legislation from this government very soon to establish that futures fund,” Wall told reporters at the legislature on Thursday.
Despite not setting aside funds for the program in the 2014-15 provincial budget on Wednesday, Wall maintains that the creation of the proposed Saskatchewan Futures Fund remains a high priority for the government………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Broten, Wall battle over futures fund

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Opposition Leader Cam Broten says he wanted to see a stronger commitment to a sovereign-wealth fund in the provincial budget. “Right now, the premier’s sort of trying to have it both ways,” Broten told reporters in Regina after the issue was raised in question period Wednesday. “It’s a rather ambiguous position.”
The budget says the government accepts recommendations made by former University of Saskatchewan president Peter MacKinnon last year that if resource revenues exceed more than 26 per cent of government revenues, the excess should go to paying off debt or to a Saskatchewan Futures Fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nordic giants offload Euro1.7mln stake in Providence Resources

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund has sold off its stake in Providence Resources – one of the more active companies working in the Irish oil industry. Norway’s €602.5bn Government Pension Fund, which is managed by Norges Bank, sold off its €1.7m stake in Providence Resources last year.
The decision to pull out of Providence, which is currently drilling oil off the coast of Cork, could be linked to a recent debate in Norway, where the resources-rich country is considering whether its sovereign wealth fund should stop investing in carbon energies – oil, gas and coal companies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakhstan Government increases reserve fund by $250 mln after tenge devaluation

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Amid adjustments of microeconomic indicators for the year 2014 the Kazakhstan Government has revised its budget. “We advise to increase the government reserve by $250 million to ensure timely response to emergency situations arising from fluctuations of the economy,” the Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Yerbolat Dosayev suggested at the meeting of the Cabinet.
To compensate the losses connected with the recent devaluation of tenge by nearly 20%, the government increased the projected state expenditures by $221 million. The projects that require immediate financing will be compensated the exchange rate difference. If required, similar measures will be taken into consideration for other projects in the budgeting for 2015-2017………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Middle East funds breathe new life into European property market

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Middle East funds are helping to drive European commercial property yields lower as they join a rush of international investors snapping up real estate on the continent. Last year about €165.6 billion (Dh838.99bn) of deals were transacted across the continent – a 30 per cent rise on 2012.
The news comes amid a flurry of property investment deals from Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds in Europe. They completed seven major direct property deals worth a total of US$5.6bn last year, the largest of which was the Kuwait Investment Authority’s $2.7bn deal to buy the 5.2-hectare More London office and restaurant complex near London Bridge………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Thames Water seeks international backers for ’super sewer’

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

British utility Thames Water has begun a hunt for international investors to pay for the construction of a 15-mile (24-kilometre) “super-sewer” in London, a British newspaper reported, without citing sources.
Thames, owned by a group led by Australian investment bank Macquarie and including Chinese sovereign fund China Investment Corporation, is expected to get some of the project’s funding from its shareholders. The Independent said the project, called the Thames Tideway Tunnel, would cost 4 billion pounds ($6.60 billion)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s fund on the look-out in Malaysia

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Norwegian Government Pension Fund, which owns stakes in 130 Malaysian companies via investments of more than RM6 billion, will increase its participation in Malaysia’s growing business sector.
Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Affairs Monica Maeland said the current investments and future investments will signal the Scandinavian country’s confidence in the Malaysian economy and its corporate companies’ performances………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek arm bets on rural lending in India

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Fullerton India Credit Co. Ltd, the non-banking financial arm of Singapore-based $168 billion sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd, is betting on an increase in revenue from its rural lending business, encouraged by demand for loans to start small enterprises and buy goods such as two-wheelers and small commercial vehicles.
The firm expects 25% of its loan book to originate from rural areas by 2017, up from around 15% today. This revenue contribution of this business is likely to go up to 35% by 2017 compared with 20% today, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Shantanu Mitra said in an interview on Wednesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek acquires 24.9pct in Li Ka-shing’s A S Watson Co for $5.7 bln

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, today agreed to buy a 24.9-per cent stake in billionaire Li Ka-shing’s health and beauty chain A S Watson Co, for $5.7 billion.
Temasek, which has a $170 billion investment portfolio, last week led a consortium to buy the remaining stake that it does not already own in commodities trader Olam International, in deal valuing the Singapore-based company at $4.3 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek diversifies from China Banks with Watson

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Holdings Pte’s plan to buy a stake in the retail arm of billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. will help the investment firm extend its reach in China and ease its reliance on the nation’s banks.
Singapore’s state-owned investment company agreed on March 21 to buy 25 percent of A.S. Watson & Co. for HK$44 billion ($5.7 billion), marking its biggest acquisition based on data compiled by Bloomberg. The health and beauty chain has stores in more than 20 Chinese cities including Shanghai and Beijing, according to its website………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek sets up $40mln fund to help Singapore prepare for emergencies

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Holdings is kickstarting events to mark its 40th year by setting up a $40 million fund to help Singapore prepare for and deal with difficult situations such as emergencies. The Temasek Emergency Preparedness (TEP) fund will give money to programmes that support people in crises including environmental disasters such as haze, or trauma from accidents.
“In Temasek we believe that if you want to do well you have to be prepared all the time,” said Temasek Holdings chairman Lim Boon Heng at a media briefing last Friday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Profits earned by Temasek ‘are returned to community’

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Holdings builds for the long term and the money it makes is returned to the community, said chairman Lim Boon Heng. “There is a common thread in what Temasek does: What we do, we do with tomorrow in mind - a quote from one of our founding leaders Mr S Rajaratnam. So we build the institution and we build it for future generations,” said Mr Lim last Friday.
He was speaking to the media as he reflected on the investment company’s 40th anniversary. Set up by the government in 1974 to hold the companies it owns, Temasek has a $215 billion portfolio as at March 31, 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

‘Good time’ for QIA to up Sainsbury’s stake

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If “the QIA is still committed to owning Sainsbury’s then it wouldn’t be ridiculous for them to be saying to their team: ‘Should we increase our position or should we take Sainsbury’s over and run it as a private business?’”
This was the view expressed this week by Clive Black, head of research and stock broking analyst in food retailing at Shore Capital. Qatar Holding, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), is a major shareholder in Sainsbury’s with a 26% stake………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dubai Investments to lift foreign ownership cap to 35 pct

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Dubai Investments, a diversified manufacturer and investor in property, plans to increase the limit on foreign ownership of its shares to 35 percent of its total capital, the company said on Sunday.
Foreign investors now hold 13.7 percent of Dubai Investments’ shares out of the total 20 percent allowed, bourse data shows. The firm’s shareholders, including sovereign fund Investment Corp of Dubai which has an 11.5 percent stake, will vote on the proposal at a meeting on April 15, the company said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

PNG drops sovereign wealth fund plans

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Papua New Guinea appears to have dropped plans to create a sovereign wealth fund to finance its purchase of a stake in gas company Oil Search after Australia backed the fund with aid money. Revenue from the PNG liquefied natural gas project, which was supposed to flow into the wealth fund, will now be pledged as collateral for the $1.3 billion purchase of a 10.1 per cent holding in Oil Search.
The two countries inked a 2009 agreement saying PNG would provide advice to Australia about the objectives of the sovereign wealth fund and Australia would offer assistance on how to establish a fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

There’s a price to pay for our indebtedness to PNG

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The first is that PNG has effectively given up on its sovereign wealth fund. Millions of Australian dollars have been spent on advising the PNG government on setting up a SWF. It was once seen as so important that it was the subject of a separate agreement between the two countries.
A SWF was legislated back in 2012, but proper procedures were not followed so it is not binding. The entire point of the SWF was to receive and manage the proceeds from the massive liquefied natural gas project that will come on line this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Olam suitor knocks on Temasek’s door

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The largest public palm oil producer in the world might still be keen to dip its finger in the Olam pie. Sime Darby has approached Temasek Holdings for a place in the consortium that made an offer for the shares of Olam International that it does not yet own, sources said.
The group had been holding internal discussions to make an offer for Olam shares prior to Temasek’s surprise announcement last Friday, they said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway rejects ban on coal investments for biggest wealth fund

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s parliament rejected a proposal to ban the nation’s $850 billion sovereign wealth fund from investing in coal companies. “I’m disappointed but it’s been a big move to put this issue on the agenda,” Torstein Tvedt Solberg, one of the Labor Party lawmaker’s behind the proposal, said in an interview in Oslo. The party will revise its proposal and may submit it again after April, he said.
Built on Norway’s oil and gas income, the fund takes into account ethical rules on human rights, some weapons production, the environment and tobacco when deciding on investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The ethical work of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Last week wasn’t a great one for companies in the extractive industries. In South Africa, a wage strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) against the world’s top three platinum producers — Amplats, Lonmin and Impala Platinum – entered its eighth week, with no end in sight.
In Norway, the Ethics Council of the state’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF or the Fund) released its 2013 Annual Report and announced that it was examining the operations of French oil giant Total, in the disputed Western Sahara, to determine whether its activities there are unethical and warrant exclusion of Total by the Fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway to shift oil wealth to escape hard landing, Solberg says

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway needs an immediate shift in how it allocates its oil wealth to avoid an economic slump as a fading oil industry and high costs threaten growth, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said.
“We need to take steps today to avoid a hard landing,” she said today in the text of a speech at the University of Oslo. “The government will prioritize the use of oil wealth as was the original intention: investments that strengthen the growth potential of the Norwegian economy.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Mubadala announces new chairman and CEO of Masdar

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala), the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company, on Thursday announced that Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber has been appointed chairman of the board of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, and Dr Ahmad Belhoul will be CEO of the company.
“Masdar has become a globally recognised renewable energy and clean-technology leader with investments and partnerships in Abu Dhabi and internationally,” said Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Group CEO and Managing Director of Mubadala………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Och-Ziff may have been a little too friendly with Gaddafi’s sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Since it was restating its financials anyway after the SEC made it consolidate some CLOs, Och-Ziff Capital Management thought it might mention that the SEC (and Justice Dept.) is also interested in some bribery that may or may not have gone on before the Libyan dictator’s end.
Och-Ziff began receiving subpoenas from the Securities and Exchange Commission and requests for information from the Justice Department in 2011, the filing said. The hedge-fund operator said the investigation “concerns an investment by a foreign sovereign wealth fund in some of the Och-Ziff funds in 2007 and investments by some of the funds, both directly and indirectly, in a number of companies in Africa.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sime Darby has sought to join Temasek in Olam bid, say sources

Posted on 20 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The largest public palm oil producer in the world might still be keen to dip its finger in the Olam pie. Sime Darby has approached Temasek Holdings for a place in the consortium that made an offer for the shares of Olam International that it does not yet own, sources said.
The group had been holding internal discussions to make an offer for Olam shares prior to Temasek’s surprise announcement last Friday, they said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakhstan’s President approves of a new airport near Almaty

Posted on 20 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kazakhstan’s President has approved of the draft project to construct a new airport in the vicinities of Almaty, Kazakhstan’s ex capital city, Tengrinews.kz reports, citing the country’s PM Serik Akhmetov’s official letter to a Majilis (lower chamber) member.
“The draft project has been approved of by the Head of State; the country’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk Kazyna has been designated as the investor on the Kazakh side. The respective public bodies are looking into financial, technical and administrative support to the project”, the letter reads………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azerbaijan creates new structure for effective management of energy projects

Posted on 20 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Closed Joint-Stock Company (CJSC) for the effective management of projects comprising Shah Deniz and delivery of gas to Europe will be officially registered in Azerbaijan in the near future, SOCAR (the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan) Vice-President for Economic Affairs Suleyman Gasimov told Trend on March 17.
The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) has been instructed to provide an equity financing for the CJSC, which is under direct state ownership. Funds to be provided to the company for financing the equity will provide a long term investment on return conditions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway to shift oil wealth to escape hard landing, Solberg says

Posted on 20 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway needs an immediate shift in how it allocates its oil wealth to avoid an economic slump as a fading oil industry and high costs threaten growth, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said. “We need to take steps today to avoid a hard landing,” she said today in the text of a speech at the University of Oslo. “The government will prioritize the use of oil wealth as was the original intention: investments that strengthen the growth potential of the Norwegian economy.”
Scandinavia’s richest nation has used its oil and gas income, which it has funneled into an $850 billion sovereign wealth fund, to protect against Europe’s economic slump. Still, the reliance on petroleum, both for income and investments, has weakened other areas of the economy and hurt competitiveness………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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March 2014
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