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Bank of China and CDP Find Common Ground and Explore Opportunities

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A preliminary cooperation agreement intended to encourage a business-friendly relationship between Italy and China has been signed. Principle enterprises involved are Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A. (CDP) and the Bank of China. The signing took place at the Bank of China’s headquarters in Beijing. Notable dignitaries in attendance included Liu Lian Ge, the BoC’s CEO and Chairman of the Board, and Chen Siging, Chairman. Fabrizio Palermo, Cassa Depositi’s CEO, and the Vice-president of the Bank of China, Lin Jinzhen, officially signed the agreement. The new strategy will promote increased cooperation between the two firms, specifically in regards to exports, infrastructure, lending, sharing knowledge, and maintaining joint standards of environmental sustainability. The two organizations have pledged to strive toward a greater understanding of each other’s business environment and corporate practices.

There is a special interest in incorporating small to medium businesses, which coincides with China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. Key investments could include new ports in Italy, from which trade could expand. Since 2014, there has been a high profile Italy-China Business Forum, with Italy’s Republic President Sergio Mattarella and the People’s Republic of China’s President Xi Jingping attending. Cultural ties are also strengthening. Many Italian students are choosing to study in China, a move praised by Mattarella. Meanwhile, the Italian Space Agency brokered a deal with the China Manned Space Agency to cooperate on manned missions. While Italy remains a U.S. ally, this pivot to China could have long-lasting implications, politically and financially.

In addition, Snam SpA, Italy’s gas pipeline operator, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with State Grid International, a major Chinese power distributor. The MoU explores the building of biogas plants in rural China and gas storage opportunities in Portugal and Australia. Snam is controlled by CDP.

APG, QIC, and Swiss Life Buys MIRA Stake in Brussels Airport

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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.

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CIC Seeks Allies for Belt and Road Cooperation Fund

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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. ]

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Fidelity National Information Services to Acquire Worldpay

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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.

Deal Terms

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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