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Alibaba Receives SWF Investment to Help Buyback Shares from Yahoo

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According to the press release, “Alibaba Group Holding Limited, China’s largest ecommerce company, announced today it has completed the initial repurchase of shares from Yahoo!and restructured its relationship with the Silicon Valley company in transactions valued at approximately US$7.6 billion. The closing follows the May 20, 2012 announcement by Alibaba Group and Yahoo!of a comprehensive plan for Yahoo! to reduce its stake in Alibaba Group in stages over time and a series of agreements to implement the restructuring of the ongoing relationship between the two companies.

The initial repurchase of shares, which represented one-half of Yahoo!’s 40% stake in Alibaba Group on a fully diluted basis, was valued at approximately US$7.1 billion. Of this, Yahoo!received approximately US$6.3 billion in cash and US$800 million in preference shares in Alibaba Group. Concurrent with the initial repurchase, Alibaba Group paid Yahoo!a one-time cash payment of US$550 million in connection with the amendment of their existing technology and intellectual property license agreement. Under the terms of the agreement with Yahoo!, Alibaba Group has the right to repurchase one-half of Yahoo!’s remaining stake upon a qualifying initial public offering in the future. Yahoo!originally acquired its stake in Alibaba Group in 2005 in exchange for US$1 billion and sale of its Yahoo!China business to Alibaba Group.

“The completion of this transaction begins a new chapter in our relationship with Yahoo!,” said Jack Ma, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “We are grateful for Yahoo!’s support of our growth over the past seven years, and we are pleased to be able to deliver meaningful returns to our shareholders including Yahoo!. I look forward to working with Marissa Mayer and her team in our continued partnership.”

Alibaba Group financed the transaction with a mixture of cash on hand, senior debt and the issuance of convertible preference and ordinary shares. The financing package is the largest ever private financing for a private sector Chinese company, and the largest non-LBO private financing for a technology company globally. The new equity financing was completed at a valuation of approximately US$40 billion.

“Over the past several months we have witnessed significant dislocations in the financial markets driven by global macro events and developments specific to China and the Internet industry. Our ability to raise financing in these difficult market conditions speaks to the strength of our business, our market leadership position and the confidence our investors and financial partners have in the future of Alibaba,” said Joe Tsai, Chief Financial Officer of Alibaba Group.

Eight international banks – Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Barclays Bank, Citi, Credit Suisse, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, Mizuho Corporate Bank and Morgan Stanley – provided US$1 billion of senior debt financing for the transaction, while China Development Bank was the sole Chinese bank that provided a parallel senior debt facility of US$1 billion.

The issuance of ordinary shares was subscribed by lead investors CIC International Co., Ltd. and two of China’s leading private equity firms, Boyu Capital and CITIC Capital, as well as CDB Capital, the equity investment arm of China Development Bank. In addition, existing shareholders including Silver Lake, DST Global and Temasek participated by increasing their investment in the company. The convertible preference shares were successfully placed with global institutional investors from Asia, Europe and the United States.

Read more: Alibaba Group Press Release

CIC International Co, a subsidiary of the China Investment Corporation, invested around US$ 2 billion in the Alibaba Group subscription.

US Treasury Sec Mnuchin May Have More Sanctions for Turkey

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin revealed the United States is preparing more Turkey sanctions. This stems over the issues with an American pastor in Turkey. Turkey’s lira, has fallen to record lows recently.

The week before, U.S. President Trump announced the doubling of tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium to 50 and 20 percent, respectively. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called for a boycott of electronics products of the United States, which includes iPhones (a smartphone product of Apple).

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Scott Keller Returns to T. Rowe Price to Head up EMEA

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Scott Keller returns to T. Rowe Price as head of global investment management services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa from January 1, 2019. Keller is currently at UBS Global Asset Management, working in the Asia Pacific region, heading efforts in the bank’s institutional and intermediary distribution. Keller joined UBS in 2014. Before UBS, Keller was at T. Rowe Price.

Scott Keller is replacing Peter Preisler at T. Rowe Price. Preisler exited T. Rowe Price in August 2017.

At UBS, Nick Trueman will replace Scott Keller.

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Rising Interest Rates Impact Sovereign Wealth Strategies

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Sovereign wealth funds are paying closer attention to the U.S. Federal Reserve as it enters fresh territory under Jay Powell. Powell’s decisions are impacting foreign exchange holdings globally, as central bankers adjust to a newer environment of policy normalization. The United States is not the only country raising interest rates. The Philippines, Argentina, Indonesia, India, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Pakistan are just some emerging market countries that have raise interest rates.

Global institutional investors like BlackRock are concerned that the U.S. dollar could grind higher. In times of increased geopolitical or financial tensions, the greenback is seen as a safe haven by many central banks, sovereign funds and foreign public funds. July marks the 110th month of expansion, a streak that is one year away from becoming the longest in U.S. history. Stronger economic data – with U.S. gross domestic product hitting 4.1% for the second quarter of 2018, rising interest rates, and bids to lower U.S. trade deficits, are making sovereign funds rethink asset allocation or at least shift more assets out of markets like Turkey, South Africa and Brazil. The Turkish lira fell further in August, prompting the country’s central bank to take drastic action. The fallen lira sent jitters across emerging markets and to banks in Southern Europe who have exposure to Turkey. What are sovereign wealth funds doing now?

On the fixed income front, sovereign funds are paying much closer attention to their government bond holdings, keeping a close eye on countries that rely heavily on external funding. Shorter duration bonds and inflation-linked debt can act as a safeguard against rising rates and inflation. Sovereign funds, like Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, are recognizing that global equity returns are less synchronized, thus there is a move to identify select countries and regions being conducted for strategic asset allocation for 2019 and beyond. A stronger greenback, positive U.S. corporate earnings, and rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China are becoming a boon for active equity managers and smart beta funds, as public funds are requesting enhanced levels of skills in navigating stock selection. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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