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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing 21.Oct 2008

Posted on 21 October 2008 by VRS |  Email |Print

From IHT: Spain is appealing to sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East to buy the public debt that it plans to issue to pay for its banking-support package, Industry Minister Miguel Sebastián said recently.

Without investment from Gulf states and other countries, the package could fail to improve bank liquidity and interbank lending and the severe economic problems plaguing the Spanish economy could drag on, Sebastián said after talks in Madrid last week with officials from the Gulf Cooperation Council….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 21 October 2008 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Financial News: Italy has become the latest government in Europe to propose restrictions on the ownership of domestic companies by sovereign wealth funds after Libya’s fund increased its holding in banking group UniCredit last week.

Italy’s foreign minister Franco Frattini said today that sovereign wealth funds should not hold stakes of more than 5% in Italian companies, according to an interview in Italian daily newspaper Il Messaggero….. Full Article: Source

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From Gulfnews.com: Gulf sovereign wealth funds will play a significant role in stabilising the regional economies in the event of a global economic slowdown spilling over into the Gulf, Mohsin Khan, Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department said.

“It would be imprudent to assume that the Gulf economies will be insulated from a global slowdown. The effects of the international credit crunch are already evident here. Thankfully the regional governments are amply liquid to meet any squeeze,” he said….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 21 October 2008 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Harbus.org: Bill Miracky, a senior partner at the Monitor Group, began by concisely defining a sovereign wealth fund (”SWF”) as a government-owned investment fund, managed separately from the sovereign treasury, that invests across a range of asset classes.

The rapid rise of SWFs -they invested $92 billion in equity transactions in 2007, up from just $3 billion in 2000 - has ignited widespread controversy, as many criticize their alleged political motives and lack of transparency…. Full Article: Source

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From Tradearabia.com: Nakheel, a leading Dubai-based developer, said it had been approached by Gulf sovereign wealth funds keen to invest in the region.

“What I do see is a lot of Gulf sovereign wealth funds are beginning to come and see Nakheel and I’m surprised why do they want to see us?” Kar Tung Quek, chief financial officer, told Reuters on the sidelines of a real estate conference in the Saudi capital….. Full Article: Source

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From Reuters: The chairman of Pirelli & C said that he welcomed investment by sovereign funds in Italian companies if they provided support during the global financial crisis.

Pirelli, a holding company, owns a small stake in Telecom Italia. Its shares were trading 5.97 percent higher on renewed expectations of an investment by Libya….. Full Article: Source

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From Reuters: Kuwait remains committed to its foreign investments held by the Gulf Arab state’s sovereign wealth fund despite some losses due to the global financial crisis, its finance minister told the state news agency.

The major OPEC producer was a long-term investor with its holdings abroad, Mustafa al-Shamali told KUNA after a weekly cabinet meeting on Monday. He said Kuwait’s investments abroad had not been affected strongly by the financial crisis. “Kuwait’s investments are of long-term nature, therefore the impact of the crisis is smaller,” Shamali added….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 21 October 2008 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Straitstimes.com: Government of Singapore Investment Corp and Temasek Holdings, the nation’s investment companies, can take advantage of financial turmoil to add assets instead of being forced into ‘panic’ sales, said Senior Minister of State for Finance, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua.

Volatile global equity, currency and credit markets have ‘inevitably’ affected investments of Singapore’s reserves, she Parliament. Still, the reserves are invested in a diverse range of assets and with a long-term strategy, she said, reported Bloomberg news…… Full Article: Source

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From Theage.com.au: The Future Fund has provided about $3 billion in capital for Australian and overseas banks and invested about $2 billion in high-quality Australian mortgages.

General manager Paul Costello said Australian and overseas debt markets were attractive to the $63 billion sovereign wealth fund, particularly because of the upheaval in equities markets. But the lucrative investments did not outweigh losses on Australian and global shares….. Full Article: Source

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From Financeasia.com: Morgan Stanley veteran and head of Southeast Asia investment banking Rohit Sipahimalani makes a fourth-quarter departure to Singapore’s Temasek.

In a high-level departure, Rohit Sipahimalani, a senior Morgan Stanley employee and most recently head of the US bank’s Southeast Asia investment banking practice, has resigned to join Singapore’s investment firm Temasek…… Full Article: Source

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From Forbes: The International Working Group on Sovereign Wealth Funds (IWG) released the Santiago Principles–also known as the Generally Accepted Principles and Practices (GAPP)–on Oct. 11. The release of these principles is an important step toward resolving any remaining distrust or confusion surrounding sovereign wealth funds (SWF).

The IWG was set up during a meeting of SWFs at the IMF in April. The meeting’s purpose was to create a forum that was the first “port of call” for any national SWF concerns. The IWG’s mandate was to identify a framework of generally accepted principles and practices that reflect appropriate governance, accountability and investment practices for all SWFs. Such a task was extremely difficult. ….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 21 October 2008 by VRS |  Email |Print

From News.com.au: South Korea has joined the race to lock in uranium supplies from South Australia, signing a $6.2 million deal with Scimitar Resources.

Scimitar announced it had signed the deal with a South Korean consortium including subsidiaries of Daewoo and LG as well as Korean Government company Korea Resources Corporation (KORES). The deal involves the Korean consortium spending up to $6.2 million over three years to explore for uranium across four exploration licences at Scimitar’s Marree project, 550km north of Adelaide…… Full Article: Source

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From Bloomberg: Merrill Lynch & Co. is aiming to boost its Middle East business even as it expects the region’s economic growth to slow because of the global credit crisis and a U.S. recession, Chief Executive Officer John Thain said.

The U.S. investment bank, being taken over by Bank of America Corp., is “committed” to expanding its wealth management, investment banking, sales and trading activities and has applied for licenses to enter Qatar and Kuwait, Thain, 53, told a news conference in Dubai today. “We have consistently said, we see opportunities in Brazil, Russia, India, China and the Middle East,” he added….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 21 October 2008 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Canberratimes.com.au: Australia’s $6 billion Future Fund has begun declining in value after growing by 1.5 per cent last financial year, as the effects of the global financial crisis take a toll on the Federal Government’s largest savings vehicle.

But figures issued by the Future Fund yesterday showed that, while stockmarket declines this year had led to an overall shrinkage of the fund by 0.2 per cent since the investment program began in July last year, the remuneration of fund executives was set to skyrocket by 500 per cent from 2007 to 2008…… Full Article: Source

Posted on 21 October 2008 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Todayonline.com: Capital gains from Temasek Holdings are to be excluded from the Government’s new spending plans as the national investment company’s strategy of taking concentrated stakes in companies means its long-term returns are not easy to forecast.

Instead, the new Government spending framework will for now be applied only to reserves invested by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC)…… Full Article: Source

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From Business24-7.ae: Kuwaiti investment firms are urging the government to set up a $1.12 billion fund to help them settle their debt, in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Investment companies have asked Finance Minister Mustapha al-Shamali and the Managing Director of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) Bader Al Saad on Sunday to set up a portfolio or a fund worth 300 million dinars to help pay back part of their debt, daily Al Watan said in an unsourced report…… Full Article: Source

Posted on 21 October 2008 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Irishtimes.com: Barry O’Callaghan’s Education Media and Publishing Group (EMPG) is entering into a $125 million (€94 million) venture with the government of Dubai to target the educational publishing sector in high-growth developing markets.

EMPG International (EMPGI) will be 66.7 per cent owned by EMPG and 33.3 per cent owned by Istithmar World Capital, the alternative investment arm of Dubai World, which is owned by the government of Dubai. EMPG publishes textbooks, instructional technology, assessments and educational materials for elementary and secondary schools and colleges….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 21 October 2008 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Forbes: Russia will let its sovereign wealth fund invest in domestic stocks as of Tuesday, a senior official said Monday, signaling the start of a pullout from foreign currency deposits and assets such as U.S. Treasuries.

Russia earmarked $6.7 billion from its $49.0 billion National Wealth Fund to buy stocks on the domestic market, which has fallen 72 percent since its May peak…… Full Article: Source

Posted on 21 October 2008 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Theaustralian.news.com.au: If David Neal even dreamt of his ideal funds management job, it is doubtful a scenario could be painted better than running the Future Fund right now.

What better than to have $31 billion in cash, zero concerns about near-term redemptions and a modest CPI plus 4.5 per cent benchmark for your returns.Granted, the fund’s chief investment officer has some downsides because running a sovereign fund means there is a degree of political interest in what youdo…… Full Article: Source

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