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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing - Archive | February, 2015

1MDB-PetroSaudi deal includes repaying US$700 million debt

Posted on 19 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Online news portal Sarawak Report has published a 26-page document, revealing sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had paid US$1 billion of public funds into a shady venture with Petrosaudi International, despite its lack of a tangible track record.
“What the document reveals is that the prime minister and his advisors at 1MDB paid USD1 billion of borrowed public money into a venture that already carried a USD700 million debt in the form of a loan from PetroSaudi’s parent company to the subsidiary that was entering into the joint venture, PetroSaudi Holdings (Caymans) Limited,” it said in its report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mumtalakat given highest rating for transparency

Posted on 19 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the investment arm of the Kingdom of Bahrain, was ranked among the world’s most transparent sovereign wealth funds as it was rated ten out of ten in the 2015 Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index. The rankings represent an upgrade from the previous year’s score of 9/10, reflecting the ongoing commitment of Mumtalakat’s Board of Directors led by H.E. Shaikh Khaled bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Board and the company’s management team to transparency. Mumtalakat was one of only 11 funds in the world to be awarded full marks for transparency, out of a total of 52 funds surveyed.
The Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index is one of the world’s most influential benchmarks in measuring sovereign wealth funds’ commitment to transparency. It was developed by Carl Linaburg and Michael Maduell in 2008 and is published quarterly by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, outlining funds’ performance in ten key areas of transparency. (Press Release)

Saudi Arabia’s oil pain could become local SMSFs’ gain

Posted on 19 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The drive to have self-managed funds and local communities become major funders of future infrastructure projects is gathering momentum. At the same time, there is a real chance that low oil prices will change the global infrastructure game. David Murray, the chairman of the Financial System Inquiry, along with many others, is watching closely developments in Saudi Arabia where the sovereign wealth fund has been a major investor in global infrastructure projects.
The Saudis continue to make big profits from the current oil price because of their low extraction costs but they have set up a society that requires a $US75 a barrel price to fund the country. That means that very soon the Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund will need to sell assets to cover the shortfall. At the same time, they will slash their support for new projects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Permanent Fund gains 3.2 percent in most recent quarter

Posted on 19 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Alaska Permanent Fund returned 3.2 percent in the most recent quarter of fiscal 2015, bringing the year-to-date return to 1.9 percent.
The fund’s value is $52.8 billion as of Dec. 31, 2014, according to a news release. The statuatory net income — the amount used to calculate the annual Permanent Fund Dividend — was $597 million for the quarter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Alaska Permanent gains 3.2% in quarter, surpassing benchmark by 110 basis points

Posted on 18 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., Juneau, returned 3.2% for the quarter ended Dec. 31 and 1.9% fiscal-year-to-date, said a news release from the $52.8 billion sovereign wealth fund. The permanent fund’s strategic risk benchmark returned 2.1% and 0.5%, respectively, during the same periods. The permanent fund’s fiscal year ends June 30.
For the quarter, U.S. equity returned 5%; real estate, 4.6%; non-U.S. bonds, 2.8%; private equity, 2.2%; outsourced CIO allocations, 1.3%; U.S. bonds, 1.1%; global equity, 0.7%; infrastructure, 0.3%; absolute-return funds, 0.1%; private markets outsourced CIO allocations, -1.39%; non-U.S. equity, -3.7%; and multiasset emerging markets, -3.5 %………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How will the oil crash affect Norway?

Posted on 18 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Most of the surplus is due to the trade balance rather than the income earned from the assets held abroad by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund. The fund produces a large cash flow in absolute terms, but those receipts are far smaller than the export earnings from oil and gas. At the current oil price of about 400 krone per barrel, the government no longer runs a budget surplus and can’t add to the sovereign fund’s holdings: “measured as a share of GDP, the GPFG may have already reached the peak.”
If oil prices don’t rebound and the sovereign fund continues to earn around 3 per cent in real terms each year, Olsen thinks fiscal policy will have to be tightened significantly to offset the decline in petroleum revenues………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s Temasek Celebrates 40 Years of Development

Posted on 18 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Temasek, one of Singapore’s two sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), along with the Government Investment Corporation (GIC). Set up in 1974 as part of the newly independent city-state’s nation- building effort, Temasek has evolved from a sleepy holding company shepherding an initial portfolio of 35 inherited government-linked companies (GLCs) to a long-term, return-seeking investor with both wealth-management and development mandates.
Temasek is still a government holding company that acts as a shareholder on behalf of the Singaporean government. Today it pursues its developmental mandate by buying direct stakes mostly in Singaporean and Asian companies, and then reinvesting its proceeds from asset sales and dividend income into foreign assets, acting like a private equity fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek-controlled NOL sells $1.2b APL

Posted on 18 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. is selling its profitable logistics business to a Japanese logistics-service provider for $1.2 billion, as the Singaporean firm narrows its focus on its struggling container-shipping business.
Neptune Orient Lines, or NOL, which is 65% owned by Singapore state-investment company Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd., said it has agreed to sell APL Logistics Ltd. to Kintetsu World Express Inc., a company involved in air and ocean freight forwarding………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Khazanah signs up luxury hotel firm

Posted on 18 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Khazanah Nasional Bhd unit Destination Resorts and Hotels Sdn Bhd (DRH) is set to venture into another luxury hotel development here, tying up with Thailand-based Minor Hotel Group. The two parties inked an agreement last week to set up the first Anantara luxury resort in Malaysia, at a location yet to be decided.
Minor Hotel chairman William Heinecke said in a statement that the Thai firm may open more than one Anantara hotel in Malaysia. “We believe there is a vast potential for growth in the tourism sector in this beautiful country.” DRH is now undertaking the development of Desaru Coast, the region’s first integrated destination resort located at the south eastern Johor coastline………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azerbaijan’s Devaluation in Disguise

Posted on 18 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Though Azerbaijan is not as tied to the Russian economy, it still is facing difficulties driven by the drop in oil prices. Government finances are based on a $90 a barrel price of oil while currently it is a fraction of that. Thus one of the moves is to tap the $37 billion oil fund – State Oil Fund of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOFAZ).
While some of the investment that will proceed is for prestige projects including that of the May 2015 European Games, much of it will be spent on infrastructure that should in the long-term boost the economic potential of Azerbaijan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ and Oil price

Posted on 18 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Azerbaijan produced in 2014 some 41.9 million metric tons of oil and gas condensate as compared to 43.1 million metric tons of oil and gas condensate, produced in 2013. The revenues of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) in 2014 stood at 12,731 million AZN, expenses amounted to 10,117.2 million AZN.
SOFAZ said that as of Jan. 1, 2015, its assets increased by 3.42 percent compared with early 2014 ($35,877.5 million), and stood at $37,104.1 million.The main purposes of SOFAZ are the accumulation of funds and the placement of these fund’s assets abroad to minimize negative impact on the economy, and prevention of the “Dutch disease”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ADIA Said to Oppose L&R in Bidding for Former UniCredit Milan HQ

Posted on 17 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the world’s second-biggest sovereign wealth fund, and London & Regional Properties Ltd. have bid for the former headquarters of UniCredit SpA in Milan, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Offers were between 280 million euros ($319 million) and 320 million euros, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. ADIA is bidding with local partner Hines Italia SpA against U.K.-based London & Regional which is working with Milan-based real estate manager Prelios SpA, the people said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Deploys Capital to European Real Estate

Posted on 17 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Seeking higher investment yields in recent times, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) has largely bypassed London properties to focus more on Continental European opportunities. The Gulf-based sovereign wealth fund invests in both developed properties and in construction projects - unafraid of developmental risks.
For example, a sovereign wealth enterprise of ADIA is backing a project to construct the Mall of Switzerland near Lucerne. In May 2014, ADIA took a 14.3% stake in Deutsche Annington which owns around 180,000 residential units across Germany……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Test for non-oil economy

Posted on 17 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil prices have crashed from over $100 to sub-$60 a barrel in just five months. While this is good news for consumer countries, it also means only half the revenue for the energy producers, especially the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Hydrocarbon incomes are set to reduce from $743 billion in 2012 to about $410 billion in 2015. The bloc may, therefore, record a current account deficit for the first time since the late 1990s.
A massive sovereign wealth fund and billions in a ‘future generations fund’ means Kuwait plans to spend $155 billion on projects over the next five years despite the oil price plunge. And, Qatar’s infrastructure projects pipeline is set to soar with $30 billion worth of new project deals in 2015………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek sold 7.3 million shares in Alibaba during rally

Posted on 17 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Holdings sold shares in Alibaba Group Holding in the fourth quarter as the Chinese Internet firm’s shares rallied following its initial public offering in September. The Singapore investment firm sold 7.3 million American Depositary Receipts (ADR) in Alibaba, leaving it with 10.7 million shares, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The value of Temasek’s holding in Alibaba declined by US$487.5 million (S$660 million), the biggest decrease among the firm’s US-listed holdings. “They must have made about US$300 million through that sale,” said Mr Enrico Soddu, an analyst at Institutional Investor’s Sovereign Wealth Centre in London………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s Temasek, JTC agree to merge 4 real estate subsidiaries

Posted on 17 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and JTC Corp, a government agency for infrastructure development, agreed to combine four of their real estate and urban planning units, to capitalise better on rapid urbanisation in emerging markets.
The merged group’s value would be worth about S$5 billion ($3.7 billion) based on the underlying entities, the two firms said. JTC’s Ascendas Pte and JURONG International Holdings Pte Ltd (JIH) will combine with Temasek’s Surbana International Consultants Holdings and Singbridge Group. The merger is expected to be completed within the first half of this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek, JTC to merge units to create a S$5b entity

Posted on 17 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investment giant Temasek Holdings and industrial developer JTC Corp yesterday said they had entered into an agreement to merge four of their operating subsidiaries into a mega-entity worth about S$5 billion to tap opportunities from rapid urbanisation across Asia.
Plans for the merger, a bid to build scale and capacity to take on urban solutions and infrastructure projects in Asia and other markets, were first announced last September. Besides the estimated value revealed yesterday, more details about the new corporate structure were also unveiled………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Silk Road dream falls into place with US$40b fund

Posted on 17 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Beijing has launched its US$40 billion Silk Road infrastructure fund along the lines of a long-term private equity venture to boost businesses in countries and regions along the route, the central bank governor said. The announcement serves as a prelude to the publication of a blueprint that sheds light on the country’s ambitions to create the New Silk Road economic belt and the 21st-century maritime Silk Road.
The fund’s investors included China’s foreign-exchange reserves, Export-Import Bank of China, China Development Bank and the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the PBOC said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB director Ong is business partner of Jho Low’s father

Posted on 17 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) non-executive director Tan Sri Ong Gim Huat is not just a friend, but also a business partner of 30 years of Tan Sri Larry Low Hock Peng. L‎ow is the father of Jho Low or Low Taek Jho, who is said to have influence over the operations of debt-laden 1MDB, the controversial sovereign wealth fund owned by the Ministry of Finance.
Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) documents show that Ong and Low are directors and shareholders of Wonder Bay Sdn Bhd, a Penang based property development company………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China grants GIC licence to invest in renminbi-denominated mainland assets

Posted on 16 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s securities regulator has handed out a renminbi qualified foreign institutional investor (RFQII) licence to Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd, AsianInvestor reported on Friday. It was among 10 new licences announced late Thursday by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), five of which went to Korean asset managers and two more to Singapore-incorporated entities, CSAM Asset Management and Neuberger Berman Singapore.
Previously, there were 10 Singapore holders of RQFII permits including Fullerton Fund Management, a unit of Singapore state investment company, Temasek Holdings. Beijing introduced the RQFII programme in 2011 to provide another way for foreign investors to participate in inest in mainland securities, as part of its efforts to speed up the liberalisation of of its currency and financual markets……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China Sovereign Fund Buys $1.2B Tokyo Building From Mori

Posted on 16 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Relations between Beijing and Tokyo may have been tense in recent years, but that didn’t stop a Chinese sovereign fund from teaming up with LaSalle Investment Management of the US to buy a Tokyo mixed-use complex for ¥140 billion ($1.2 billion).
The participation in the real estate deal by China Investment Corporation, one of the funds responsible for managing the country’s estimated $4 trillion in foreign reserves, comes after Chinese buyers have rapidly increased their spending on Japanese property, particularly in the nation’s capital………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek Sold Alibaba Shares Last Quarter, Added Gilead

Posted on 16 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Temasek Holdings Pte sold shares in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in the fourth quarter as the Chinese Internet firm’s shares rallied following its initial public offering, and put more money into pharmaceuticals maker Gilead Sciences Inc.
Singapore’s state-owned investment firm sold 7.3 million American depositary receipts in Alibaba, leaving it with 10.7 million shares, according to a Feb. 13 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The value of its holding in Alibaba declined by $487.5 million, the biggest decrease among the firm’s U.S.-listed holdings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Greens want NZ Super Fund to drop fossil fuels

Posted on 16 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Greens are calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels, as it accuses its guardians of betting on a climate disaster. The fund currently has $676 million in fossil fuel companies - about 2 per cent of the fund’s assets under management. “The guardians are meant to be investing for the long term, but by investing over $676 million into fossil fuel companies, they’re hedging that the world will take no action on the climate - a world for our kids where it’s not worth living to retirement age,” Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said.
“It is now a well-established fact that if all the world’s known reserves of coal, oil, and gas are burned, our climate is toast. At least three-quarters of these reserves will have to stay in the ground, wiping much of the current value of the fossil fuel sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Future Fund backs Calpers’ ‘less is more’ stance on private equity

Posted on 16 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The head of one of the world’s largest investors in private equity believes Calpers, the US’s biggest pension fund, was right to slash the number of private equity managers it uses in what is a further blow to the sector. Calpers, or the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, told the FT last month that it was hoping to cut the number of private equity managers it uses by more than two-thirds to 120 in order to cut costs.
David Neal, managing director of the Future Fund, Australia’s A$109bn sovereign wealth fund, said: “There just are not enough decent private equity managers around to justify the fees. Calpers was right; the fees are just too high to warrant having 300 firms.” The Future Fund, set up in 2006 to provide pensions for public servants, has almost a third of its assets in private equity, alternatives and infrastructure………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysian Fund 1MDB Settles $550M Loan With Lenders

Posted on 16 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd has settled a 2 billion ringgit ($550 million) loan with Malaysian lenders, its president said on Friday, a move that could help the state-backed investor move forward with a $3 billion initial public offering.
According to a media report posted on the fund’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, 1MDB President Arul Kanda said, “the loan was settled in advance of the due date, per the terms of the loan facility agreement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB says no Jho Low connections to company

Posted on 16 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Penang-born financier and businessman Jho Low has no connections to government investment company 1Malaysia Development Bhd, its chief executive told Mingguan Malaysia. Arul Kanda Kandasamy, in his first major newspaper interview since taking over as 1MDB boss, denied a front-page report in the New York Times last week which had linked Jho Low (Low Taek Jho) with 1MDB.
Jho Low is reported to have been instrumental in helping set up 1MDB’s forerunner, the Terengganu Investment Authority, and bringing in Middle Eastern investments through his high-placed connections………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar’s clean sweep builds UK assets portfolio

Posted on 16 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Qatar Investment Authority’s most recent acquisition is only the tip of an asset-owning iceberg — one some observers are becoming concerned about. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, effectively owned by the Qatari royal family, now has control of London assets that include The Shard, Europe’s tallest office block; the Olympic Village, which is rapidly being redeveloped as a new residential district as well as sporting and leisure venues; the HSBC tower at Canary Wharf; Harrods; a stake in the Shell Centre on the South Bank; the residential redevelopment at Chelsea Barracks; half of the luxury apartment block One Hyde Park, the former US embassy in Grosvenor Square; and an emerging Thames-side development in Chelsea known as Grosvenor Waterside.
Even as market analysts were scratching their heads at the implications of the Canary Wharf deal, Qatar — in the form of Qatar Airways — confounded the City again………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s biggest wealth fund has peaked as oil sinks, Norway says

Posted on 16 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund has reached its peak amid a collapse in oil prices, according to the governor of Norway’s central bank. The development means western Europe’s biggest crude producer needs to get used to lower revenue from its petroleum industry, Governor Oeystein Olsen said in the text of a speech delivered in Oslo on Thursday.
“At an oil price of around US$60 per barrel, transfers to” the wealth fund “may come to a halt,” he said. As head of the central bank, Olsen oversees Norway’s US$860 billion Government Pension Fund Global………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s CIC bought Tokyo landmark property-advisers

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC) provided most of the capital for a more than $1 billion purchase of Tokyo’s landmark property Meguro Gajoen from Mori Trust Co, in China’s largest investment in Japanese property, advisers said.
Earlier this week, LaSalle Investment Management, a property investment manager, said a fund it arranged bought Meguro Gajoen with money from a sovereign wealth fund, which it declined to name………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek unit gives local firm a shot in the arm

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A unit of Temasek Holdings has invested an undisclosed amount in local construction firm Deluge Fire Protection to allow it to expand further overseas. The capital injection by Heliconia, which focuses on helping local small and medium-sized enterprises, will underpin the firm’s expansion into Indonesia and the Philippines amid rapid urbanisation across the region.
The company has already moved abroad with offices in Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, along with a pre-fabrication factory in Johor. Deluge managing director Vincent Cheo said the investment could help the firm double its overseas revenue in the next three to five years……………………………………….Full Article: Source

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Has Peaked as Oil Sinks, Norway Says

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund has reached its peak amid a collapse in oil prices, according to the governor of Norway’s central bank. The development means western Europe’s biggest crude producer needs to get used to lower revenue from its petroleum industry, Governor Oeystein Olsen said in the text of a speech delivered in Oslo on Thursday.
“At an oil price of around $60 per barrel, transfers to” the wealth fund “may come to a halt,” he said. As head of the central bank, Olsen oversees Norway’s $860 billion Government Pension Fund Global………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Takes the High Ground on Climate Change

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There was some dramatic news out of Norway this week, showing what is possible on the climate front if the political will is there. The Norwegian government announced that they would cut their carbon emissions by no less than 40% from 1990 levels by the year 2030. This puts them in line with the ambitious target set by the European Union (EU).
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund happens to be the largest in the world. So the fact that they have chosen to dump the stocks of those 32 coal-related companies and those of any other companies that contribute disproportionally to climate change is quite a statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investing and Divesting for the Climate

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A recent study from WWF Sweden and PwC has revealed exactly that. Through the social security system, sovereign wealth funds and church funds, among other, all of us are investors. This crucial piece of information has been picked up by many, not least by professional investors and future pensionists.
Just this week the world’s wealthiest sovereign wealth fund Norges announced its divestment from 114 companies with the aim to strengthen its work on responsible investment. Norges argued there to be “high levels of uncertainty about the sustainability” of the companies’ business models it divested from………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil Fund allocates AZN 300m for needs of refugees

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In 2014, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) allocated AZN 300 m to improve social and living conditions of refugees and internally displaced, Oxu.Az reports with reference to SOFAZ.
According to the approved budget for 2015, the expences of the Oil Fund to finance activities in connection with the improvement of social and living conditions of refugees and internally displaced persons are provided in the amount of AZN 150 m………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Prosperity Fund part of wise resource management

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In 2013, Premier Christy Clark announced an intention to create the B.C. Prosperity Fund using liquefied-natural-gas revenues. Since then, we’ve heard little about it. But as budget season comes around again, we might finally get some details. After all, last year’s budget said that the Prosperity Fund wouldn’t move forward until the LNG tax was finalized, and that happened last fall. This makes now a good time to renew the discussion about a sovereign wealth fund in B.C.
Let’s revisit what a sovereign wealth fund is and why resource-dependent regions use them. When it was first announced, the B.C. Prosperity Fund was pitched as a way for B.C. to pay off its debt, reduce taxes and pay for social services. This might lead some people to think that the Prosperity Fund would be a new source of money. That’s not quite right………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ottawa Should Look To Norway To Overcome Oil Woes: Reports

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Greg Poelzer of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute released a report Thursday arguing that the creation of so-called “sovereign wealth funds” would take money out of the hands of politicians interested in spending in the short-term and instead place it into long-term investments.
The funds are government-owned and managed, but kept separate from other reserves. They would keep generating returns on investment even after a non-renewable resources dries up.Alberta is not contributing to a decades-old fund and B.C. is the only other province to float the idea of a fund. The federal government has also dismissed creation of a sovereign wealth fund. The idea of a sovereign wealth fund — the type that has made every Norwegian a theoretical millionaire — has received renewed interest in the past few months as Canadians take in the economic damage caused by a huge slide in the price of oil………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi Santiago Bernabeu: Oiling the wheels of footie

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The news that Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company has secured naming rights to Real Madrid’s home ground – turning it into the Abu Dhabi Santiago Bernabeu – represents an interesting branding exercise. Sovereign wealth funds rarely seek brand recognition: usually quite the reverse.
IPIC’s venture puts us in mind of another Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund’s brief engagement with international football, when the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia)’s shareholding in Manchester United reached a level where it had to be disclosed, back in 1998. Clearly, there was nothing wrong with that as an investment, but Adia reportedly exited it because of the unwelcome attention it was bringing, to the point where disgruntled fans would phone up the sovereign wealth fund if their team lost at the weekend………………………………………..Full Article: Source

NSSF to buy bonds

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has unveiled plans to buy bonds of high growth potential start-ups on the Growth Enterprise Market Segment (GEMS). The fund intends to buy well-designed bonds on the alternative market and later sell the same to new investors through the stock exchange; the move is expected to bolster the segment.
Richard Byarugaba, the NSSF managing director, told the media at Workers House that discussions have been held with the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) on the prospects of the bonds. He revealed that separate discussions have been held with senior offi cials of Bank of Uganda about increasing the variety of investment instruments such as infrastructure bonds, like is currently available in Kenya and Rwanda………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Middle Eastern sovereign wealth money still flowing, despite oil woes

Posted on 12 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein says that Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds are making larger investments than ever before. Co-CEO David Rubenstein said during an analyst call that there has been a marked increase in commitments from sovereign wealth funds, including from Middle Eastern governments that are under fiscal pressure due to falling oil prices. Same goes for commitments from many Asian sovereign wealth funds that are facing domestic economic headwinds.
“The large sovereign wealth funds are now coming into the market… and making very very large commitments, larger than we’ve ever seen before” he said. “And I don’t think there is likely to be a diminution in that trend this year despite the fact that you may say, for example, “In the Middle East, because oil prices are down, won’t the sovereign wealth funds there be pulling back?’……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Carlyle Group sees rise of sovereign wealth fund investment, decline in pensions

Posted on 12 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds are “a gigantic source of new investment” that are elbowing aside public pension funds in the private equity space, Carlyle Group co-CEO David Rubenstein said Wednesday. Such state-controlled funds increased to 37 percent of capital commitments at Carlyle last year, up from 17 percent a year earlier, Rubenstein said.
“I suspect that will continue. At the same time public pension funds are going down, relatively speaking. It was 28 percent; now it’s about 18 percent,” Rubenstein said during an investor conference call to announce the District-based firm’s 2014 financial results………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How Hedge Funds Can Access Sovereign Wealth Funds

Posted on 12 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As U.S. pensions such as California Public Employees’ Retirement System which pulled out of hedge funds in 2014, and New Mexico Public Employees’ Retirement Association which lowered its hedge fund allocation from 7% to 4%, sovereign wealth funds are becoming a larger target market for hedge funds. There is a segment of sovereign wealth funds that allocate to hedge funds to achieve specific investment goals.
For example, the Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) is a sovereign wealth fund that invests in hedge funds. One of KIC’s former chief investment officers Scott Kalb possessed a strong hedge fund background. Some other sovereign funds that commit capital to hedge funds include, but not limited: Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Australia’s Future Fund, Alaska Permanent Fund and Temasek Holdings………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign fund buys 45% of Manhattan’s 11 Times Square Tower

Posted on 12 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund bought a stake in 11 Times Square, a 40-story office tower in midtown Manhattan, in a deal the seller says values the building at $1.4-billion (U.S.). Norges Bank Investment Management purchased the 45-per-cent interest from developer SJP Properties and Prudential Financial Inc., according to SJP.
Foreign investors are snapping up real estate in New York City, pushing prices to records. Construction of the 1.1-million-square-foot (102,000-square-meter) skyscraper in Times Square began before the property market collapsed in 2008, without any space leased. It landed its first tenant in 2010, when it was one month from completion. It is now about 85 per cent occupied by tenants including law firm Proskauer Rose LLP and Microsoft Corp………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Return on assets of the Oil Fund of Azerbaijan fell to 1.43%

Posted on 12 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan Republic (SOFAZ) reports about drop in return on assets in 2014. According to SOFAZ, by the end of the last year return on assets fell to 1.47% (to 1.43% taking into account gold) against 1.77% in 2013 and 2.16% in 2012. Return on assets reached its peak in 2007 (4.49%), and over the last 10 year it was estimated at the average level of 2.56%.
Last year investments into bonds brought 0.7% of return, investments into shares – 0.3%, investments into deposits – 0.18%, using money market instruments – 0.01%, investments into real estate – 0.24%. Investments into gold were unprofitable (-0.05%)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan did not buy physical gold for 3 quarters at a run

Posted on 12 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) did not buy physical gold over three quarters in a row (2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of 2014). The Fund informs that as of 1 January 2015 it owned physical gold worth $1.15 bn which was equivalent to 3.13% of its investment portfolio ($36.7 bn).
“By the reported date SOFAZ had 30.17 tons of gold (970,146 ounces of gold),” SOFAZ said in a statement. This level of reserves conformed to the indicator by 1 April 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Yield of Azerbaijan’s oil fund in euro reached 10.04% of yield

Posted on 12 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) has called the euro the most successful investment in 2014. SOFAZ reports that last year its investments in euro (EUR 10.25 bn or 33.9% of assets) ensured for it 10.04% of yield in base currency, including 8.57% from currency difference.
At that, the operations in the base currency, the U.S. dollar, were unprofitable (-2.79%), including losses from exchange rate difference (-4.27%). The Fund kept $19.869 bn or 33.9% of its assets in the American currency. Assets in the British currency were estimated at 1.159 bn pounds (4.9% of all assets) and in the Australian currency- $214.9 (0.5%)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Credit Investors Spurn Oil Sovereigns

Posted on 12 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As the oil tide recedes, oil-exporting sovereign entities have been treated with increasingly bearish sentiment by credit investors. Oil has seen its price halve since the end of July last year, from around $100 per barrel to around $50 today (WTI), compelling net exporters to rethink their budgets.
Large sovereign wealth funds look to have buoyed Norway and Saudi Arabia as their CDS spread sits largely unmoved………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oilman becomes milkman as Norway’s best jobs disappear

Posted on 11 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s oil industry, so rich it spawned the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, is struggling as oil prices plunge. When Joergen Langaunet started as a project planner at offshore engineer Aker Solutions ASA in 2012, he worked a lot of overtime.
Norway’s oil industry, so rich it spawned the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, was booming. Then last year, he realised he was spending most of his time in the lunch room: His services weren’t needed. In September, as crude prices were on their way to the biggest plunge since 2008, Langaunet lost his job. Today he’s a regional manager for Tine SA, Norway’s biggest dairy producer………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Norway is not panicking about the oil price collapse

Posted on 11 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The big advantage that Norway has is the US$860bn (£565bn) Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global into which the oil money is deposited. Intended as an investment for future generations, it is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world.
Norway owns an estimated 1% of global stocks and is considered to be the largest state owner of European stocks. For a country with a population just over 5m, this is a position of remarkable economic strength – thanks primarily to petroleum. The revenue of the sector is not only important as an economic boost, but also as the foundation of the Norwegian welfare state………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fossil Fuel Divestment: Smart Bet or Losing Strategy?

Posted on 11 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Just last week, Norway announced that its sovereign wealth fund — an $850 billion pension reserve that was built on the Scandinavian nation’s oil and gas resources — had jettisoned more than 49 companies, many involved in coal and unconventional oil extraction, from its portfolio in 2014.
The reason: “Uncertainty about the sustainability of their business model.” To be sure, Norway is still investing heavily in fossil fuels. But the move nonetheless adds to the more than $50 billion that proponents of divestment say has been pulled out of the fossil fuel sector by both institutional and individual investors since the movement was launched by climate activists in 2012………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bud Smith: B.C. Prosperity Fund is no golden ticket

Posted on 11 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Lst year’s budget said that the Prosperity Fund wouldn’t move forward until the LNG tax was finalized, and that happened last fall. This makes now a good time to renew the discussion about a sovereign wealth fund in B.C. First off, let’s revisit what a sovereign wealth fund is and why resource-dependent regions use them. When it was first announced, the B.C. Prosperity Fund was pitched as a way for B.C. to pay off its debt, reduce taxes, and pay for social services.
The new money would be tax revenue from a new LNG industry, and B.C. could conceivably use it to pay off debts or lower taxes or build hospitals without creating a sovereign wealth fund. So why do it? Sovereign wealth funds are generally created for two main reasons: to stabilize government finances when prices for natural resources rise and fall, and to preserve resource wealth for the future………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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