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Sovereign Wealth Funds Briefing - Archive | March, 2016

Libya requests U.N. sanctions exemption for sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Libya is asking the U.N. Security Council to approve a sanctions exemption for its blacklisted sovereign wealth fund to halt billion-dollar losses caused by ineffective management of frozen assets, according to a letter released on Wednesday.
The letter from Libya’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, said the losses incurred at the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) are the result of U.N. sanctions imposed in 2011 to prevent the government of former leader Muammar Gaddafi from spiriting away the country’s wealth………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait says no prosecutions in sovereign fund probe

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kuwait’s cabinet has rejected recommendations by members of parliament to prosecute officials of its sovereign wealth fund for allegedly violating regulations in managing the country’s oil wealth, Finance Minister Anas al-Saleh said on Wednesday.
“I assert my confidence in those in charge of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) until proven otherwise,” Saleh told reporters after a closed meeting of parliament to discuss an investigation of the KIA’s London arm, the Kuwait Investment Office (KIO)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Would Australia’s Future Fund really provide cheap finance to Carmichael coal?

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Could Australia’s sovereign wealth fund be the key source of finance that enables Adani’s Carmichael mega coal mine in the Galilee Basin? News has emerged that India’s Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, will meet with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Chairman of the Future Fund, Peter Costello, on an Australian visit aimed at trying to secure subsidised government funding for Adani’s proposed coal mega-mine.
Having utterly failed to attract finance from the commercial banking sector for the initial A$10 billion required for the mine, rail and port project, Adani is now looking to its friends in the Indian and Australian government for a little sugar. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Brigade, GIC buy Kansai Nerolac land

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bengaluru-based property developer Brigade Group and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC have jointly acquired a 16-acre property in Chennai’s Perungudi area from Kansai Nerolac Paints for R537.86 crore. The acquisition was done through Perungudi Real Estates, a special purpose vehicle formed by Brigade Enterprises with GIC.
Brigade’s two existing joint venture projects with GIC are the development of an IT special economic zone of over 3 million sq ft in Brookefields, Bengaluru and Brigade Cosmopolis, a high-end residential project in Whitefield, Bengaluru………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Jaitley asks Australia’s sovereign wealth, pension funds to invest in India

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Promising better returns, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today invited Australia’s sovereign wealth funds and pension funds to invest in India. During a bilateral meeting with Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison here today, Jaitley sought investments from the Future Fund, Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, as also from the Super Fund, the country’s multi-industry superannuation fund.
Jaitley also called for higher investments by Australian businesses in India, saying they can get better returns on their investments. He also said that India wants to benefit from the Australian experience in implementing GST, saying India is ready for GST rollout as hoped the new indirect taxation regime will soon become a reality………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB Probe Shows Malaysian Leader Najib Spent Millions on Luxury Goods

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Malaysian investigation documents, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, contain bank-transfer information that provides the most complete picture to date of the money that flowed through the prime minister’s accounts over a five-year period, the majority of it, investigators say, originating from 1MDB.
They show for the first time how some of the money in Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s accounts allegedly was used for personal expenses. That included $15 million in spending on clothes, jewelry and a car, according to the bank-transfer information, involving stores in the U.S., Malaysia, Italy and elsewhere………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysian lawyer ‘probed for sedition’

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Billions of dollars have allegedly gone missing from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, and the scandal has engulfed Prime Minister Najib Razak, who chairs the fund’s advisory board. There are at least four international investigations into the money said to be missing from the fund, known as 1MDB.
Malaysia’s attorney-general, meanwhile, has shut down an investigation into money deposited into the prime minister’s account by an unnamed donor from the Middle East………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Local banks buy over $28mln from SOFAZ

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) sold $28.35 million to five local banks through the auction held by Azerbaijan’s Central Bank (CBA) March 30, SOFAZ said March 30. SOFAZ offered $100 million for sale through the auction, and will continue selling foreign currency through auctions in 2016.
The foreign currency is sold as part of SOFAZ’s transfers to the Azerbaijani state budget, which are envisaged to stand at 7.615 billion Azerbaijani manats in 2016. SOFAZ was established in 1999 with assets of $271 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Samruk Kazyna Buys Shares of KMG Kashagan B.V.

Posted on 30 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A deal worth $5.5 million was struck March 9 between Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund and KMG Kashagan B.V. The action followed a corresponding decision made in December by the wealth fund’s board of directors, according to the fund’s letter published March 11 on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE) website.
KMG Kashagan B.V. owns 16.88 percent of Kashagan oil and gas field. The deal notification specifies the property which is the subject of the transaction is valued at $5.5 million, or 0.02 percent of Samruk Kazyna’s total assets. KMG Kashagan B.V.’s shares were purchased by advance payment, according to the document………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ex-CalPERS CIO to Lead Alaska Permanent

Posted on 30 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Alaska’s sovereign wealth fund today named Russell Read as its new CIO. Read spent two years as CIO of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, from 2006 to 2008.
Following that, Read led the Gulf Investment Corporation in Kuwait as CIO and deputy chief executive. He also served as deputy CIO of Deutsche Asset Management, and founded his own private equity firm. He replaces Jay Willoughby at the Juneau, Alaska-based sovereign fund. Willoughby departed late last fall for the CIO position at outsourced-CIO provider The Investment Fund for Foundations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi central bank net foreign assets fall $584bn in Feb

Posted on 30 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Net foreign assets at Saudi Arabia’s central bank dropped 1.7 percent from the previous month to 2.19 trillion riyals ($584 billion) in February, central bank data showed on Tuesday.
Assets fell 17.3 percent from a year earlier to their lowest level since May 2012. They reached a record high of $737 billion in August 2014 before starting to shrink. The central bank, which serves as Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, has been drawing down its assets to cover a huge state budget deficit caused by low oil prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India invites SWFs to invest in India

Posted on 30 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

India needs to further ease its business processes to boost investments, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Tuesday while inviting foreign sovereign wealth funds to be part of the country’s infrastructure, pension and insurance funds.
He also assured investors here that the government has resolved various legacy issues with regard to taxation and is gradually working to bring down the corporate tax rates to the global level of 25 percent from 30 percent currently………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Descends On China

Posted on 30 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite economic headwinds, such as a potential for massive job losses in China, foreign public funds continue to want to access thematic institutional investments in Asia’s largest market. Public institutional investors such as sovereign funds have directly invested over US$ 42.97 billion in China (including Hong Kong) from 2013 to the end of 2015, according to SWFI’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database.
Sovereign investors such as Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, China Investment Corporation (CIC), Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) actively pursued large-scale opportunities in Chinese real estate and company investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Reports Future Fund viewed as ‘soft touch’ for Adani Funding

Posted on 30 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Financial activist group Market Forces is calling on the Turnbull Government to clarify whether Australia’s sovereign wealth fund – the Future Fund – will be used to subsidise the controversial Adani mega-mine in the Galilee Basin. The call follows Indian media reports that Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will ‘likely push for easy funding from the Australian Government and Future Fund Chair Peter Costello during his visit to Australia this week.
“Over a dozen banks worldwide have either backed away from the environmentally disastrous Carmichael mega coal mine, ruled out funding for it, or dismissed it as financially unviable”, said Market Forces Executive Director Julien Vincent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Dexus Adds Cash Distribution to Sweeten Investa Office Fund Deal

Posted on 30 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Dexus Property Group has sweetened its offer for Investa Office Fund, which said it wasn’t aware of a competing bid from a consortium that’s speculated to include Blackstone Group and China Investment Corp.
Dexus added a cash distribution of 7 Australian cents to its existing offer, taking the total to A$4.24 a unit or A$2.6 billion ($2 billion), Investa Office Fund said in a statement to the stock exchange Wednesday. Dexus cited a A$19 million drop in transaction costs largely due to reduced financing costs for the special distribution………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt to establish SWF with Arab investments

Posted on 29 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Minister of Planning Ashraf El-Araby revealed that the government will establish a sovereign wealth fund to invest in infrastructure. The fund will be owned by the state with subsidiaries funds for different sectors, including agriculture, electricity, and industry. A number of Arab investment funds will participate with 50%.
Egypt launched its sustainable development strategy for 2030 in February. The strategy governs the economic development plans to achieve sustainability in partnership with the private sector and civil society, as well as many international organisations operating in Egypt, El-Araby said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Mahmoud Kassem: Lessons learned from interviews with Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund

Posted on 29 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Over the past two weeks, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia), one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, gave The National unprecedented access to mark its 40th anniversary, offering interviews with several of its former and current leaders, including Hareb Al Darmaki, an adviser to the managing director and the fund’s longest-serving employee, and Jean-Paul Villain, its top strategist.
My conversations with these investment gurus provided a fascinating insight into the inner workings of a fund estimated to have as much as US$800 billion under management. They also helped to reinforce important lessons that are relevant to all investors, whether you have billions of dirhams or simply a few thousand to sock away for the future………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Real estate investments leave “legacy” for London

Posted on 29 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar’s notable ventures into the London property market are not only transforming the city’s skyline, but creating developments intended to nurture the growth of local communities and provide long-term sustainable economic opportunities. Last year, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), purchased the well-known business district in Tower Hamlets for a cool £2.6 billion.
It was a move that landed Qatar its first City property, the so-called ‘Walkie Talkie’ building, and placed a cherry on top of a spending spree that began back in 2008………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s oil fund increases bet on property markets

Posted on 29 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norwegian sovereign wealth fund aims to invest $41.5bn in global real estate. Norway’s $830bn oil fund plans to double the size of its property team as the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund seeks to improve performance after posting its worst annual return since 2011.
The oil fund has set itself a target of investing $41.5bn in global property markets. If met, the fund would pour another $16bn into real estate this year. To meet that target, the fund plans to increase the number of staff in its property operation from 104 to 200 by 2017, according to its latest annual report………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s wealth fund axes 11 firms over deforestation

Posted on 29 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund last year dropped 11 companies over deforestation, including palm oil firms clearing rainforests in Indonesia, with one firm accused of using fire to the clear the land.
The decision by Norway’s US$830 billion (S$1.14 trillion) government pension fund underscores the growing clout the finance sector has in pushing companies to improve their environmental practices. Among the 11 were Genting Berhad and IJM Corp of Malaysia, and South Korea’s Posco and its subsidiary Daewoo International Corp………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Local banks buy $0.5M from SOFAZ

Posted on 29 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Azerbaijan’s state oil fund SOFAZ sold $0.5 million to three local banks through the auction held by Azerbaijan’s Central Bank (CBA) March 28, SOFAZ reported on March 28. SOFAZ offered $100 million for sale through the auction, and will continue selling foreign currency through auctions in 2016.
The foreign currency is sold as part of SOFAZ’s transfers to the Azerbaijani state budget, which are envisaged to stand at 7.615 billion Azerbaijani manats in 2016. SOFAZ was established in 1999 with assets of $271 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

KKR, Chinese sovereign wealth fund reportedly hungry for Yum! China investment

Posted on 29 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

KKR & Co. and sovereign fund China Investment Corp. are among potential suitors studying investments in Yum! Brands Inc.’s Chinese business, people with knowledge of the matter said. Baring Private Equity Asia is also exploring a potential minority stake purchase, and the three funds might decide to team up for a joint investment, according to the people.
Yum is considering the sale of a 20% holding in its Chinese business, which could value the unit around $10 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. CIC’s Beijing press office didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The Wall Street Journal reported KKR’s interest in a minority stake in Yum China earlier, citing unidentified people………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CPGI, Singapore’s GIC acquire Shakey’s PH

Posted on 29 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Local tuna canner Century Pacific Group Inc. (CPGI) has partnered with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Private Ltd. to acquire the Philippine franchise holder of US-based popular pizza chain Shakey’s. In a statement, CPGI said it is acquiring International Family Food Services Inc., operator of Shakey’s pizza chain in the Philippines which, in turn, is owned by the Prieto family.
Under the purchase agreement, a new entity to be owned by CPGI and GIC will acquire the majority interest of the pizza business from the Prieto family. The Prieto family, under the deal, will continue to hold a minority stake in Shakey’s………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fiscal surplus of $3.45b, thanks to Temasek’s inclusion in NIR

Posted on 29 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

From a $4.88 billion deficit last year to back in the black this year. An overall surplus of $3.45 billion is projected for 2016, buoyed by bigger contributions from Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings.
What is more, the surplus is forecast even as spending rises, including a marked increase in healthcare and business support. Helping offset the rising expenditure is Temasek’s inclusion in the net investment returns (NIR) framework this year. This will push the NIR contribution to the nation’s coffers to $14.7 billion, up 48.6 per cent from $9.9 billion last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Najib Razak 1MDB scandal: Malaysian Prime Minister’s accounts triggered internal money-laundering alarm

Posted on 29 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

So much money was pouring so rapidly into the Malaysian Prime Minister’s personal bank accounts that it rang internal money-laundering alarms inside AmBank, a major Malaysian institution part-owned by Australia’s ANZ.
Hundreds of millions of dollars were being wired into Najib Razak’s accounts from the Saudi Arabian Government, a mysterious Saudi prince and two shadowy British Virgin Island companies, while the head of a Malaysian state-owned company topped up the Prime Minister’s credit card accounts with millions of Malaysian ringgit in cash………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s GIC sovereign fund expects low US stock returns

Posted on 24 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

GIC expects below-average returns from U.S. stocks over the next five to 10 years, but the Singapore sovereign wealth fund still sees the U.S. as an important source of investment opportunities.
“The greatest strength of the U.S. is the private sector. If that continues to be the case, we are not concerned,” said Lim Chow Kiat, GIC Private Ltd’s chief investment officer. “We find a lot of investment opportunities in the U.S.,” he said. “A lot of exciting things are coming out of the private sector on a daily basis.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Temasek-linked group taking Select private with S$0.525 a share offer

Posted on 24 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Catalist-listed food caterer Select Group is being taken private by a consortium led by Temasek Holdings-linked Dymon Asia Private Equity. The consortium also includes Select’s co-founders Tan Chor Khoon and Tan Choh Peng, who are brothers.
The offer price is S$0.525 a share, a 23.5 per cent premium over the last transacted price on March 18. Shareholders holding approximately 53.6 per cent of the total issued shares have undertaken to accept the offer………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Differences between the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Ministry of Finance

Posted on 24 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Everyone must have heard of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) in Singapore. They are two key entities in the local financial scene and greatly impact everyone living in Singapore. But do people really understand what these two entities do and how they differ?
Singapore’s reserves are managed by the MOF and distributed to three entities - MAS, GIC and Temasek. MAS manages Singapore’s foreign reserves. GIC and Temasek are fund management entities with the objective of achieving long-term returns to Singapore’s assets. Note that CPF monies are also distributed to GIC and MAS for investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Peter Costello’s indefensible legacy

Posted on 24 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

On Friday, Peter Costello used Fairfax to tell us how handsome he is and how splendidly the Future Fund he chairs is performing. He was responding to fellow establishment figure Howard Mitchell’s comparing its returns against the Alaska Permanent Fund. The whole debate was probably a Tory setup. They do odd things like that.
Alaska’s fund is a poor model to emulate. The gold standard of sovereign wealth funds is Norway’s Government Pension Fund Statens pensjonsfond Utland, established in 1990 and worth around 900 billion Australian dollars. In early January 2014, every Norwegian became a crown millionaire, thanks to the fund. That is about 156,000 Australian dollars each. You can look at it’s market value here………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ reveals revenues from ACG field

Posted on 24 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Revenues of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) from the development project of Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) block of oil and gas fields totaled $117.799 billion from early 2001 to March 1, 2016, SOFAZ told Trend.
“The Fund’s revenues from the project totaled $790 million in Jan.-Feb. 2016, some $442 million of which accounted for January,” said SOFAZ. A contract for development of ACG block of fields was signed in 1994. The proven oil reserve of the block nears one billion tons………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Danish bank, Norway’s sovereign fund own stakes in Romania’s oil carrier-Report

Posted on 24 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The top 10 shareholders of the Romanian oil carrier Conpet Ploiesti include Norway’s sovereign fund, which owns 0.24% of the company, and the largest Danish lender Danske Bank, with a stake of 0.14%, according to the latest reports recorded on Bloomberg.
The Romanian state controls the company through the Energy Ministry, which has a majority stake of 58.7%, and Romanian investment fund Fondul Proprietatea has a 6% stake, reports local Ziarul Financiar. The NN private pension funds have a combined stake of 3.29% in the company and local investment fund SIF Banat-Crisana bought a stake of 1% in the carrier in the third quarter of last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Funds: Fiscal Framework, Governance and Investment

Posted on 24 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 and the slowdown of economic growth globally, popular demands for ad hoc use of sovereign wealth to support growth has grown visibly. New funds continue to be created as both the sector and its assets grow.
Yet to prevent rapid dissipation of sovereign wealth as fiscal resources for countercyclical fiscal policy, clear fiscal rules and fiscal frameworks are needed to complement the governance structure and investment strategy. Sovereign Funds draws on industry practitioners, industry observers and academics to present the latest thinking on state-owned investment funds from a global perspective. With exclusive insights, case-study chapters and in-depth sectoral analysis, the contributors assess the present state of sovereign wealth funds offer signposts for future development. (Press Release)

UOB-Temasek fund lends to Thai, Malaysian startups

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

United Overseas Bank, Singapore’s third-largest bank, and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings have signed two financing agreements with Southeast Asian startups through their joint venture. InnoVen Capital signed venture debt financing deals totaling $5 million with Malaysia-based KFit Holdings, an e-commerce health and fitness company and Thailand-based Pomelo Fashion.
Last year, UOB and Temasek Holdings signed a deal to provide venture debt financing of $500 million for startups in China, India and Southeast Asia. So far, they have each committed up to $100 million in paid-up capital to InnoVen to help finance Asian venture companies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Philippines’ Century Pacific, Singapore’s GIC to buy Shakey’s Philippines

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Philippines’ conglomerate Century Pacific Group said on Wednesday it teamed up with Singapore’s sovereign investor GIC to acquire the domestic operator of the Shakey’s Pizza restaurant chain without disclosing financial terms of the deal.
The move to buy the local operation of U.S.-based Shakey’s, with close to 170 stores in the Philippines at end-2015, is the second deal between Century Pacific’s controlling Po family and GIC. In May 2014, the Singaporean fund converted a 3.38 billion pesos ($73 million) loan into a 10 percent stake in Century Pacific Food Inc, the group’s canned goods maker………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Po family, GIC buy Shakey’s pizza chain

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Po family has teamed up with GIC Private Ltd., the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, to acquire a controlling stake in the company that owns and operates the Shakey’s pizza parlor chain. The transaction will also include Bakemasters Inc, a supplier of bakery products to Shakey’s and other food service customers, as well as the Philippine franchise for Project Pie, a US artisan pizza restaurant chain, the Po family’s Century Pacific Group Inc. (CPGI) announced on Wednesday.
Under the deal, a new entity to be owned by CPGI and GIC will acquire majority of the pizza business under the holding firm International Family Food Services Inc. (IFFSI) from the Prieto family, which will continue to hold a minority stake in the company………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman-1MDB Probe Zeroes In on Bond Deals

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investigation focuses on whether Wall Street firm misled investors when it sold securities issued by Malaysian fund. U.S. authorities are investigating whether Goldman Sachs Group Inc. misled bondholders when the firm sold securities issued by a Malaysian government-investment fund that is at the center of a corruption scandal, according to a person familiar with the matter.
As part of an inquiry being examined by a U.S. grand jury, investigators are trying to determine if Goldman’s employees had reason to believe that some of the proceeds from bond deals done for the fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., known as 1MDB, weren’t being used for their intended purpose, the person said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

GIP raises $2.75b for first Australian infrastructure fund

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global Infrastructure Partners, one of the proposed new owners of Asciano’s Pacific National rail business, has raised around $2.75 billion for its first Australian infrastructure fund to take advantage of rising demand for infrastructure investments. CPPIB has a 33 per cent share of the consortium, while GIP has 27 per cent, according to the scheme implementation deed.
China’s CIC Capital Corporation has 16 per cent, while Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation each have 12 per cent stakes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar sets 5% limit for shareholders of listed banks

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors must limit their holdings in publicly-traded banks and financial firms in Qatar to 5 per cent of a company’s capital, or 10 per cent with a central bank waiver, according to regulations published on Monday.
Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, owns stakes including 51.9 per cent of Qatar National Bank SAQ and 17.4 per cent of Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Real estate developer Ezdan Holding Group’s assets include 9.9 per cent of QIB and 21.5 per cent of Qatar International Islamic Bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Lower oil tests sovereign wealth funds

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bader Al Sa’ad, the head of the Kuwait Investment Authority, isn’t spending much time these days assessing new investments. Instead he is advising his government as it moves to establish a debt management office. Circumstances have changed in the Gulf, bringing in their wake a host of ripple effects. A while ago, the biggest headache for the sovereign wealth funds of the Middle East was finding safe but profitable homes for their portion of swelling oil revenues.
Now, many are fortunate if they do not have to liquidate holdings at the request of their cash strapped governments. Kuwait is among the best managed of the sovereign wealth funds in the Gulf which means it is under less pressure to sell, rather it is simply putting out less new money………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ reveals revenues from largest oil project

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Revenues of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) from the development project of Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) block of oil and gas fields totaled $117.799 billion from early 2001 to March 1, 2016, SOFAZ told Trend.
“The Fund’s revenues from the project totaled $790 million in Jan.-Feb. 2016, some $442 million of which accounted for January,” said SOFAZ. A contract for development of ACG block of fields was signed in 1994. The proven oil reserve of the block nears one billion tons………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Danish bank, Norway’s sovereign fund own stakes in Romanian oil carrier

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The top 10 shareholders of the Romanian oil carrier Conpet Ploiesti include Norway’s sovereign fund, which owns 0.24% of the company, and the largest Danish lender Danske Bank, with a stake of 0.14%, according to the latest reports recorded on Bloomberg.
The Romanian state controls the company through the Energy Ministry, which has a majority stake of 58.7%, and Romanian investment fund Fondul Proprietatea has a 6% stake, reports local Ziarul Financiar………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Forty years on, Adia continues to evolve and grow

Posted on 22 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) said they made great strides in developing internal capabilities and increasing its internal flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions as the sovereign wealth fund celebrates its 40 years existence.
In an open letter on Monday, Managing Director of Adia, Shaikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the institution has witnessed much in its history, from market booms to steep declines, and wide swings in commodity prices. “The responsibility we hold requires us to navigate with a steady hand through all conditions, never losing sight of the horizon. This ensures we are able to fulfil our obligations at all times, without compromising our long term investment goals or reputation in the market,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ADIA at 40: Sovereign wealth fund has really safeguarded the Emirate, says Eissa Al Suwaidi

Posted on 22 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When the Abu Dhabi Government was looking for experienced leaders such as Eissa Al Suwaidi for its newest sovereign wealth fund in 2007, it looked no further than the Emirate’s biggest pool of financial talent: the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia).
Mr Al Suwaidi joined the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, Adia’s sister fund and main domestic peer, at its creation and became its managing director last year. Like many of the chiefs of Abu Dhabi and UAE institutions, including the Central Bank, the top echelons of the financial elite are graduates of Adia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia, Egypt to sign $8bn investment deal Sunday

Posted on 22 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund PIF) will sign a preliminary agreement Sunday to invest up to 30 billion Saudi riyals ($8 billion) in Egypt’s energy, tourism, and housing sectors. The agreement will be signed by Egyptian Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman.
The planned investments are part of Saudi King Salman’s announcement made last December about the kingdom’s plans to increase investments in Egypt. Public Investment Fund is a sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Saudi Arabia. It seeks to invest through equity, loans or guarantees, and through allocations of public funds to specific projects………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar Doubles Down on Volkswagen

Posted on 22 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Qatar Holdings, a branch of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and a major investor in Volkswagen, plans to intervene more heavily in the carmaker’s strategy in the wake of the Dieselgate emissions-rigging scandal, Handelsblatt has learned.
According to sources, Qatar, which is VW’s third-largest investor, fears that the works council and the state of Lower Saxony, the latter of which has a 20 percent vote on the company’s board, will prevent real restructuring in the aftermath of the scandal. Chief executive Matthias Müller plans to present a comprehensive new strategy by the summer: it is expected to propose substantial cuts, including job losses and plant closures………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Author doubts accuracy of Qatar Investment Authority’s reported loss of $12 billion in third quarter of 2015

Posted on 22 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Financial Times reported a few months ago that the Qatar sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), had suffered a $12 billion paper loss in the third quarter of 2015. Unconvinced of the veracity of this report, Chris Wright, financial columnist and the author of “No More Worlds to Conquer,” told Gulf News Journal why it’s unlikely that QIA might have had a loss of that magnitude during that period.
“The problem is that the QIA doesn’t disclose its holdings, so we don’t know how other assets in the portfolio performed,” Chris Wright told Gulf News Journal. “Their real estate holdings probably did a lot better over the same period. On top of that, those are clearly not realized losses. Volkswagen fell heavily in that quarter, but it had gone up for several years beforehand. In the end, sovereign wealth funds don’t care about quarterly performance. They are set up for generations ahead.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norwegian National Oil Fund: A sovereign wealth fund to emulate

Posted on 22 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pragmatic economic management of Norway’s oil wealth has ensured that future generations will benefit from the wisdom and incorruptibility of their ancestors. Stavanger is perhaps the epitome of the economic transformation of Norway.
A sleepy fishing town, Stavanger once had good times, a decades-long boom in herring fishing, which ended suddenly with plunging catches after 1870. Like the rest of Norway, the town collapsed, with a huge fleet of wooden sailing ships and an agricultural economy. And in comparison to its industrialising neighbours, Norway was being left behind………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UOB-Temasek JV invests US$5m in e-commerce startups from Southeast Asia

Posted on 22 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A joint venture between United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Temasek, InnoVen Capital, on Monday announced it has signed two venture debt financing agreements valued at US$5 million with e-commerce startups in South-east Asia.
In the first quarter this year, InnoVen signed financing deals with Malaysia-based KFit Holdings, an e-commerce health and fitness company, and Thailand-based Pomelo Fashion, an e-commerce fashion company. Both companies will be using the venture debt loans, totalling US$5 million, to develop their business in the region………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi fund signals committed to Brazilian investments

Posted on 21 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Development signalled on Friday that it was committed to investments in Brazil despite political protests, economic crisis and a graft probe there. Mubadala has opened an office in Rio de Janeiro to manage and grow its Brazilian assets after restructuring a $2 billion investment in collapsed EBX Group, the fund said in a statement.
The Abu Dhabi fund launched the restructuring in early 2013 as EBX, a group controlled by former Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, ran into severe financial difficulties. Under the restructuring, the Abu Dhabi fund received $300 million in cash plus equity stakes in former EBX companies and other international assets, Mubadala said on Friday, adding that the total value of those assets exceeded the amount of the original investment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway takes pathway to ethical investment with human rights policy

Posted on 21 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The human rights strategy adopted by the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund shows that long-term gain relies on social and environmental sustainability. We may be on the brink of a real breakthrough in responsible investing thanks to a new policy on human rights adopted by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund.
Since 2013, a substantial segment of the palm oil industry and the buyers of their product have adopted strong forest conservation policies, often described as “No deforestation, no peat, no exploitation”. NGO campaigns and consumer reactions have built up the pressure. But when the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), withdrew its investment in 23 palm oil companies in 2012, the news sent shockwaves through the industry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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