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AIMCo Opens Up Shop in London

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Leo de Bever

Leo de Bever, CEO of AIMCo

The Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), one of Canada’s largest public asset owners, has opened an office in London. Increasingly, Canadian public investors are setting up offices globally to be closer to their current and potential private investments. The evolutionary trend of public asset owners opening up offices to be near financial centers is an ongoing occurrence in this decade. To name a few institutional investors that have set up operations in London include: Kuwait Investment Authority, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, GIC Private Limited, CPPIB, Korea Investment Corporation and the Brunei Investment Agency.

AIMCo seeks to augment exposure to investments in private equity, real estate and infrastructure in Europe. AIMCo, along with other Canadian pensions, feel that going direct can reduce the cost of capital on investing in private deals. AIMCo has around US$ 8 billion invested in the U.K. and continental Europe in both public and private markets.

“Alberta Investment Management Corporation is a globally diversified investor with holdings in more than 50 countries and all asset classes,” states Leo de Bever in a press release, chief executive officer. “Our decision to establish a modest presence in London is driven by the efficiencies it affords us in our quest to deliver the best risk-adjusted rate of return on behalf of our Clients.”

Cryptocurrencies Creep into the Middle East

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Banking behemoth J.P. Morgan Chase disclosed its own digital currency called JPM Coin. The digital token will be used to settle payments between clients. JPM Coin will be backed by physical U.S. dollars and be based off Quorum. Quorum is J.P. Morgan’s private Ethereum-based chain. JPM Coin plans to compete with Ripple, which created XRP, another digital currency that is used for settlements. Ripple’s main target market is cross-border payments and remittances.

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority have unveiled their plans for Aber, an interbank digital currency. Both banks have indicated that Aber will be limited to financial settlements using distributed ledger technologies. It will be rolled out on a probational basis, and used by select banks within the two countries. A date for rollout has not yet been declared. A joint statement hinted at a broader application of the currency in the days ahead. If “no technical obstacles are encountered, economic and legal requirements for future uses will be considered.”‏ Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers technologies will be employed. The plan is for ‘Proof-of-Concept’ testing, which involves studying and fully comprehending the ways modern technologies can achieve practical applications. The digital currency has the potential to become a reserve system for central payments.

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CPPIB Inks Partnership Vehicle with La Française and its Shareholder CMNE

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La Française and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) formed a strategic partnership for the launch of a real estate investment and development vehicle: Société Foncière et Immobilière du Grand Paris. The joint venture between CPPIB (80%) and Caisse Fédérale du Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe (CMNE) (20%), La Française’s shareholder, will invest in major real estate projects linked to the Grand Paris infrastructure in the Greater Paris area. The parties will initially allocate €387.5 million in equity to the venture. The partnership will target regeneration and infrastructure-led investments.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Norges Bank Governor Voices Opinion on Relaxing SWF Withdrawals over Specific Uses

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Øystein Olsen, the Governor of Norges Bank, which oversees the Norway Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), voiced his opinion on the Norwegian government’s plans to alter the rules that regulates the country’s SWF withdrawal rules in certain circumstances. The coalition government led by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg wants to relax the limits on SWF withdrawals in specific cases. Norway’s government seeks to raid the fund to pay for the replacement of four major state buildings impacted by a terrorist attack and a crashed Royal Norwegian Navy frigate (KNM Helge Ingstad).

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