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.
Despite a recent downdraft in the stock market, economic signs suggest that the nation has prospered since U.S. President Donald Trump was elected. His first year was marked by mega mergers and acquisitions, and renewed hopes for deregulation and tax relief. M&A deals totaled US$ 1.2 trillion in the year since Trump was elected in a stunning upset, which compelled former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to pen the book, “What Happened.” The total number of deals also set a record. In sum, nearly 13,000 deals have been made between the election and the end of the 2017 calendar year. Business sentiment was clearly buoyed by Trump’s election, with investors and organizations cheering the business-friendly environment to come. Unemployment dropped to a low of 4.1% in 2017, before further falling to 3.7% in 2018. This has been described as “full employment.” The unemployment rate will only fall to a certain level because there are always employees looking for something new and leaving jobs they hold. The stock market has also done well under Trump. Not since the 1960’s was volatility as low as it was during the early part of his presidency. Even with the swoon over the last several weeks, the market is still up substantially since Trump’s election. Despite consistent pessimistic headlines on major financial news sites, Amazon is still moving ahead with its massive #2 headquarters, while Google is planning a gigantic development in his core home of Mountain View, California.
Yet, controversy swirls as former U.S. President Barack Obama declared, “When you hear how great the economy is doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started.” [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]
Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei requested the Central Bank of Iran to boost the value of the Iranian rial, according to the central bank’s governor. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]
UBS Trumbull Property Fund Faces Redemption, MassPRIM Benefits
Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (Mass PRIM) Allianz Real Estate, and Beacon Capital Partners acquired the Exchange Place skyscraper in Boston has been sold for US$ 845 million from UBS Realty Investors. UBS Realty, part of UBS Group AG, acquired the 53 State Street office tower in December 2011 from Brookfield Office Properties for US$ 610 million. Tenants of the property include Morgan Stanley, The Boston Globe, Hill Holliday, and Nixon Peabody. The property was a major holding of the open-ended fund called UBS Trumbull Property Fund.
MassPRIM will own 49% of the property.
Tower Hamlets Pension Fund Awards Equity Protection Mandate to Schroders
In September 2018, Tower Hamlets Pension Fund awarded Schroders with a mandate for a risk management solution for £700 million in an equity protection strategy. This covers about half of the fund’s portfolio of £1.4 billion. The pension fund’s consultant is Mercer.
Ebola Spreads in the Congo
The second-largest Ebola outbreak in world history has spread to Butembo, a city in eastern Congo with more than 1 million inhabitants.
NZSF Board Member Joins Board of NZX
The NZX (New Zealand Stock Exchange) board of directors named Lindsay Wright as lead independent director. She is Deputy Chair of the Board of the Guardians of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.
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