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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing - Archive | January, 2015

Canary Wharf Group directors to pocket £23m from Qatari-led takeover

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Directors of Canary Wharf Group are in line for a £23m windfall following the £2.6bn Qatari-led takeover of the property firm’s parent. Sir George Iacobescu, the head of Canary Wharf Group, will get the biggest share, £3.8m, from the sale of his Songbird shares to the Qatari Investment Authority and Canadian firm Brookfield Properties.
In 2013, Iacobescu was awarded more shares that have not been released yet and would be worth a further £2.3m, taking his potential total windfall to £6.1m. A Romanian engineer who escaped Nicolae Ceauşescu’s communist regime in the 1970s, Iacobescu has been involved in the construction of the Docklands financial district in east London from its beginnings in the late 1980s……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Dubai fund signs deal to acquire Korean builder

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ending years of efforts to find a new owner, Ssangyong Engineering & Construction signed an acquisition deal with the Investment Corporation of Dubai on Thursday. “The company’s credibility is expected to increase significantly as one of the world’s sovereign wealth funds will become the largest shareholder of the construction firm,” said Ssangyong, Korea’s 19th-largest building firm by construction capacity.
Under the deal, the Dubai-based state-run sovereign wealth fund will acquire newly issued Ssangyong shares, worth 200 billion won ($183 million). The ICD boasts the second-most assets under management in the United Arab Emirates, controlling assets of $160 billion……………………………………….Full Article: Source

India revives sovereign fund for overseas fertilisers

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With India’s foreign exchange reserves touching an all-time high of $322-billion, the country’s Department of Fertilisers has revived a three-year-old proposal to create a sovereign fund for the acquisition of mineral assets overseas.
An official said that the proposal was still at a nascent stage and yet to be discussed with the Finance Ministry and, as a result, he could not comment on the size of the fund aimed at securing foreign assets. Four years ago, the Department of Fertilisers completed the groundwork for creating a $1-billion sovereign fund for ensuring fertiliser supply security, establishing linkages with mineral assets overseas……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Ananda Krishnan to lend 1MDB up to RM2 billion to settle debts

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Businessman T. Ananda Krishnan (AK) is understood to have firmed up an agreement to loan beleaguered 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) as much as RM2 billion to help the strategic investment fund settle a debt obligation to Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and RHB Bank Bhd due at the end of this month, sources say.
It is understood that the loan, however, is merely an interim measure. “It (the loan) is more for 1MDB to clear this obstacle – the two banks – than anything else. The two (AK and 1MDB) are still looking at how to resolve the issue,” the source said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Where is 1MBD’s RM7bil in Cayman Islands?

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) future looks really bleak. If, as according to this report, that it has to sell its stake in order to pay its debt every month, then eventually it will have nothing left when all its properties are sold.
Secondly, it seems like a desperate measure of a person who is about to go bankrupt, when it (1MDB) sells its property (Edra Global Energy Bhd) back to the same person, T Ananda Krishnan, who sold the property to them two years ago……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Khazanah raises RM1.62 billion from placement of 2% stake in Tenaga

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

CIMB Investment Bank Bhd and Credit Suisse (Singapore) Ltd, as joint bookrunners, have today successfully completed a placement of 112 million existing shares, representing a 2% stake in Tenaga Nasional Bhd.
The shares were placed out at RM14.50 each, and raised gross proceeds of RM1.62 billion for Khazanah Nasional Bhd. The placement price represents a 2% discount to the closing market price on Jan 28, 2015, of RM14.80 per share……………………………………….Full Article: Source

2014 state budget’s revenues hit 18 bln manats

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

According to operative data, revenues of Azerbaijan’s state budget amounted to 18.4 billion manats, while expenditures-to over 18.699 billion manats in 2014, Finance Ministry said on January 28. The country’s state oil fund SOFAZ transferred 9.3 billion manats to the state budget as well.
Some 24 percent or 4.5 billion manats of expenditures were used for spending of social means, which is 9.9 percent or 403.9 million manats more compared to 2013……………………………………….Full Article: Source

SOFAZ to invest $500 million in yuan

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) is planning to invest $500 million in Chinese yuan assets. SOFAZ also is looking to diversify its assets within real estate markets in Asia, the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce said Monday. “We’ll continue to look at South Korea for properties,” SOFAZ Executive Director Shahmar Movsumov said.
“We’re looking at Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China. All the main hubs in Europe are in our agenda. We’re looking for very prime assets, which are intended to actually replace our very low-yield bonds that we have in our portfolio.” China has one of the largest economies on the global stage. The yuan has multiple prospects as an attractive investment currency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatari sovereign wealth fund buys Canary Wharf for $4bn

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A joint venture between Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and Canadian developer Brookfield Property Partners is poised to take control of Canary Wharf for $4bn after the three largest shareholders in the present owner, Songbird Estates, accepted the deal.
Songbird conceded defeat after New York investor Simon Glick, the China Investment Corporation and Morgan Stanley said they would support the deal. As the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is the largest shareholder with 29% of Songbird’s shares, the deal had 86% support………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Canary Wharf Owner’s Largest Shareholders Back Acquisition Bid

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The owner of the Canary Wharf office and retail development said on Wednesday that its largest shareholders had voiced support for a hostile bid for the company by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and Brookfield Property Partners.
With the show of support, Brookfield and the wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, are likely to succeed in their bid to acquire Songbird Estates, which has a controlling stake in the Canary Wharf Group development. They made a final, all-cash offer last month for all of Songbird’s outstanding shares that valued the company at 2.6 billion pounds, or about $3.9 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s GIC bets heavily on Indian realty

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, has bet highly on Indian real estate in the recent months. GIC, which manages assets worth $100 billion globally, has invested or committed Rs 2,500 crore in the many deals it has done in the past six months. GIC is ahead of Blackstone, another prolific global investor in Indian real estate, which has reportedly done deals worth about Rs 1,500 crore in six months.
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) are also active in the sector, GIC does deals on its own besides “platform deals” with developers, says the head of a US-based private equity (PE) fund, on condition of anonymity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s GIC in talks to invest in Vatika Realty Projects

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC is in talks with Gurgaon-based realty developer Vatika Group to form an exclusive alliance to invest in residential and commercial properties in north India. GIC is looking to infuse around $150 million in this platform in addition to its recent investments in two residential projects of Vatika Group in Gurgaon, said two persons familiar with the development.
In December, GIC had invested Rs 150 crore in a joint venture with Vatika Group to develop two projects with a development potential of over 2.3 million sq ft in Gurgaon. GIC is betting big on the Indian real estate market and has been actively scouting for assets. In December, the fund had signed an agreement to acquire a 39% stake in Nirlon that owns 3.3-million-sq-ft IT park in the Goregaon suburb of Mumbai………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s Khazanah selling Tenaga stake worth up to $454 mln-term sheet

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysian state investor Khazanah Nasional Bhd is selling 112 million shares worth up to $454 million in Malaysia’s largest power group Tenaga Nasional Bhd, according to a term sheet seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
The shares are being priced at between 14.40 and 14.60 ringgit per share, according to the sheet, which is equivalent to a discount of about 1.35 to 2.7 percent to the closing price of Tenaga’s shares on Wednesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bank Negara urged to act on 1MDB funds in Cayman Islands

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli urged Bank Negara Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, in a statement on Wednesday, to invoke the Anti Money Laundering Act and ensure that a reported RM7 billion kept in the Cayman Islands by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had indeed returned to Malaysia as claimed by the sovereign wealth fund and entered the local financial system.
“The Governor should probe which financial institutions are holding the reported RM7 billion,” said Rafizi in the statement which also called on the Governor to give some time to the Opposition MPs to hear their views on the issue. “She should also ensure that 1MDB has sufficient funds to repay the RM2 billion owing to Maybank and RHB Bank, since the repayment has been twice postponed.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

NZ Super Fund returns 13.89pct in 2014

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund returned 13.89 percent during 2014, ending the year worth $27.54 billion, but it’s warning of lower returns in the future. The sovereign wealth fund was set up to help fund universal superannuation for future generations but the Government suspended annual capital contributions in July 2009 in order to pay down debt.
The Guardians of the Fund calculate that if government contributions had continued as set out in the legislation the fund would now be worth $43.4b. As at December 31, 2014, capital contributions not made totalled around $11.68b. They are forecast to re-start in 2020/21………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BNY Mellon Faces SEC Probe over SWF Interns

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recommended disciplinary action against one of the world’s largest custodian banks and asset managers for alleged violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
BNY Mellon noted in an 8-K filing to the government agency this month that it had received a Wells notice “in connection with the provision of a limited number of internships to relatives of sovereign wealth fund officials” in the third quarter of last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BNY Mellon may face bribery charges over sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bank of New York Mellon Corp has disclosed in a filing that U.S. regulators are considering charging it with violating U.S. foreign bribery laws after an investigation into internships it gave to relatives of sovereign wealth fund officials.
In a regulatory filing on Friday, BNY Mellon said that U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission staff had notified it that they would recommend the SEC charge the bank over alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. A case from the SEC would be the first to come from a long-running investigation into banks’ dealings with sovereign wealth funds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norwegian oil fund offloads firms over environmental, human rights records

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s NOK6.7trn (€764bn) sovereign wealth fund has divested from three firms after concerns were raised over their environmental, ethical and human rights records. The fund’s Council of Ethics revealed in its 2014 annual report that Tahoe Resources, Innophos Holdings and Noble Group had been recommended for exclusion from the Government Pension Fund Global’s investment universe.
Tahoe, a mining company headquartered in the US, was criticised for activities in Guatemala that allegedly run an “unacceptable” risk of human rights violations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Foreign Currency Reserves And Its Sovereign Wealth Fund – Analysis

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In September 2007, after a decade of structural reform of the banking sector, the Chinese government accepted the Ministry of Finance’s proposal to establish a new sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corporation (CIC), to diversify these vast foreign reserve holdings ($1.4 trillion in September 2007; $4 trillion as of June 2014) in investments which would potentially yield a much higher income than that guaranteed by U.S. Treasury bonds.
Until 2007, China was emulating Middle Eastern oil producers which recycled their “petrodollars” in dollar-based assets and securities, particularly by investing in U.S. Treasury Bills. CIC is an exception to most of the global family of sovereign wealth funds. Unlike those of other countries, CIC does not have free and direct access to the country’s currency reserves……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Auckland property deal with Singapore’s GIC gets OK

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Singaporean sovereign wealth fund has been given permission to buy a 49 per cent stake in a $313 million portfolio of Auckland Viaduct properties. The Overseas Investment Office has agreed to let Singapore-based GIC invest in a joint venture with Goodman Property Trust.
The trust owns a portfolio of Viaduct properties including the Air New Zealand building, the Fonterra building which is still under construction, and a half share in the Viaduct Corporate Centre.The joint venture can now go unconditional and settlement is expected in February………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIC, MPIC buying 12 hospitals

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. plans to acquire 12 hospitals this year, which will bring its current network of medical facilities to 20. MPIC, together with GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund through its private equity arm, announced last year they were looking at opportunities in the healthcare industry in the Asean region while plans were also underway for domestic expansion.
MPIC and GIC earlier signed a definitive partnership agreement to facilitate the further expansion of the hospital group of MPIC………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB Said to Seek Loan Extension Before $3 Billion Energy IPO

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Bhd. is planning to seek another one-month extension on a 2 billion ringgit ($554 million) loan to give it more time to sell a stake in its energy unit, two people familiar with the matter said.
The state-owned investment company needs more time to repay the debt as it’s still in discussions with billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan, Malaysia’s second-richest person, said the people who asked not to be named as the process is private………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatari Diar secures Sinai, Egypt project approval

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatari Diar, the property arm of the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, is said to have received approvals for its exclusive North and South Sinai project in Egypt. According to a report carried by Daily New Egypt, the country’s Tourism Development Authority has received the approvals required by the Egyptian Ministry of Defence for Qatari Diar to start on the new development.
The $2.16 billion project in North and South Sinai will include hotels, shopping malls and residential homes. Qatari Diar currently has two major projects in Egypt. The Nile Corniche development is under construction in the centre of Cairo under Consolidated Contractors Company, and is progressing well………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Moody’s: Abu Dhabi’s assets buffer oil price drop

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

According to Moody’s while the drop in oil prices will likely cause Abu Dhabi’s (Aa2 stable) economic growth to slow in 2015 and put an end to four consecutive years of double-digit fiscal surpluses, the emirate’s sizeable stock of foreign assets will help cushion the impact of lower oil revenues in the coming years.
The emirate also has a sizeable stock of offshore assets in its off-budget investment vehicles, including in the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Abu Dhabi Investment Council, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and Mubadala. These exceed the total liabilities of Abu Dhabi government-related institutions and other emirate governments, according to Moody’s………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mega-funds start to beat retreat from emerging markets

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Big pension, insurance and sovereign funds that kept faith with emerging markets during the massive selloffs of 2013 and 2014 may be starting to waver, potentially depriving the sector of a key source of support. while sovereign funds withdrew cash from emerging assets in three of the past five quarters, eVestment said pension funds, possibly under pressure to meet the needs of ageing populations, had maintained inflows.
Pension funds reporting to eVestment ploughed $20 billion into emerging markets in 2013 and $17.5 billion in the first nine months of last year. That contrasted with $11 billion in redemptions last year by sovereign wealth funds it tracks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

InMobi in talks with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Qatar Investment Authority

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mobile advertising network InMobi has entered into discussions with several marquee investors including some of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds and internet firms, to raise its next significant round of funding. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) are believed to be among the multiple, blue-chip state-owned funds that have expressed a strong interest in investing in the Bengaluru-based company.
Singapore government-owned investment company Temasek and the state’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, which manage assets of about $223 billion and $315 billion, respectively, have also held talks with the InMobi management, they said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

After week-long silence, Pua calls 1MDB chief’s bluff over dialogue proposal

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

DAP MP Tony Pua asked if Arul Kanda Kandasamy no longer felt the need to subject 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to public scrutiny, noting the chief executive has remained silent since his offer to hold a dialogue more than a week ago.
Pua reminded Arul Kanda, however, that it was he who had said that scrutiny would be a “good thing” for the sovereign wealth fund as it would “strengthen the company and its governance”. Arul Kanda, Pua added, should now state if he ever plans to open the 1MDB’s books to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How China SWF views the state of the global economy

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China isn’t the only one facing a “new normal”, according to the head of China’s sovereign wealth fund, who tips a period of weak growth, divergence and instability for the global economy.
“China says its economy has entered a ‘new normal’. I think the same can be applied to the world economy,” Ding Xuedong, chairman and CEO of China Investment Corporation, the world’s fourth-largest sovereign wealth fund, told CNBC on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ to invest $500 mln in yuan assets in 2015

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Azerbaijan’s state oil fund SOFAZ will invest $500 million in yuan assets in 2015. Meanwhile, it will continue to pursue real estate across Asian markets to diversify its portfolio. “At the end of last year, we approved a quota to invest in the renminbi. We are completing all the necessary paperworks and this year will start investing the whole amount” of $500 million,” the fund’s Executive Director Shahmar Movsumov said in his recent interview, referring to the Chinese Yuan.
China as the second largest economy in the world remains an attractive market for the growing number of foreign investors. Prospects of the Chinese Yuan as an additional investment currency attract considerable interest of various categories of investors, including sovereign wealth funds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shahmar Movsumov: “Low oil price means decline of SOFAZ assets by $3 bln”

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Low oil price means decline of SOFAZ assets by $3 bln, Executive Director of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) Shahmar Movsumov said. According to him, eh raw material prices will probably be stabilized in the second half of 2015: “It’s clear that no one expects rebound of these prices as in 2009-2010, however it will exceed the current level”.
Though economic development weakened due to oil price decline, Azerbaijan could keep its exchange rate: “GDP growth made 2.8% in 2014 in connection with decline of oil production over 2%, while it was 5.8% in 2013. Central Bank spent $1.13 bln from its financial resources to keep exchange rate of manat stable in December”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Kazakhstan’s foreign exchange reserves hit $28.9 bln

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Currently, Kazakhstan’s foreign exchange reserves exceed $28.9 billion, Head of the National Bank Kairat Kelimbetov said. “People say that the country’s gold reserves have reduced. But I want to emphasize once again that the reserves hit $24 billion in December 2014 amounting $28.9 billion in January 2015. As you can see, there is now a surplus of foreign exchange reserves,” he noted.
The country’s foreign exchange reserves declined from $37 billion to $23 billion in 2011-2013. “We suspended the declining trend,” he said. “At present, they hit $28.9 billion. Therefore, we believe that the National Bank is pursuing a right policy.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Shale gas wealth fund could bankroll environmental improvements

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A fracking wealth fund could be used to invest in new forests, wildlife reserves and improvements in air quality, the government’s Natural Capital Committee (NCC) will say today. The committee’s latest report looks at potential ways of funding a 25-year plan to preserve the essential ‘natural capital’ services that forests, rivers, minerals and seas provide to the economy and halting the “long-term decline” of England’s natural environment.
Tax receipts from shale gas or North Sea oil could be one way to help pay for such a programme, according to the NCC, which calculates a resource fund raised from the oil and gas industry since the mid-1970s could have raised more than £300bn so far………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Lone Star checks into Jurys Inn with £680m deal

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Jurys Inn became the latest target for Lone Star on Monday when the US distressed-debt investor swooped on the Irish and British hotel chain, ending years of debt restructuring at the company that was saddled with leverage at the height of the property boom. In 2008, Quinlan Private sold a 50 per cent stake to the Oman Investment Fund, one of the fund’s first investments, but along with other Irish property groups, Jurys Inn’s debts quickly soured during the downturn.
Think of a Gulf sovereign wealth fund with a penchant for investing in Britain. The names of Kuwait or Qatar will probably be first to the lips of many City dealmakers, writes Joseph Cotterill. The Sultanate of Oman keeps to a lower profile. Yet the region’s largest non-Opec oil producer has not one but two internationally active SWFs, each with investments beyond the Gulf norm………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs profit on disputed LIA trades back in focus

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Goldman Sachs is estimated to have made $82m profit on nine disputed trades which are at the heart of a $1bn lawsuit brought against it by the Libyan Investment Authority — rather than the $350m which has been previously claimed, according to people familiar with the case.
The Libyan Investment Authority is suing the US investment bank in London’s High Court over nine financial trades which it entered into with Goldman in early 2008 in a lawsuit which is expected to come to trial next year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rosy outlook for regional M&A, SWF active

Posted on 27 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Regional mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity is forecast to remain as buoyant this year as 2014 despite the oil price drop as governments continue to spend, corporates focus on growth and international investor interest in the energy-rich region rises, M&A advisors say.
Sovereign wealth funds, which are mandated to invest the oil dollar surplus for future generations, will continue to be active, as they were in 2014. Last year saw sovereign wealth funds eyeing international investments, which helped outbound M&A activity rise 74 per cent to US$26bn, led by investments from Qatar. The Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, last year led a bid to acquire Songbird Estates, the owner of the Canary Wharf financial district in London for about $4bn. It was the biggest announced M&A deal in the Middle East last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azeri Oil Fund to Invest $500 Million in Yuan, Keep Ruble Assets

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund, known as Sofaz, will invest $500 million in yuan assets this year and continue to pursue real estate across Asian markets to diversify its portfolio, the fund’s executive director said.
“At the end of last year, we approved a quota to invest in the renminbi,” Shahmar Movsumov said in an interview in Davos, Switzerland, referring to the Chinese currency also known as the yuan. “We’re completing all the necessary paperwork and this year will start investing the whole amount” of $500 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

LPFA, Greater Manchester launch GBP500m real assets fund

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pension funds in London and Manchester have joined forces for a £500 million ($757 million) infrastructure fund that could expand to rival the multibillion-dollar sovereign-wealth funds that are regular buyers of large U.K. development projects such as railroads and airports. “If you want a good crop you have to plant a few seeds. You can’t just plant one,”Kieran Quinn, chairman of the Manchester pension fund said. “We are creating something that can come close to or equal a sovereign-wealth fund.”
LPFA Chairman Edmund Truell told The Wall Street Journal in December that he is trying to implement London Mayor Boris Johnson ’s vision of creating a U.K. citizens’ wealth fund to rival the sovereign-wealth funds. The mayor appointed Mr. Truell to oversee the pension fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russians party on in Davos as vodka flows, Ukraine in havoc

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

VTB Bank isn’t letting a bad year get in the way of a good party. Executives at the state-controlled Russian bank, which has cut hundreds of employees following U.S. and European Union sanctions, are betting a little jazz and vodka with the world’s elite will dull the pain.
Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of Russia’s main sovereign-wealth fund, plans to be fully involved with the week’s events. Dmitriev’s Russian Direct Investment Fund is one of the sponsors of a dinner for sovereign-wealth funds. The executive plans to give a speech and use the event to build relationships with “funds from Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Russia faces $40bn battle to stave off banking crisis

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russia may have to spend more than $40bn this year to avert a banking crisis, as the growing likelihood of a sharp recession threatens to pile extra costs on a sector suffering from Western sanctions over Ukraine and a plunge in the rouble.
Russian banks are seeing a deterioration in their loan quality, a rise in their risk management costs and increase in their cost of funding, and banking executives and analysts predict things are going to get worse. This represents a major challenge to President Vladimir Putin, who took power 15 years ago in the ashes of a crisis that wiped out the financial system, and whose popularity partly rests on his reputation for restoring stability………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pluribus Raises $50M with Temasek as New Investor

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pluribus Networks, the company that brings together computer, network, storage and virtualization into a single, open and programmable SDN platform, announced today that it has raised US$50 million in a Series D round of funding led by Temasek Holdings, an investment company based in Singapore with a net portfolio value of US$177 billion.
“We are excited to have Temasek Holdings, a marquis investment company with global presence, as well as Ericsson, a global player in the telecom and service provider cloud infrastructure segment participate in this investment round in Pluribus Networks,” said Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo!, lead investor of AME Cloud Ventures and the first investor in Pluribus Networks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mumtalakat won’t sell assets to plug shortfall

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahraini sovereign fund Mumtalakat will not sell any assets or change its investment strategy in response to a likely oil price-driven shortfall in the state budget, it said. The fund holds stakes in Bahraini companies including Alba, Gulf Air and Batelco.
Mumtalakat is fully state-owned, but unlike a sovereign wealth fund it receives no surplus cash from the government, investing money generated from its own returns. State inflows to sovereign funds are in doubt this year across the Gulf region………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Private equity: The definition of an opaque asset class

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

At a private equity conference years ago, I sat beside a couple of trustees from a small pension fund. Nice men, highly educated and intelligent, and wanting to do their best for their members, but utterly clueless about investments. Going straight to direct investment is not always wise, as the $72bn Korea Investment Corporation found. The sovereign wealth fund said last year it would change its strategy after direct investing produced “disappointingly lower returns” than investing through funds.
“Who could know more of Korean projects than KIC? Who could be better versed in what is happening in Singapore than GIC or Temasek?” asked KIC’s chairman and chief executive, referring to two Singaporean sovereign funds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

London and Manchester Create Rival to Sovereign Wealth Funds

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pension funds in London and Manchester have joined forces for a £500 million ($757 million) infrastructure fund that could expand to rival the multibillion-dollar sovereign-wealth funds that are regular buyers of large U.K. development projects such as railroads and airports.
The joint venture between the London Pensions Fund Authority and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund comes less than two months after the LPFA agreed a separate £10 billion partnership with the Lancashire County Pension Fund in northern England. Both partnerships are “seeds” of ventures that could expand into larger collaborations between U.K. pension funds, according to Kieran Quinn, chairman of the Manchester pension fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Samruk-Kazyna cuts spendings by $1.83 bln in 2015

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Samruk-Kazyna will reduce its spending by 337 billion tenge ($1.83 billion) in 2015, Tengrinews reports citing the press service of the company. The National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna, is a sovereign wealth fund and joint stock company in Kazakhstan which owns, either in whole or in part, many important companies in the country, including the national rail and postal service, the state oil and gas company KazMunayGas, the state uranium company Kazatomprom, Air Astana airlines, and numerous financial groups.
The state is the sole shareholder of the fund. Umirzak Shukeyev is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Samruk-Kazyna. Independent directors are Alexander Mirtchev, Sir Richard Harry Evans and Nigel John Stapleton………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia prepares RUB1.375 trillion anti-crisis plan

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has approved the provisional version of an anti-crisis plan drawn up by the government. According to media reports, the plan involves recapitalisation of banks, provision of state guarantees, support measures for state development bank VEB and diverse sectors, changes to state procurement laws and procurement to facilitate import substitution, support for small business, and tax rebates.
In 2009, the budget deficit ran to 5.9% of GDP, financed from Russia’s sovereign wealth funds. A significant amound of funding for the anti-crisis plan will come from these planned budget cuts, say analysts. Funds will also be drawn down from the National Welfare Fund, a sovereign wealth fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bahraini fund Mumtalakat won’t sell assets to plug any budget shortfall

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahraini sovereign fund Mumtalakat will not sell any assets or change its investment strategy in response to a likely oil price-driven shortfall in the state budget, it said on Thursday.
The fund holds stakes in Bahraini companies including Aluminium Bahrain, Gulf Air and Batelco. Mumtalakat is fully state-owned, but unlike a sovereign wealth fund it receives no surplus cash from the government, investing money generated from its own returns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What Nicolas Maduro Should Learn From Africa

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For many years Africa has been susceptible to the volatile nature of the commodities markets, resulting in long periods of economic stagnation, accompanied by reductions in social spending and living standards. To counteract these effects, countries like Botswana have created sovereign wealth funds to better manage the revenue from the extractive industries and invest in long-term development.
Policy instruments like deploying sovereign wealth funds might seem obvious to adopt but many governments often face opposition to their creation, even if they are a proven mechanism to better distribute the surplus of the extractive industries. The creation of a sovereign wealth fund directly affect such elites as the revenues of the national natural resources are more transparently and better distributed amongst the population………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Najib duping Malaysians over 1MDB, says DAP

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

DAP today said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was insulting the intelligence of Malaysians with his “incredulous” claims about 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Its national publicity chief Tony Pua questioned Najib’s justification that Putrajaya had only committed RM1 million to the controversial sovereign fund.
“While it is technically true that the government only invested RM1 million in cash to the company, Najib who is also the finance minister failed to highlight that it also explicitly guaranteed RM5.8 billion of loans as well as issued another ‘letter of support’ which, for all intents and purposes, guaranteed another US$3 billion (RM10.8 billion) of borrowings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GPT taps market to fund buyback of note

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

GPT Group’s decision to tap the market for $375 million to pay for its buyback of a note held by its former white knight investor has been welcomed, but has also raised questions about GPT’s next step.
The proceeds will be used to redeem a $250m perpetual note issued to Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC in 2008 that carries a 10 per cent coupon………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Korean Sovereign Fund to Double Alternative Assets (Video)

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Korea Investment Corp., South Korea’s $85 billion sovereign wealth fund, plans to more than double its allocation to alternative investments by the end of 2015, said Chairman and Chief Executive Hongchul Ahn.……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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