Increasingly, sovereign wealth funds are investing directly. The larger sovereign funds are getting involved in more deals, whether in institutional real estate, partaking as a group member in a company acquisition or buying more shares on the open market. As a whole, the world of sovereign wealth funds is rapidly expanding due to numerous factors. One significant factor is the number of new sovereign wealth funds cropping up, particularly in Africa and the Americas. Our rankings put sovereign wealth fund assets, as of September 2014, at US$ 6.7 trillion. In September 2009, sovereign wealth fund assets were at US$ 3.9 trillion. It is true that sovereign wealth is concentrated in the upper echelon of the fund rankings; however, some of the mid-sized to smaller funds are taking a more active approach to investing. These smaller funds are also increasing allocation to real estate and private equity. For example, the Texas Permanent School Fund boosted private equity allocation in 2014 to 10% from 6% in 2013. Some sovereign funds are attempting to take advantage of the illiquidity premium associated with some alternative investments.
Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database
According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database, as of September 2014, the first half of 2014, we recorded US$ 51.13 billion in direct transactions. For the first half of 2013, we recorded US$ 42.39 billion. This 20.6% increase in sovereign wealth fund direct transactions can be greatly explained by increased real estate deals (many being larger in size).
This unique group of institutional investors engages in a variety of investment styles and asset allocation. Some of the younger sovereign funds will embark on fixed income and public equities initially, before dabbling into alternative assets like real estate, private equity and hedge funds.
APG Asset Management, QIC (Queensland Investment Corporation), and Zurich-based Swiss Life Group, spent about €2 billion for Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets’ (MIRA) 36% stake in Brussels Airport. APG and QIC will each have a stake of 16.8% in the airport asset with Swiss Life having a 2.4% ownership stake. QIC will hold its airport stake in its Global Infrastructure Fund, which has third-party investors. Since 2011, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP) still holds a 39% stake in the airport, while the Belgian government retains a 25% ownership stake.
APG Asset Management manages assets for a number of investors including Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP.
The China Investment Corporation (CIC), which indirectly controls China’s largest banks, is seeking allies to form a cross-border investment vehicle to support One-Belt, One-Road projects – also known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The CIC is calling it the Belt and Road Cooperation Fund. The fund’s size and specific investment methods are in the preliminary phase. The BRI has been underway for the last five years.
The multi-lateral fund will be another way to funnel capital into specific belt and road projects. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]
Jacksonville, Florida-based Fidelity National Information Services, Inc., better known by the abbreviation FIS, agreed to acquire payments processor Worldpay, Inc. for approximately US$ 35 billion (not including debt) in cash and stock, or US$ 112.12 per share. Around 19 months ago, Cincinnati-based credit card processor Vantiv, Inc. acquired Worldpay for just under US$ 10 billion, while FIS agreed to acquire First Data for US$ 22 billion in January 2019.
The combined company will keep the name FIS and be headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. The transaction is subject to receipt of required regulatory and shareholder approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second half of 2019.
[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]
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