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2015: Norway Divested from 73 Companies

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Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) recently issued its annual responsible investment report revealing they divested from 73 companies in 2015 following an assessment of environmental and social risk factors. The divestment decisions are made by the manager of the fund, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM). NBIM uses its guidance under the management mandate. In 2015, NBIM divested from 16 companies involved with coal-fired power generation.

Asset owners are looking at carbon-stranded assets looking to possibly exclude them from their portfolios. The board of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) voted to divest from U.S. companies that produce coal for energy generations. The exposure was about US$ 1.5 million for the pension giant. Sharon Hendricks, chair of the investment committee at CalSTRS issued a statement, “We determined that given the financial state of the industry, the movement of the regulatory landscape and coal’s impact on the environment, its presence reflects a loss of value.”

Hendricks added, “We will now move ahead to determine the fiduciary appropriateness of non-U.S. thermal coal companies in the CalSTRS portfolio and make an additional decision based on those findings.”

Top Areas of Company Divestment – NBIM 2015 Data

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CIC Sells 10% Logicor Stake to Blackstone Fund

The China Investment Corporation (CIC) is selling a 10% stake of in European warehouse firm Logicor Ltd to a real estate fund managed by The Blackstone Group. Furthermore, CIC also hired Blackstone to oversee and manage Logicor’s warehouses and logistic properties portfolio.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Fintech Affirm Raises $200 Million in Series E Led By Singapore’s GIC

Affirm Inc., a financial technology firm which provides instant loans to consumers as an alternative to credit cards for their online shopping, has raised US$ 200 million in a Series E round lead by Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, with participation from Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Caffeinated Capital, and Ribbit Capital. The new infusion of capital brings the San Francisco-based company’s total funding to US$ 450 million and a reported valuation of US$ 2 billion.

The company is founded by Max Levchin, a co-founder of PayPal (part of the PayPal mafia, dubbed by the tech press). Max Levchin is also an advisory board member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFSB) in the United States.

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CHANGE: Saudi Arabia to Re-Open Movie Theaters, PIF Inks MoU with AMC

The Saudi Arabian government is ending its 35-year ban on cinemas. Next year, the government will allow cinemas to open. This watershed moment provides opportunities for entertainment companies to invest in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region.

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