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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing 23.Feb 2009

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Financeasia.com: Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are holding on to their cash and waiting for the markets to bottom before committing more money to investments.

And even when they do decide to raise their holdings, they will remain passive long-term investors and have no desire to behave in an activist manner towards their portfolio companies. These are among the findings of a recent survey by Financial Dynamics….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Rgemonitor.com: Recently, Reuters reported that the assets under management of Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund fell to 49 billion Kuwait Dinar ($177.6 billion) at the end of December from 58 billion Kuwait Dinar ($218 billion) in March 2008 - a face value decline of about $31 billion.

Given that Kuwait had record oil revenues in 2008 (and a record fiscal surplus even if revenues tailed off in the second half) and KIA likely received record new capital, this implies that investment losses were even larger. It is significant for two reasons….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Nbr.co.nz: Long-term threats to New Zealand’s supply of credit to business have prompted suggestions of tapping the locked-up wealth of state-owned enterprises and the creation of a sovereign wealth fund.

They come from a business think tank, the New Zealand Institute, in two new reports of the effect of the global recession and credit squeeze on the economy, The papers, by the institute’s new research director, Benedickte Jensen, outline three options:…. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: Japan, China, South Korea and 10 Southeast Asian nations agreed to form a $120 billion pool of foreign-exchange reserves that can be used by countries to defend their currencies amid the deepening global recession.

The amount is 50 percent more than the $80 billion proposed last May, and an expansion of the current arrangement called the Chiang Mai Initiative that allows only bilateral currency swaps. The nations’ finance ministers and government officials jointly announced the decision at a meeting in Phuket, Thailand, today….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Newsminer.com: Officials with the Alaska Permanent Fund have reversed course and now favor selling off holdings from companies that do business in Sudan.

The board this week endorsed legislation from Gov. Sarah Palin calling for the stock sale. Lawmakers are considering two other bills also calling for divestiture because of the violence in Darfur….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From IMF: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) convened its second annual Roundtable of Sovereign Asset and Reserve Managers in Washington, DC on February 18-19, 2009.

The Roundtable–which is designed to facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences in sovereign asset and reserve management–was attended by high-level delegates from central banks, ministries of finance and sovereign asset managers from 32 countries, representatives from select international institutions, as well as private sector representatives….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Gulfnews.com: Latest available statistics suggest that the GCC states together have amassed some $1.5 trillion in the form of sovereign wealth funds (SWF).

The UAE stands out by virtue of accumulating an extraordinary $875 billion. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar follow in that order with $300 billion, $250 billion and $40 billion, respectively….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Business7.co.uk: Arab governments have been able to build up significant budget surpluses, some of which they reinvest into Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) which in turn make investments in a wide variety of assets, both at home and abroad.

With oil reserves set to run out in these nations, known as Gulf Cooperative Countries (GCC) this century, the governments are now taking overseas investments more seriously….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Reuters: South Korea said it expects a surplus trade balance of around $2.5 billion in February from a deficit of $3.36 billion in January, due to weaker imports.

Exports by Asia’s fourth-largest economy are set to drop by less than 20 percent in February over a year ago after posting a record 33.8 percent loss in January, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in a statement on Sunday….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Asiaone.com: President S R Nathan did well to give the media his account of events that have brought about the first draw on the nation’s past reserves. His explanation of the meticulous process of consultation and questioning was not so much a matter of clearing the air.

This would presuppose a conflict of opinion with the Government on the necessity of the move, when in fact the parties involved - the President, the Council of Presidential Advisers and the Government - were unanimous in concluding that the exceptional circumstances of a fast-slumping economy required exceptional action to avert catastrophe….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Gulf-daily-news.com: UAE-based RAK Investment Authority (Rakia) plans to invest about $2 billion in Georgia over the next five years despite the global downturn and Georgia’s war with Russia last year, the head of its local unit said.

A brief war between Georgia and Russia in August last year over the break-away region of South Ossetia scared off many potential investors from the country but Rakia, a sovereign wealth fund, says it plans to fully carry out all investment projects….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Monitordaily.com: Two firms have apparently dropped out of the bidding for aircraft leasing firm ILFC. Citing people familiar with the matter, Reuters reports that equity firm KKR and Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings have indicated they are no longer interested.

That leaves two main bidding groups - one led by the Carlyle Group, and the other comprised of private equity firms Greenbriar Equity Group LLC and Onex Corp. - left in the running….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Csmonitor.com: Squeezed between falling profits and the credit crunch, a growing number of troubled corporations and countries are turning to cash-rich China for a bailout. And with foreign assets cheaper than they have been for years, Beijing is going on an international spending spree.

“The international financial crisis … is equally a challenge and an opportunity,” China’s energy czar, Zhang Guobao, wrote recently in the official newspaper People’s Daily. “The slowdown … has reduced the price of international energy resources and assets and favors our search for overseas resources.”…. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Sgblogs.com: Singapore’s two Sovereign Wealth Funds - GIC and Temasek Holdings have drawn considerable flak over the past few days from both the foreign media and local bloggers on their reluctance to release more information about their investment strategies, directions and operations to the public.

Part of the anger swelling from the ground is understandable - the funds have lost about S$100 billion dollars of taxpayers’ monies in between them which is an awful sum given the current economic predicament we find ourselves in….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Nationalpost.com: Alberta will post its first deficit in 15 years at the end of March, but the global financial crisis — not government bungling — is responsible, the province’s finance minister said yesterday.

“The dollar losses that Albertans are experiencing today have not come because of things individual ministers have done,” Iris Evans said. “They have come from forces that are well beyond the control of ministers of the Crown.”…. Full Article: Source

Posted on 23 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Business-standard.com: India’s foreign exchange reserve dipped by $1.84 billion to $249.70 billion in the week ended February 13 mainly on account of the revaluation in the foreign currency assets.

According to the latest data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), foreign currency assets declined by $1.839 billion to $239.98 billion during the week….. Full Article: Source

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