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Alibaba and Chinese Government Acquire Strategic Stake in World’s Largest Cinema Operator

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Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd sold a 12.77% stake in its Shenzhen-listed Wanda Film Holdings unit to e-commerce giant Alibaba and state-owned Cultural Investment Holdings Limited (CIH) for 7.8 billion CNY (US$ 1.24 billion), bringing on the pair as the second and third largest shareholders in the world’s largest cinema operator. CIH, also known as Wentou Holdings, is a Shanghai-listed entertainment company controlled by the Cultural Assets Supervision and Administration Office of Beijing. Zhou Maofei is Director of the Cultural Assets Supervision and Administration Office of Beijing and Secretary of the Communist Party of China Leading Group.

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According to a securities filing released on February 5, 2019, Alibaba will acquire a 7.66% interest in the company through its subsidiary, Hangzhou Zhenxi Investment Management Company, while CIH will take on a 5.11% stake, leaving Wanda Group a controlling interest of 48.09%. Alibaba will leverage its strengths in big data, technology, and online ticket sales – as well as its collection of IP-producing media and entertainment assets – to collaborate with Wanda Film in the areas of film distribution, marketing, and related businesses, while CIH will lend its expertise in driving cultural tourism opportunities, according to a press release.

CIH has its origins as an auto parts company back in the 1990s, eventually moving into film by 2016. CIH spent US$ 187 million for a 75% stake in Framestore, a U.K.-based visual effects studio, which worked on movies such as The Martian, Harry Potter, Gravity and The Dark Knight.

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Norway GPFG Would Prioritize Value in Tesla Stake

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Sovereign wealth fund giant Norway Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) is an investor in Tesla, holding a 0.48% stake at the end of 2017. GPFG owns roughly 1.4% of all globally listed company shares, minus stocks from its exclusion pool. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Anbang Insurance Set to Sell its US Luxury Portfolio

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Distressed Beijing-based holding company Anbang Insurance Group is set to sell its U.S. luxury hotel properties, which were purchased for US$ 5.5 billion from the Blackstone Group in 2016. This is a move to raise quick cash, following the firm’s seizure at the hands of the Chinese government six months ago. Bids had already been ongoing for selected properties, including the famed Essex House Hotel, overlooking Manhattan’s Central Park. The portfolio of hotels is strategically placed in geographically diverse regions, including Miami and Chicago. Anbang is looking to cash in on the properties quickly, as its properties in China are already being liquidated. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Norway GPFG Returns 1.8% for Second Quarter of 2018

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Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) returned 1.8% for the second quarter of 2018. Listed equity investments generated a 2.7% return for the period, while fixed income returned 0%. Unlisted real estate investments posted a 1.9% return for the second quarter. In addition, the Norwegian krone depreciated against the U.S. dollar during the quarter. Furthermore, 2 billion NOK was withdrawn from the fund.

“North American and European stocks had a positive development in the quarter despite the prospect of increased trade barriers. This made a positive contribution to the fund’s return,” says Trond Grande, Deputy CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, according to the press release.

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