Foreign Institutional Investors Fret Over VTB Bank

VTB Bank, Russia’s state-controlled bank and second biggest lender, faced a drastic loss in profit margin in 2014 and could take sustained losses in 2015 due to Russia’s high interest rates and ongoing sanctions with the West. Along with its larger rival Sberbank, the geopolitical situation in Eastern Ukraine has taken a toll on Russian [...]

Friday SWFI News Roundup, March 13, 2015

Azerbaijan Sovereign Wealth Fund Looks to Open London Office The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) plans to open an overseas office in London. This is a sign for more allocation to overseas markets. GSO Capital Begins to Market Debut Energy Credit Fund GSO Capital Partners, the credit unit of the Blackstone Group, is attempting [...]

Friday SWFI News Roundup, April 25, 2014

Korea Investment Corporation Considers Beijing Office The Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) is considering opening up a Beijing office, joining other sovereign wealth funds like the Kuwait Investment Authority, Qatar Investment Authority and GIC Private Limited. The sovereign wealth fund has a US$ 400 million quota under China’s QFII program. Temasek Holdings’ Offer for Olam is [...]

SOFAZ Makes First Asian Real Estate Purchase

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) has purchased Pine Avenue Tower A in Seoul, South Korea for US$ 447 million. The prime office complex was sold utilizing a competitive auction process managed by Mirae Asset Management on behalf of the four owners which include, NongHyup Bank, NongHyup Life insurance, Woori Bank and KDB Life [...]

SOFAZ Testing Waters in Asset Diversification

The US$ 34.1 billion State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) embarked on a path to diversify asset holdings. From 2011 to 2012, SOFAZ’s assets grew by 14.5%. The Central Asian sovereign fund expanded their investment policy to permit investments in gold bullion and institutional real estate. Up to 5% of SOFAZ’s assets can be allocated [...]

VTB Receives Major Backing from Sovereign Investors

VTB Bank has finalized its 102.5 billion roubles (US$ 3.3 billion) offering of new ordinary shares. Qatar Holding, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, Norges Bank Investment Management and China Construction Bank have purchased 55% of the new shares issued. VTB chairman Andrei Kostin mentioned the three sovereign funds investing about US$ 500 million each. [...]

VTB Group’s Capital Raise Draws Sovereign Funds

Russia’s second biggest lender, state-run VTB Group, is raising nearly 102.5 billion roubles (US$ 3.3 billion) in a share sale. VTB Group plans to sell 2.5 trillion new shares. With regard to sovereign fund investment, included are Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) and Qatar Holding LLC. The government [...]

SOFAZ Analyzes Funding for Trans-Anatolian Pipeline

Increasingly, Europe and its Eastern neighbors are in need of steady energy supplies. Pipeline politics are influencing investment and geopolitical decisions. Natural gas from Central Asia is attempting to connect with European and Turkish energy consumers through new routes. The Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP) is a pipeline project that aims to transport 16 billion cubic meters [...]

SOFAZ Going Down Under for Properties

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) is looking to acquire core real assets in Australia, particularly Sydney. Australia has been a noteworthy real estate market for a number of sovereign wealth fund property investors. Australia has access to Asian nations and has robust transparency in property markets. Office and retail properties have been targets [...]

SOFAZ Increases Allocation to Gold, Stocks and Real Estate

A new investment policy was adopted by the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) with the purpose of enhancing profitability and diversification. SOFAZ can now invest up to 5% each in gold, equities, and real estate. In the month of December 2012, SOFAZ made a number of European real estate purchases. Beginning February 1, 2012, [...]

SOFAZ Buys Gallery Actor in Moscow

The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) purchased their third property investment, this one in Moscow’s central business district at 16 Tverskaya Street for US$ 133 million. The Gallery Actor is a mixed-use office and retail complex that was owned by Metropolitan Insurance Group, part of the VTB Group. Built in 1881, [...]

SOFAZ Buys Paris Property in Place Vendôme

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) has made its second European real estate purchase. The property located in Paris, 8 Place Vendôme, was purchased for €135 million from AXA Real Estate Investment Managers. The prime office and retail property attracts strong rental income. The building was constructed in 1712 and was built to honor [...]

SOFAZ Embarks on London Real Estate

The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) purchased their first property investment in London’s West End for £177.35. SOFAZ bought 78 St James’s Street, an office complex, from RREEF Real Estate, the real estate investment arm of Deutsche Bank’s Asset and Wealth Management division. The St. James’s part of London is trendy [...]

SOFAZ to Invest Some Funds on Investment Projects

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) will allocate AZN 2.149 billion for investment projects in 2013. Azerbaijan’s Finance Minister Samir Sharifov made the announcement at a recent parliamentary committee meeting on the state budget for 2012. In September 30, 2012, SOFAZ had 1.35% allocated to equities and 1.86% allocated to gold, the rest was [...]

SOFAZ Buys Physical Gold

Sovereign investors view gold as a store of value, an alternative currency to dollars, yen, and euros. Sovereign funds in the Middle East feel that Western nations have excessive fiscal debt, which leads to quantitative easing to make it easier to service debts. Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) is diversifying their portfolio by planning to [...]

SOFAZ is Planning to Invest in Equities

According to the press release, “State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) is planning to invest in equities to increase the diversification and profitability of the investment portfolio. According to the 2012 Investment Policy of SOFAZ approved by the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated December 29, 2011, up [...]

Azerbaijan’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Looks at Real Estate

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) hinted in moving into other asset classes such as European commercial real estate. Some fixed income instruments have grown in risk and some have yielded poor returns.  The fund may diversify into European real estate in developed  and transparent markets.  Most European and Central Asian sovereign wealth funds [...]

SOFAZ Releases Annual Report

The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) has releasesd their annual report. SOFAZ was founded by Heydar Aliyev. The fund receives significant amounts of revenues from sales of the crude oil and gas produced in Azerbaijan. To read the report (external link): Report

Q&A with Israfil Mammadov, CIO to the SOFAZ

This interview appears in the 2Q Y2011 issue of the Sovereign Wealth Quarterly. ISRAFIL MAMMADOV IS CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER OF THE STATE OIL FUND OF THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN (SOFAZ). Currently, SOFAZ ranks a 10 in the Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index. 1. Is the current global market providing a positive investment environment for SOFAZ, and what [...]

SOFAZ Grows in Size

Please check updated fund rankings The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) grew in assets under management to reach US$ 21.7 billion. Budget revenues from oil continued to pour in to augment SOFAZ’s growth. Since the beginning of the year, total assets has grown 45.8% more. Oil experts predict reserves will run [...]