Central Banking

Taiwan Central Bank: FX Reserves Not for Sovereign Wealth Fund

reservesTaiwan’s central bank, Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan), said it would not be appropriate to transfer the country’s foreign exchange reserves into a sovereign wealth fund. As of June 2014, Taiwan’s foreign exchange reserves stood at US$ 423.45 billion. The central bank stated that 71% of those reserves are allocated to domestic bonds and equities. Taiwan’s foreign exchange reserves are comparable in size to Hong Kong and South Korea. However, the island’s reserves dwarf China’s massive pool of foreign exchange reserves.

Taiwan’s foreign reserves keep growing. A key input is from the use of foreign exchange reserves investment income.

Government officials at the central bank believe that the goals of a sovereign wealth fund greatly differ than the objectives of a country’s foreign exchange reserves.

Huarong Attracts Goldman Sachs and Khazanah Nasional

China Huarong Asset Management Co. is finalizing on a deal to sell an approximate a 20% stake to a group of investors which include Goldman Sachs and Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional for US$ 2 billion. Huarong, one of China’s four asset management firms created in 1999, is looking forward to a future initial public offering and is locking up some long-term institutional investors. China’s Cinda Asset Management, another one of China’s impaired loan buying firms, raised US$ 2.8 billion in December 2013 from investors like Norges Bank Investment Management and New York-based Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC. Citigroup is the advisor for the deal.

Only July 10, Huarong raised US$ 1.5 billion in a bond offering. The U.S. dollar bonds were 850% oversubscribed and offered in line with Reg-S rules.

Currently, Huarong is 98.06% owned by China’s Ministry of Finance and 1.94% owned by China Life Insurance Group Co. China’s Ministry of Finance has approved a new issue of shares to investors.

The investor group is made up of:

  • Goldman Sachs
  • Khazanah Nasional Berhad
  • Warburg Pincus LLC
  • Citic Private Equity
  • China International Capital Corporation
  • Fosun International Ltd.
  • COFCO Limited

Oman Looks to Protect its Investment in Bulgarian Bank

bulgaria bank

Oman’s State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) is playing a pivotal role in the world of Bulgarian banks. The SGRF is reaching out to other large shareholders to put together a plan to help Bulgaria’s Corporate Commercial Bank – #4 bank in the country by assets. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

BRICS Making a Bank, RDIF Gets Involved

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations are making their own bank – countering the influence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The BRICS member nations have been disappointed with the non-implementation of the 2010 IMF reforms. Leaders of the nations signed an agreement to create the New Development Bank (NDB) to mobilize resources and capital to fund infrastructure and developments in BRICS countries. Starting with US$ 100 billion in initial authorized capital, the bank will be based in Shanghai. The first chair of the board of governors will be from Russia.

RDIF and the BRICS

The Russian Direct Investment Fund is attempting to form a joint fund to invest in equity capital of BRICS infrastructure projects. Just after the World Cup in Brazil, this topic was discussed at the BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil. Depending on negotiations, the fund could be operational by the next BRICS Summit taking place in Ufa, Russia in 2015.

Source: BRICS Summit

Sixth BRICS Summit – Fortaleza Declaration

1. We, the leaders of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, met in Fortaleza, Brazil, on 15 July 2014 at the Sixth BRICS Summit. To inaugurate the second cycle of BRICS Summits, the theme chosen for our discussions was “Inclusive Growth: Sustainable Solutions”, in keeping with the inclusive macroeconomic and social policies carried out by our governments and the imperative to address challenges to humankind posed by the need to simultaneously achieve growth, inclusiveness, protection and preservation.

2. In the aftermath of the first cycle of five Summits, hosted by every BRICS member, our coordination is well established in various multilateral and plurilateral initiatives and intra-BRICS cooperation is expanding to encompass new areas. Our shared views and commitment to international law and to multilateralism, with the United Nations at its center and foundation, are widely recognized and constitute a major contribution to global peace, economic stability, social inclusion, equality, sustainable development and mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries.

3. We renew our openness to increasing engagement with other countries, particularly developing countries and emerging market economies, as well as with international and regional organizations, with a view to fostering cooperation and solidarity in our relations with all nations and peoples. To that effect, we will hold a joint session with the leaders of the South American nations, under the theme of the Sixth BRICS Summit, with a view to furthering cooperation between BRICS and South America. We reaffirm our support for the South American integration processes, and recognize in particular the importance of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in promoting peace and democracy in the region, and in achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication. We believe that strengthened dialogue among BRICS and South American countries can play an active role in enhancing multilateralism and international cooperation, for the promotion of peace, security, economic and social progress and sustainable development in an interdependent and increasingly complex, globalizing world.

4. Since its inception the BRICS have been guided by the overarching objectives of peace, security, development and cooperation. In this new cycle, while remaining committed to those objectives, we pledge to deepen our partnership with a renewed vision, based on openness, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation. In this sense, we are ready to explore new areas towards a comprehensive cooperation and a closer economic partnership to facilitate market inter-linkages, financial integration, infrastructure connectivity as well as people-to-people contacts.

5. The Sixth Summit takes place at a crucial juncture, as the international community assesses how to address the challenges of strong economic recovery from the global financial crises, sustainable development, including climate change, while also formulating the post-2015 Development Agenda. At the same time, we are confronted with persistent political instability and conflict in various global hotspots and non-conventional emerging threats. On the other hand, international governance structures designed within a different power configuration show increasingly evident signs of losing legitimacy and effectiveness, as transitional and ad hoc arrangements become increasingly prevalent, often at the expense of multilateralism. We believe the BRICS are an important force for incremental change and reform of current institutions towards more representative and equitable governance, capable of generating more inclusive global growth and fostering a stable, peaceful and prosperous world.

6. During the first cycle of BRICS Summits, collectively our economies have consolidated their position as the main engines for sustaining the pace of the international economy as it recovers from the recent economic and financial global crisis. The BRICS continue to contribute significantly to global growth and to the reduction of poverty in our own and other countries. Our economic growth and social inclusion policies have helped to stabilize global economy, to foster the creation of jobs, to reduce poverty, and to combat inequality, thus contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. In this new cycle, besides its contribution in fostering strong, sustainable and balanced growth, BRICS will continue to play a significant role in promoting social development and in contributing to define the international agenda in this area, building on its experience in addressing the challenges of poverty and inequality.

7. To better reflect the advancement of the social policies of the BRICS and the positive impacts of its economic growth, we instruct our National Institutes of Statistics and the Ministries of Health and Education to work on the development of joint methodologies for social indicators to be incorporated in the BRICS Joint Statistical Publication. We also encourage the BRICS Think Tanks Council to provide technical support in this task. We further request the BRICS National Institutes of Statistics to discuss the viability and feasibility of a platform for the development of such methodologies and to report thereon.

8. The world economy has strengthened, with signs of improvement in some advanced economies. Significant downside risks to this recovery remain, however. Unemployment and debt levels are worryingly high and growth remains weak in many advanced economies. Emerging market economies and developing countries (EMDCs) continue to contribute significantly to global growth and will do so in the years to come. Even as the global economy strengthens, monetary policy settings in some advanced economies may bring renewed stress and volatility to financial markets and changes in monetary stance need to be carefully calibrated and clearly communicated in order to minimize negative spillovers.

9. Strong macroeconomic frameworks, well regulated financial markets and robust levels of reserves have allowed EMDCs in general, and the BRICS in particular, to better deal with the risks and spillovers presented by the challenging economic conditions in the last few years. Nevertheless, further macroeconomic coordination amongst all major economies, in particular in the G20, remains a critical factor for strengthening the prospects for a vigorous and sustainable recovery worldwide. In this context, we reaffirm our strong commitment to continue working among ourselves and with the global community to foster financial stability, support sustainable, stronger and inclusive growth and promote quality jobs. The BRICS stand ready to contribute to the G20 goal of lifting our collective GDP by more than 2 percent above the trajectory implied by current policies over the coming 5 years.

10. We commend Russia for the successful work during its presidency of the G20 in 2013. The institution of the BRICS Summits largely coincided with the beginning of the global crisis, the first G20 Summits and the consolidation of that Group as the premier forum for economic coordination among its members. As a new round of BRICS Summits begins, we remain committed to deliver constructive responses to global economic and financial challenges and to serve as a strong voice for the promotion of sustainable development, inclusive growth, financial stability and of more representative international economic governance. We will continue to pursue our fruitful coordination and to promote our development goals within the international economic system and financial architecture.

11. BRICS, as well as other EMDCs, continue to face significant financing constraints to address infrastructure gaps and sustainable development needs. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce the signing of the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB), with the purpose of mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging and developing economies. We appreciate the work undertaken by our Finance Ministers. Based on sound banking principles, the NDB will strengthen the cooperation among our countries and will supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global development, thus contributing to our collective commitments for achieving the goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

12. The Bank shall have an initial authorized capital of US$ 100 billion. The initial subscribed capital shall be of US$ 50 billion, equally shared among founding members. The first chair of the Board of Governors shall be from Russia. The first chair of the Board of Directors shall be from Brazil. The first President of the Bank shall be from India. The headquarters of the Bank shall be located in Shanghai. The New Development Bank Africa Regional Center shall be established in South Africa concurrently with the headquarters. We direct our Finance Ministers to work out the modalities for its operationalization.

13. We are pleased to announce the signing of the Treaty for the establishment of the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) with an initial size of US$ 100 billion. This arrangement will have a positive precautionary effect, help countries forestall short-term liquidity pressures, promote further BRICS cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements. We appreciate the work undertaken by our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. The Agreement is a framework for the provision of liquidity through currency swaps in response to actual or potential short-term balance of payments pressures.

14. We also welcome the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation among BRICS Export Credit and Guarantees Agencies that will improve the support environment for increasing trade opportunities among our nations.

15. We appreciate the progress our Development Banks have made in enhancing and strengthening the financial ties among BRICS countries. Given the importance of adopting innovation initiatives, we welcome the conclusion of the Cooperation Agreement on Innovation within the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism.

16. We recognize that there is potential for BRICS insurance and reinsurance markets to pool capacities. We direct our relevant authorities to explore avenues of cooperation in this regard.

17. We believe that sustainable development and economic growth will be facilitated by taxation of revenue generated in jurisdictions where economic activity takes place. We express our concern over the harmful impact of tax evasion, transnational fraud and aggressive tax planning on the world economy. We are aware of the challenges brought by aggressive tax avoidance and non-compliance practices. We, therefore, affirm our commitment to continue a cooperative approach on issues related to tax administrations and to enhance cooperation in the international forums targeting tax base erosion and information exchange for tax purposes. We direct our relevant authorities to explore ways of enhancing cooperation in this area. We also direct our relevant authorities to strengthen cooperation in the field of customs.

18. We remain disappointed and seriously concerned with the current non-implementation of the 2010 International Monetary Fund (IMF) reforms, which negatively impacts on the IMF’s legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness. The IMF reform process is based on high-level commitments, which already strengthened the Fund’s resources and must also lead to the modernization of its governance structure so as to better reflect the increasing weight of EMDCs in the world economy. The Fund must remain a quota-based institution. We call on the membership of the IMF to find ways to implement the 14th General Review of Quotas without further delay. We reiterate our call on the IMF to develop options to move ahead with its reform process, with a view to ensuring increased voice and representation of EMDCs, in case the 2010 reforms are not entered into force by the end of the year. We also call on the membership of the IMF to reach a final agreement on a new quota formula together with the 15th General Review of Quotas so as not to further jeopardize the postponed deadline of January 2015.

19. We welcome the goals set by the World Bank Group to help countries end extreme poverty and to promote shared prosperity. We recognize the potential of this new strategy in support of the fulfillment of these ambitious goals by the international community. This potential will only be realized, however, if the institution and its membership effectively move towards more democratic governance structures, strengthen the Bank’s financial capacity and explore innovative ways to enhance development financing and knowledge sharing while pursuing a strong client orientation that recognizes each country’s development needs. We look forward to initiating the work on the next shareholding review at the World Bank as soon as possible in order to meet the agreed deadline of October 2015. In this sense, we call for an international financial architecture that is more conducive to overcoming development challenges. We have been very active in improving the international financial architecture through our multilateral coordination and through our financial cooperation initiatives, which will, in a complementary manner, increase the diversity and availability of resources for promoting development and ensuring stability in the global economy.

20. We are committed to raise our economic cooperation to a qualitatively new level. To achieve this, we emphasize the importance of establishing a road map for intra-BRICS economic cooperation. In this regard, we welcome the proposals for a “BRICS Economic Cooperation Strategy” and a “Framework of BRICS Closer Economic Partnership”, which lay down steps to promote intra-BRICS economic, trade and investment cooperation. Based on the documents tabled and informed by the input of the BRICS Think Tanks Council (BTTC), we instruct our Sherpas to advance discussions with a view to submit their proposal for endorsement by the next BRICS Summit.

21. We believe all countries should enjoy due rights, equal opportunities and fair participation in global economic, financial and trade affairs, recognizing that countries have different capacities and are at different levels of development. We strive for an open world economy with efficient allocation of resources, free flow of goods, and fair and orderly competition to the benefit of all. In reaffirming our support for an open, inclusive, non-discriminatory, transparent and rule-based multilateral trading system, we will continue our efforts towards the successful conclusion of the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO), following the positive results of the Ninth Ministerial Conference (MC9), held in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013. In this context, we reaffirm our commitment to establish by the end of this year a post-Bali work program for concluding the Doha Round, based on the progress already made and in keeping with the mandate established in the Doha Development Agenda. We affirm that this work program should prioritize the issues where legally binding outcomes could not be achieved at MC9, including Public Stock-Holding for Food Security Purposes. We look forward to the implementation of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation. We call upon international partners to provide support to the poorest, most vulnerable WTO members to enable them to implement this Agreement, which should support their development objectives. We strongly support the WTO dispute settlement system as a cornerstone of the security and predictability of the multilateral trading system and we will enhance our ongoing dialogue on substantive and practical matters relating to it, including in the ongoing negotiations on WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding reform. We recognize the importance of Regional Trade Agreements, which should complement the multilateral trading system, and of keeping them open, inclusive and transparent, as well as refraining from introducing exclusive and discriminatory clauses and standards.

22. We reaffirm the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) mandate as the focal point in the UN system dedicated to consider the interrelated issues of trade, investment, finance and technology from a development perspective. UNCTAD’s mandate and work are unique and necessary to deal with the challenges of development and growth in the increasingly interdependent global economy. In congratulating UNCTAD for the 50th anniversary of its foundation in 2014, which is also the anniversary of the establishment of the Group of 77, we further reaffirm the importance of strengthening UNCTAD’s capacity to deliver on its programs of consensus building, policy dialogue, research, technical cooperation and capacity building so that it is better equipped to deliver on its development mandate.

23. We acknowledge the important role that State Owned Companies (SOCs) play in the economy and encourage our SOCs to continue to explore ways of cooperation, exchange of information and best practices. We also recognize the fundamental role played by small and medium-sized enterprises in the economies of our countries as major creators of jobs and wealth. We will enhance cooperation and recognize the need for strengthening intra-BRICS dialogue with a view to promote international exchange and cooperation and to foster innovation, research and development.

24. We underline that 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (UN) and the end of the Second World War. In this connection, we support the UN to initiate and organize commemorative events to mark and pay tribute to these two historical moments in human history, and reaffirm our commitment to safeguarding a just and fair international order based on the UN Charter, maintaining world peace and security, as well as promoting human progress and development.

25. We reiterate our strong commitment to the UN as the fundamental multilateral organization entrusted with helping the international community maintain international peace and security, protect and foster human rights and promote sustainable development. The UN enjoys universal membership and is at the very center of global governance and multilateralism. We recall the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. We reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, so that it can adequately respond to global challenges. China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to Brazil, India and South Africa’s status and role in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.

26. We recall that development and security are closely interlinked, mutually reinforcing and key to attaining sustainable peace. We reiterate our view that the establishment of sustainable peace requires a comprehensive, concerted and determined approach, based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equity and cooperation, that addresses the root causes of conflicts, including their political, economic and social dimensions. In this context, we also stress the close interrelation between peacekeeping and peacebuilding. We also highlight the importance of bringing gender perspectives to conflict prevention and resolution, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.

27. We will continue our joint efforts in coordinating positions and acting on shared interests on global peace and security issues for the common well-being of humanity. We stress our commitment to the sustainable and peaceful settlement of disputes, according to the principles and purposes of the UN Charter. We condemn unilateral military interventions and economic sanctions in violation of international law and universally recognized norms of international relations. Bearing this in mind, we emphasize the unique importance of the indivisible nature of security, and that no State should strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others.

28. We agree to continue to treat all human rights, including the right to development, in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis. We will foster dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect in the field of human rights, both within BRICS and in multilateral fora – including the United Nations Human Rights Council where all BRICS serve as members in 2014 – taking into account the necessity to promote, protect and fulfill human rights in a non-selective, non-politicized and constructive manner, and without double standards.

29. We commend the efforts made by the United Nations, the African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), among others, in support for the realization of legislative and presidential elections in Guinea Bissau, paving the way for the return to constitutional democracy in the country. We recognize the importance of promoting long-term political stability in Guinea-Bissau, which necessarily encompasses measures to reduce food insecurity and to advance a comprehensive security sector reform, as proposed by the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission. Similarly, we also welcome the efforts of the UN, AU and Southern African Development Community (SADC) in support of legislative and presidential elections in Madagascar, assisting in the return of constitutional democracy in the country.

30. We commend the efforts of the international community in addressing instability in Africa through engagement with, and coordination by, the AU and its Peace and Security Council. We express our deep concern at the deterioration of the security and the humanitarian situation in West Africa. We call upon all parties in these conflicts to cease hostilities, exercise restraint and engage in dialogue to ensure return to peace and stability. However, we also note the progress that has been made in areas of the region in addressing political and security challenges.

31. We also express our concern with the plight of the abducted women and children of Chibok and call for an end to the continued terrorist acts perpetrated by Boko Haram.

32. We support the efforts of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in its task to help the Government of Mali fully stabilize the country, facilitate national political dialogue, protect civilians, monitor the human rights situation, create conditions for the provision of humanitarian assistance and the return of displaced persons, and extend the State authority in the whole country. We emphasize the importance of an inclusive political process; the immediate implementation of a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process; and political, economic and social development in order for Mali to achieve sustainable peace and stability.

33. We express our concern about the ongoing political and humanitarian crises in South Sudan. We condemn the continuation of violence against civilians and call upon all parties to ensure a safe environment for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. We also condemn the continuation of confrontations despite the successive commitments to the cessation of hostilities and express our belief that a sustainable solution to the crisis is only possible through an inclusive political dialogue aimed at national reconciliation. We support, in this regard, the regional efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, especially the mediation process led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). We welcome the “Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan”, signed on May 9, and expect the political leaders of South Sudan to remain committed to the negotiation process and to the completion of dialogue on the formation of a transitional government of national unity within 60 days, as announced by IGAD on June 10. We commend the efforts of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to fulfill its mandate and express our deep concern about the armed attacks that were led against UN bases in the country.

34. We reiterate our grave concern with the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR). We strongly condemn the abuses and acts of violence against the civilian population, including sectarian violence, and urge all armed groups to cease hostilities immediately. We recognize the efforts of the Economic Community of Central African States and the AU to restore peace and stability in the country. We commend the establishment of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA). We express our support for a successful transition from the African-led International Support Mission to the CAR (MISCA) to MINUSCA by 15 September 2014. We urge the transitional authorities in the CAR to adhere strictly to the N’Djamena Roadmap. We call upon all parties to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need. We reaffirm our readiness to work with the international community to assist the CAR in accelerating the implementation of the political process of the country.

35. We support the efforts by the UN, in particular the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), deployed under UN Security Council resolution 2098, and the regional and sub-regional organizations to bring peace and stability to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and we call upon all involved to honor their obligations in order to achieve lasting peace and stability in the DRC.

36. We welcome the AU Malabo Summit decision to establish an interim African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) by October 2014 to respond quickly to crisis situations as they arise. We stress the importance of adequate support to ensure the timely operationalization of the ACIRC, pending the final establishment of the African Stand-by Force.

37. We express deep concern about the ongoing violence and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria and condemn the increasing violations of human rights by all parties. We reiterate our view that there is no military solution to the conflict, and highlight the need to avoid its further militarization. We call upon all parties to commit immediately to a complete cease-fire, to halt violence and to allow and facilitate immediate, safe, full and unimpeded access for humanitarian organizations and agencies, in compliance with the UN Security Council resolution 2139. We recognize practical steps undertaken by the Syrian parties in implementing its requirements, including the practice of local cease-fire agreements reached between the Syrian authorities and the opposition forces.

We reiterate our condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, wherever it occurs. We are gravely concerned at the continued threat of terrorism and extremism in Syria. We call on all Syrian parties to commit to putting an end to terrorist acts perpetrated by Al-Qaeda, its affiliates and other terrorist organizations.

We strongly condemn the use of chemical weapons in any circumstances. We welcome the decision of the Syrian Arab Republic to accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention. In accordance with related Organization for the Proscription of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Executive Council decisions and UN Security Council resolution 2118, we reiterate the importance of the complete removal and elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons. We commend the progress in that regard and welcome the announcement that the removal of declared chemicals from the Syrian Arab Republic was completed. We call on all Syrian parties and interested external actors with relevant capabilities to work closely together and with the OPCW and the UN to arrange for the security of the monitoring and destruction mission in its final stage.

We support the mediation role played by the UN. We appreciate the contribution made by former Joint UN – Arab League Special Representative for Syria, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, and welcome the appointment of Mr. Staffan De Mistura as UN Special Envoy to Syria, and express our hope for his active efforts to promote an early resumption of comprehensive negotiations. We recall that national dialogue and reconciliation are key to the political solution for the Syrian crisis. We take note of the recent Syrian presidential elections. We stress that only an inclusive political process, led by the Syrians, as recommended in the Action Group on Syria Final Communiqué of 2012, will lead to peace, effective protection of civilians, the realization of the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian society for freedom and prosperity and respect for Syrian independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty. We emphasize that a national reconciliation process needs to be launched as early as possible, in the interest of the national unity of Syria. To that end, we urge all parties in Syria to demonstrate political will, enhance mutual understanding, exercise restraint and commit to seeking common ground in accommodating their differences.

38. We reaffirm our commitment to contribute to a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of the universally recognized international legal framework, including the relevant UN resolutions, the Madrid Principles and the Arab Peace Initiative. We believe that the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a fundamental component for building a sustainable peace in the Middle East. We call upon Israel and Palestine to resume negotiations leading to a two-State solution with a contiguous and economically viable Palestinian State existing side by side in peace with Israel, within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders based on the 4 June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We oppose the continuous construction and expansion of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by the Israeli Government, which violates international law, gravely undermines peace efforts and threatens the viability of the two-State solution. We welcome recent efforts to achieve intra-Palestinian unity, including the formation of a national unity government and steps towards conducting general elections, which is key element to consolidate a democratic and sustainable Palestinian State, and call on the parties to fully commit to the obligations assumed by Palestine. We call on the UN Security Council to fully exercise its functions under the UN Charter with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We recall with satisfaction the decision of the UN General Assembly to proclaim 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, welcome the efforts of UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in providing assistance and protection for Palestine refugees and encourage the international community to continue to support the activities of the agency.

39. We express our support for the convening, at the earliest possible date, of the Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. We call upon all states of the region to attend the Conference and to engage constructively and in a pragmatic manner with a view to advancing that goal.

40. Noting the open-ended consultations on a draft International Code of Conduct on Outer Space Activities, and the active and constructive engagement of our countries in these consultations, we call for an inclusive and consensus-based multilateral negotiation to be conducted within the framework of the UN without specific deadlines in order to reach a balanced outcome that addresses the needs and reflects the concerns of all participants. Reaffirming our will that the exploration and use of outer space shall be for peaceful purposes, we stress that negotiations for the conclusion of an international agreement or agreements to prevent an arms race in outer space remain a priority task of the Conference on Disarmament, and welcome the introduction by China and Russia of the updated draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects.

41. While reiterating our view that there is no alternative to a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, we reaffirm our support to its resolution through political and diplomatic means and dialogue. In this context, we welcome the positive momentum generated by talks between Iran and the E3+3 and encourage the thorough implementation of the Geneva Joint Plan of Action of 24 November 2013, with a view to achieving a comprehensive and long-lasting solution to this issue. We also encourage Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to continue strengthening their cooperation and dialogue on the basis of the Joint Statement signed on 11 November 2013. We recognize Iran’s inalienable right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy in a manner consistent with its international obligations.

42. Recognizing that peace, security and development are closely interlinked, we reaffirm that Afghanistan needs time, development assistance and cooperation, preferential access to world markets and foreign investment to attain lasting peace and stability. We support the commitment of the international community to remain engaged in Afghanistan during the transformation decade (2015-2024), as enunciated at the Bonn International Conference in December 2011. We stress that the UN should play an increasingly important role in assisting Afghanistan’s national reconciliation, recovery and economic reconstruction. We also reaffirm our commitment to support Afghanistan’s emergence as a peaceful, stable and democratic state, free of terrorism and extremism, and underscore the need for more effective regional and international cooperation for the stabilization of Afghanistan, including by combating terrorism. We extend support to the efforts aimed at combating illicit traffic in opiates originating in Afghanistan within the framework of the Paris Pact. We expect a broad-based and inclusive peace process in Afghanistan which is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. We welcome the second round of the presidential elections in Afghanistan which contribute to the democratic transfer of power in this country. We welcome China’s offer to host the Fourth Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in August 2014.

43. We are deeply concerned by the situation in Iraq. We strongly support the Iraqi government in its effort to overcome the crisis, uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We are concerned about spillover effects of the instability in Iraq resulting from increased terrorist activities in the region, and urge all parties to address the terrorist threat in a consistent manner. We urge all regional and global players to refrain from interference that will further deepen the crisis and to support the Iraqi government and the people of Iraq in their efforts to overcome the crisis, and build a stable, inclusive and united Iraq. We emphasize the importance of national reconciliation and unity in Iraq, taking into consideration the wars and conflicts the Iraqi people have sufferedand in this context we commend the peaceful and orderly holding of the latest parliamentary elections.

44. We express our deep concern with the situation in Ukraine. We call for a comprehensive dialogue, the de-escalation of the conflict and restraint from all the actors involved, with a view to finding a peaceful political solution, in full compliance with the UN Charter and universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.

45. We reaffirm our commitment to continue to tackle transnational organized crime, with full respect for human rights, in order to reduce the negative impact it has on individuals and societies. We encourage joint efforts aimed at preventing and combating transnational criminal activities in accordance with national legislations and international legal instruments, especially the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. In this regard, we welcome BRICS cooperation in multilateral fora, highlighting our engagement in the ECOSOC Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

46. Piracy and armed robbery at sea are complex phenomena that must be fought effectively in a comprehensive and integrated manner. We welcome the efforts made by the international community to counter maritime piracy and call upon all stakeholders – civilian and military, public and private – to remain engaged in the fight against this phenomenon. We also highlight the need for a transparent and objective review of the High Risk Areas, with a view to avoiding unnecessary negative effects on the economy and security of coastal states. We commit to strengthen our cooperation on this serious issue.

47. We are deeply concerned by the world drug problem, which continues to threaten public health, safety and well-being and to undermine social, economic and political stability and sustainable development. We are committed to countering the world drug problem, which remains a common and shared responsibility, through an integrated, multidisciplinary, mutually reinforcing and balanced approach to supply and demand reduction strategies, in line with the three UN drug conventions and other relevant norms and principles of international law. We welcome the substantive work done by Russia in preparing and hosting the International Ministers Meeting on 15 May 2014 to discuss the world drug problem. We take note of the proposal for the creation of an Anti-Drug Working Group presented at the Second Meeting of BRICS Heads of Drug Control Agencies.

48. We reiterate our strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stress that there can be no justification, whatsoever, for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic, or any other justification. We call upon all entities to refrain from financing, encouraging, providing training for or otherwise supporting terrorist activities. We believe that the UN has a central role in coordinating international action against terrorism, which must be conducted in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter, and with respect to human rights and fundamental freedoms. In this context, we reaffirm our commitment to the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We express our concern at the increasing use, in a globalized society, by terrorists and their supporters, of information and communications technologies (ICTs), in particular the Internet and other media, and reiterate that such technologies can be powerful tools in countering the spread of terrorism, including by promoting tolerance and dialogue among peoples. We will continue to work together to conclude as soon as possible negotiations and to adopt in the UN General Assembly the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. We also stress the need to promote cooperation among our countries in preventing terrorism, especially in the context of major events.

49. We believe that ICTs should provide instruments to foster sustainable economic progress and social inclusion, working together with the ICT industry, civil society and academia in order to realize the ICT-related potential opportunities and benefits for all. We agree that particular attention should be given to young people and to small and medium-sized enterprises, with a view to promoting international exchange and cooperation, as well as to fostering innovation, ICT research and development. We agree that the use and development of ICTs through international cooperation and universally accepted norms and principles of international law is of paramount importance, in order to ensure a peaceful, secure and open digital and Internet space. We strongly condemn acts of mass electronic surveillance and data collection of individuals all over the world, as well as violation of the sovereignty of States and of human rights, in particular the right to privacy. We take note of the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet, held in São Paulo, on 23-24 April 2014. We thank Brazil for having organized it.

50. We will explore cooperation on combating cybercrimes and we also recommit to the negotiation of a universal legally binding instrument in that field. We consider that the UN has a central role in this matter. We agree it is necessary to preserve ICTs, particularly the Internet, as an instrument of peace and development and to prevent its use as a weapon. Moreover, we commit ourselves to working together in order to identify possibilities of developing joint activities to address common security concerns in the use of ICTs. We reiterate the common approach set forth in the eThekwini Declaration about the importance of security in the use of ICTs. We welcome the decision of the National Security Advisors to establish a group of experts of BRICS member States which will elaborate practical proposals concerning major fields of cooperation and coordinate our positions in international fora. Bearing in mind the significance of these issues, we take note of Russia’s proposal of a BRICS agreement on cooperation in this field to be jointly elaborated.

51. We reiterate our commitment to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Protocols, with special attention to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets. We recognize the challenge posed by the agreed targets on conservation of biodiversity and reaffirm the need to implement the decisions on resource mobilization agreed to by all parties in Hyderabad in 2012, and set resource mobilization targets that are ambitious in order to allow for their fulfillment.

52. Acknowledging that climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humankind, we call on all countries to build upon the decisions adopted in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with a view to reaching a successful conclusion by 2015, of negotiations on the development of a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties, in accordance with the principles and provisions of UNFCCC, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. In this regard, we reiterate our support to the Presidency of the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, to be held in Lima, Peru, in December 2014. We also note the convening of the UN Climate Summit 2014 to be held this September.

53. While bearing in mind that fossil fuel remains one of the major sources of energy, we reiterate our belief that renewable and clean energy, research and development of new technologies and energy efficiency, can constitute an important driver to promote sustainable development, create new economic growth, reduce energy costs and increase the efficiency in the use of natural resources. Considering the dynamic link between renewable and clean energy and sustainable development, we reaffirm the importance of continuing international efforts aimed at promoting the deployment of renewable and clean energy and energy efficiency technologies, taking into account national policies, priorities and resources. We stand for strengthening international cooperation to promote renewable and clean energy and to universalize energy access, which is of great importance to improving the standard of living of our peoples.

54. We are committed to working towards an inclusive, transparent and participative intergovernmental process for building a universal and integrated development agenda with poverty eradication as the central and overarching objective. The agenda should integrate the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced and comprehensive manner with concise, implementable and measurable goals, taking into account differing national realities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. The Post-2015 Development Agenda must also be based on and fully respect all Rio principles on sustainable development, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. We welcome the outcome document of the UN General Assembly Special Event on the Millennium Development Goals, which decided to launch an intergovernmental process at the beginning of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly that will lead to the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

55. We reiterate our commitment to the UN General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to working together to achieve a consensual and ambitious proposal on SDGs. We emphasize the importance of the work by the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing and highlight the need for an effective sustainable development financing strategy to facilitate the mobilization of resources in achieving sustainable development objectives and supporting developing countries in the implementation efforts, with ODA as a major source of financing. We support the creation of a facilitation mechanism for the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies and call for the establishment of a working group within the UN on this proposal, taking into account the Rio+20 outcome document and the Secretary General’s reports on the issue. In this regard, we reaffirm that the outcome of each of these processes can contribute to the formulation of Sustainable Development Goals.

56. We recognize the strategic importance of education for sustainable development and inclusive economic growth. We reaffirm our commitment to accelerating progress in attaining the Education for All goals and education-related Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and stress that the development agenda beyond 2015 should build on these goals to ensure equitable, inclusive and quality education and lifelong learning for all. We are willing to strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation in the area and welcome the meeting of Ministers of Education held in Paris, in November 2013. We intend to continue cooperation with relevant international organizations. We encourage the initiative to establish the BRICS Network University.

57. In March 2014 we agreed to collaborate through dialogue, cooperation, sharing of experiences and capacity building on population related matters of mutual concern to member states. We recognize the vital importance of the demographic dividend that many of us possess to advance our sustainable development as well as the need to integrate population factors into national development plans, and to promote a long-term balanced population and development. The demographic transition and post-transition challenges, including population ageing and mortality reduction are amongst the most important challenges facing the world today. We confirm our strong commitment to address social issues in general and in particular gender inequality, women’s rights and issues facing young people and we reaffirm our determination to ensure sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights for all.

58. We recognize that corruption negatively affects sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction and financial stability. We are committed to combat domestic and foreign bribery, and strengthen international cooperation, including law enforcement cooperation, in accordance with multilaterally established principles and norms, especially the UN Convention Against Corruption.

59. Considering the link between culture and sustainable development, as well as the role of cultural diplomacy as a promoter of understanding between peoples, we will encourage cooperation between BRICS countries in the cultural sector, including on the multilateral basis. Recognizing the contribution and the benefits of cultural exchanges and cooperation in enhancing our mutual understanding and friendship, we will actively promote greater awareness, understanding and appreciation of each other’s arts and culture. In this regard, we ask our relevant authorities responsible for culture to explore areas of practical cooperation, including to expedite negotiations on the draft agreement on cultural cooperation.

60. We are pleased with progress in implementing the eThekwini Action Plan, which further enhanced our cooperation and unleashed greater potential for our development. In this regard, we commend South Africa for the full implementation of the eThekwini Action Plan.

61. We are committed to promoting agricultural cooperation and to exchange information regarding strategies for ensuring access to food for the most vulnerable population, reduction of negative impact of climate change on food security and adaptation of agriculture to climate change. We recall with satisfaction the decision of UN General Assembly to declare 2014 the International Year of Family Farming.

62. We take note of the following meetings which were held in preparation for this Summit:

- Third BRICS Think Tanks Council (BTTC);

- Third BRICS Business Council;

- Sixth Academic Forum;

- Fifth Business Forum;

- Fourth Financial Forum.

63. We welcome the outcomes of the meeting of the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and endorse the Joint Communiqué of the Meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers held in preparation for the Summit.

64. The 5th edition of the BRICS Business Forum provided an opportunity for match-making and for in-depth discussion of highly relevant issues of the trade and investment agenda. We welcome the meeting of the BRICS Business Council and commend it for its Annual Report 2013/2014. We encourage the respective business communities to follow-up the initiatives proposed and to deepen dialogue and cooperation in the five areas dealt with by the Industry/Sector Working Groups with a view to intensifying trade and investment flows amongst BRICS countries as well as between BRICS and other partners around the world.

65. We reiterate our commitment made during the BRICS Leaders-Africa Retreat at the 5th BRICS Summit to foster and develop BRICS-Africa cooperation in support of the socioeconomic development of Africa, particularly with regard to infrastructure development and industrialization. We welcome the inclusion of these issues in discussions during the BRICS Business Council Meeting, held in Johannesburg in August 2013.

66. We welcome the BTTC Study “Towards a Long-Term Strategy for BRICS: Recommendations by the BTTC”. We acknowledge the decision taken by the BTTC, taken at its Rio de Janeiro meeting in March 2014 to focus its work on the five pillars upon which the BRICS long-term strategy for cooperation will rest. The BTTC is encouraged to develop strategic pathways and action plans that will lead to the realization of this long-term strategy.

67. We welcome the holding of the first Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Cape Town Declaration, which is aimed at: (i) strengthening cooperation in science, technology and innovation; (ii) addressing common global and regional socio-economic challenges utilizing shared experiences and complementarities; (iii) co-generating new knowledge and innovative products, services and processes utilizing appropriate funding and investment instruments; and (iv) promoting, where appropriate, joint BRICS partnerships with other strategic actors in the developing world. We instruct the BRICS Ministers of Science and Technology to sign at their next meeting the Memorandum of Understanding on Science, Technology and Innovation, which provides a strategic framework for cooperation in this field.

68. We welcome the establishment of the BRICS Information Sharing and Exchange Platform, which seeks to facilitate trade and investment cooperation.

69. We will continue to improve competition policy and enforcement, undertake actions to address challenges that BRICS Competition Authorities face and further enable competitive environments in order to enhance contributions to economic growth in our economies. We note South Africa’s offer to host the 4th Meeting of BRICS Competition Authorities in 2015.

70. We reiterate our commitment to fostering our partnership for common development. To this end, we adopt the Fortaleza Action Plan.

71. Russia, India, China and South Africa extend their warm appreciation to the Government and people of Brazil for hosting the Sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza.

72. Brazil, India, China and South Africa convey their appreciation to Russia for its offer to host the Seventh BRICS Summit in 2015 in the city of Ufa and extend their full support to that end.

Fortaleza Action Plan

1. Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs / International Relations on the margins of UN General Assembly.

2. Meeting of BRICS National Security Advisors.

3. Mid-term meeting of BRICS Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas.

4. Meetings of BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on the margins of G20 meetings, WB/IMF meetings, as well as stand-alone meetings, as required.

5. Meetings of BRICS Trade Ministers on the margin of multilateral events, or stand-alone meetings, as required.

6. Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development, preceded by the Meeting of BRICS Agricultural Cooperation Working Group.

7. Meeting of BRICS Health Ministers.

8. Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Science, Technology and Innovation.

9. Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education.

10. Meeting of Ministers or Senior Officials responsible for social security, on the margins of a multilateral meeting.

11. BRICS Seminar of Officials and Experts on Population Matters.

12. Meeting of BRICS Cooperatives (held in Curitiba on 14-16 May 2014).

13. Meetings of financial and fiscal authorities on the margins of WB/IMF meetings as well as stand-alone meetings, as required.

14. Meetings of the BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI).

15. Meeting of the BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Governments Cooperation Forum.

16. Meeting of the BRICS Urbanization Forum.

17. Meeting of BRICS Competition Authorities in 2015 in South Africa.

18. Meeting of BRICS Heads of National Statistical Institutions.

19. Meeting of Anti-Drug Experts.

20. Meeting of BRICS Experts on Anti-corruption cooperation, on the margins of a multilateral meeting

21. Consultations amongst BRICS Permanent Missions and/or Embassies, as appropriate, in New York, Vienna, Rome, Paris, Washington, Nairobi and Geneva, where appropriate.

22. Consultative meeting of BRICS Senior Officials on the margins of relevant sustainable development, environment and climate related international fora, where appropriate.

23. Sports and Mega Sporting Events.

New areas of cooperation to be explored

- Mutual recognition of Higher Education Degrees and Diplomas;

- Labor and Employment, Social Security, Social Inclusion Public Policies;

- Foreign Policy Planning Dialogue;

- Insurance and reinsurance;

- Seminar of Experts on E-commerce.

Academic-Led Study Says Professors on Boards Help Performance

financial buyouts

Are corporate directors from the academic world effective board members? A discussion paper concludes that companies that have directors from the academic world (specifically non-administrative academics) are associated with higher performance. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

REBOUND: Foreign Institutional Investors Buy More of Moscow Exchange

The Central Bank of Russia is selling a stake of the Moscow Exchange to a consortium of institutional investors led by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). The RDIF was a cornerstone investor in the Moscow Exchange’s initial public offering back in February 2013.

Institutional Investors

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Stronger Ties: Singapore PM in US for Strategic Economic Talks

On June 23, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met with U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to talk about investment opportunities in America that Singapore can partake in. Both of Singapore’s sovereign wealth funds, Temasek Holdings and GIC Private Limited, are active direct institutional investors in North America.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Friday SWFI News Roundup, June 20, 2014

bcIMC Posts 14.7% Return

The British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) posted a 14.7% return for its investments ending the fiscal year on March 31. Assets were boosted to US$ 105.3 billion. “Overweighting global equities and underweighting fixed income were the main drivers of the double-digit returns,” said Doug Pearce, CEO and chief investment officer, in a press release.

AMEX Deal Clears in India

Juweel Investors, a holding entity set up by Qatar Holding and other investors, has received approval from an Indian regulator to move forward with the American Express (AMEX) deal. The regulator CCI commented that the AMEX deal would unlikely have an adverse impact on competition in India. Furthermore, CCI noted that Qatar Holding did not have any interest or investment in any Indian company that engaged in global business travel services.

Wealth Funds Invest in Ceramics Company

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Saudi Arabia Looks to Formalize Reserve-Like Sovereign Wealth Fund

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) manages hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign currency reserves. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is seeking to formalize a sovereign wealth fund. The proposed fund, National Reserve Fund, will be discussed by the Majlis as-Shura, the consultative assembly of Saudi Arabia. The draft law is under debate. The National Reserve Fund could start with initial capital worth 30% of budgetary surpluses amassed over a number of years.

View SAMA Foreign Holdings Profile

Chinese Yuan

Increasingly, Middle East central banks with massive foreign reserves are looking to the Chinese yuan as a potential diversifier. SAMA thinks the yuan is far from being a reserve currency, but it is getting stronger. In fact, China is Saudi Arabia’s largest crude buyer, giving 1.17 million barrels of oil per day. Beijing has been active setting up open currency swap agreements with central banks globally.

Central Bank of Ecuador Loans Gold to Goldman Sachs for Liquidity

Being short on cash, the Central Bank of Ecuador has inked an agreement to move more than 50% of its physical gold reserves to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. In return, the government of Ecuador will get “highly-secure and liquid instruments” that are expected to generate between US$ 16 million to US$ 20 million over the term of the deal. The central bank is expected to get the same amount of gold back in 3 years. The central bank is sending 466,000 ounces of physical gold to Goldman Sachs – valued at about US$ 580 million at current prices.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Top JP Morgan Exec Talks Sovereign Wealth Funds

sovereign wealthIn New York, at the UBS Global Financial Services Conference on May 21st, Mary Erdoes, CEO of Asset Management for JP Morgan Chase & Co., highlighted emerging market equity as a popular focus for sovereign wealth fund asset allocation. Erdoes also drew a comparison between trends in sovereign wealth allocation and demand for JP Morgan’s wealth management business. The large asset management firms like JP Morgan, BlackRock and BNY Mellon have dedicated sovereign wealth fund teams or official institution groups.

The executive said that the long-term nature of government entities, sovereign wealth funds, and central banks causes these types of clients to look for asset managers that they think will be around and able to work with them for decades.

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Propping Up: LIA Plans to Invest Billions in Local Bourse

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) wants to invest its billions in the local stock market. Specifically, the Libyan Local Investment and Development Fund (LLIDF), created by the LIA and Libyan’s central bank, will invest in stocks listed on the stock exchange to increase liquidity to help lure foreign investors. With some share prices of companies on the bourse barely moving for days on end, the absence of liquidity has deterred local companies from floating stocks.

The Libyan Exchange Stock Market opened in Tripoli back in March 2007. It was closed during the Libyan Civil War. The exchange reopened on March 15, 2012.

LIA Chairman Abdulmagid Breish told the Libya Herald, “The LIA wants to pass 20-30 percent of its future LLIDF investments through Libya’s nascent stock exchange.”

Local Opportunities: Oman Launches New SME Fund

The government of Oman is launching a new national fund to help spur the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Sovereign Wealth Funds Gamble on Greek Banking Recovery

Athens-based National Bank of Greece SA raised €2.5 billion in equity share capital at a price of €2.20 per share. All shares were sold to foreign investors – being oversubscribed more than twice. Major institutional investors participated in the capital increase including Pimco, BlackRock, Fidelity Investments, York Capital and funds managed by billionaire George Soros. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Citi Wins Custodian Business for Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund

Citigroup Banking

Citi, the fourth biggest custodian in the world, won a deal to be the custodian of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund – Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG). Financial institutions providing custodian services for sovereign wealth funds are figuring out these clients have tailored needs, due to SWF activity in numerous countries and the accompanied regulatory issues. To remain competitive, custodian banks have had to invest in technology, spend more on marketing and increase professional staff in key markets. For example, in 2013, Northern Trust opened up an office in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Their other major GCC office is in Abu Dhabi.

Citi’s victory of a 7-year contract has shaken its key competitors. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Pakistan Raises $2 Billion in Eurobonds

The government of Pakistan has raised US$ 2 billion in international debt markets by issuing Eurobonds in terms of 5 years and 10 years. The offering was oversubscribed (over 400 orders) receiving US$ 5.2 billion in offers – it was the biggest single amount the government of Pakistan has ever raised. However, according to Moody’s, Pakistan has a junk credit rating of Caa1.

For the 5-year bonds, the Pakistan Ministry of Finance noted that 59% of investors were based from the United States, 29% from Europe, 10% from Asia and the rest elsewhere.

Back in 2007, the Musharraf administration raised 10-year bonds at 6.75% interest.

5-Year, US$ 1 Billion, 7.25%
10-Year, US$ 1 Billion, 8.25%

Deep Dive with Charlie Welsh, Co-Founder of Mergermarket

Charlie Welsh, Co-Founder of Mergermarket

Charlie Welsh, Co-Founder of Mergermarket

This interview will appear in the 1Q Y2014 (April 2014) issue of the Sovereign Wealth Quarterly.

This is a deep dive with Charlie Welsh, Co-Founder of Mergermarket

1. As co-founder of the Mergermarket Group, what is one lesson that should be learned about the current M&A environment in Asia?

In recent years China’s foreign investment strategy has been largely focused on gaining control of strategic raw materials that the country needs, such as energy, metals and food, this trend has become dominant. Chinese companies are now increasingly looking to move up the production value curve and be less dependent on commoditized, labor-intensive manufacturing processes. In many cases the only way to do so is to attain access to production technologies and expertise that are possessed by companies based in more advanced economies. While this can sometimes be attained by licensing the technology or forming a partnership with a technology transfer arrangement, Chinese companies are looking to formal joint ventures and, increasingly, to the acquisition of western companies that can help them develop such technological expertise.

2. During a news conference on March 6, 2014 at the National People’s Congress, China Finance Minster Lou Jiwei commented that, “Whether GDP growth is to the left or to the right of 7.5 percent, that is not very important. What is important is job creation.” Do you have any thoughts on this?

China views economic growth less from a statistically or financially-defined perspective, but more in terms of its ability to preserve social stability. The country has emerged from a very poor, undeveloped country to the world’s leading industrial production base in just 35 years. During this time vast numbers of its predominantly rural-based population have been migrating to the countries many cities where they have experienced increased standards of living, higher levels of education and greater personal freedoms. However the freedoms have been carefully limited and the country remains controlled by one central political organization. It could be argued that this political control has been accepted because the system has focused on ensuring the provision of jobs for the country’s vast population.

China has been attempting to form bilateral currency swap agreements with some trading partners in order to avoid having to rely on the dollar or other reserve currencies.

3. How will China respond to a major GDP contraction?[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Kenya’s Central Bank Chair Talks Sovereign Wealth

Mbui Wagacha, the chairman of Kenya’s central bank, commented the country was moving forward on creating a sovereign wealth fund. Kenya’s attorney general is working on drafting a framework for the sovereign wealth fund.

The future sovereign fund would have a number of mandates which include, a stabilization component, savings fund and infrastructure allocation.

The revenue would be derived from projected 2016 oil output from companies such as Africa Oil Corporation and Tullow Oil Plc.

See: Kenya Dreams of a Sovereign Wealth Fund

Breaking: Yellen to Continue Tapering

Credit: Federal Reserve

Credit: Federal Reserve

Yellen in her remarks and press briefing:

“The dots moved down a little bit in December relative to September and then moved up ever so slightly. I really don’t think it’s appropriate to read very much into it.”

“We have had a series of years now in which growth has proven disappointing.”

“5 percent of the labor force working part time on an involuntary basis, that is an exceptionally high number relative to the measured unemployment rate, and it’s so to my mind is a form of slack that is, adds to what we see in the normal unemployment rate, and is unusually large.”

“My predecessor was also devoted to that. Strengthening the financial system is a work in progress, and he made large inroads in strengthening the financial system.”

Yellen has stated the Federal Reserve will maintain tapering. Beginning in April, the Committee will add to its holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of US$ 25 billion per month rather than US$ 30 billion per month, and will add to its holdings of longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of US$ 30 billion per month rather than US$ 35 billion per month.

Federal reserve officials are perceiving the federal funds rate at the end of 2015 should be at least 1 percent.

In the statement, the Committee acknowledged that although unemployment has neared its target of 6.5 percent, “economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.”

To add more, the FOMC statement in regard to the federal funds rate, “This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial developments.”

Federal reserve officials are perceiving the federal funds rate at the end of 2015 should be at least 1 percent, a more optimistic read from the previous press meeting

Yellen served as vice-chair to Ben Bernanke. The benchmark federal funds rate has been practically at zero since late 2008. The U.S. unemployment rate and continued slack in labor markets has kept that rate low.

Choo Heung-Sik Named New CIO of Korea Investment Corp

The Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) has appointed Choo Heung-Sik as the new chief investment officer who replaces Lee Dong-ik. Choo was head of reserves management at the Bank of Korea. The Bank of Korea’s reserve management group manages around US$ 330 billion. In 2012, during his role at the Bank of Korea, Choo was keen on diversifying Korea’s foreign exchange reserves moving capital in a snail-like pace into Chinese debt and equities.

Choo started with the Bank of Korea in 1982 and had a brief stretch at the World Bank.