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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.

SWFI First Read, September 21, 2018

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U.S. Public Becomes More Aware that Gmail Scans Emails

Alphabet is a major stock holding for sovereign wealth funds and large pensions. Search giant Google is under fire for allowing third-party partners and companies, like Return Path Inc and other advertisers, to share data from Gmail accounts. Many experts and tech observers already knew this, but more people in the public are becoming aware of Google’s practices when it comes to privacy. Google disclosed in a letter to U.S. lawmakers this finding. The Wall Street Journal reported that in some instances, app companies were able to read people’s emails in order to improve their algorithms. In 2017, Google said they would stop scanning all of one’s Gmail messages for the goal of personalized ads.

GPIF Infrastructure Exposure Almost Reached 200 Billion Yen in March 2018

Japan Government Pension Investment Fund’s (GPIF) exposure to infrastructure real estate was 196.8 billion JPY at the end of March 2018. At that period, 57% of the exposure was to the UK, 15% was to Australia, 15% to Sweden, 10% to Spain and 3% to Finland. 21% of GPIF’s infrastructure portfolio was linked to airports versus 27% to ports.

AIMCo-backed sPower Closes $498.7 Million Bond Deal

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Iceland Contemplates a Sovereign Wealth Fund

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The Government of Iceland is looking to possibly form a sovereign wealth fund to stabilize the country from unforeseen shocks to the national economy. The Iceland government released a statement saying, “The state’s contributions to the Fund will be equivalent to new revenues from publicly owned power production companies which are expected to accrue in the coming years.”

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CBRE Global Wins First GPIF Global Real Estate Mandate

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Japan Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) awarded its first global real estate mandate by hiring CBRE Global Investment Partners Limited. This is a global core real estate fund-of-funds separate account. Overseeing this mandate as a gatekeeper is Asset Management One Co., Ltd., which is a unit of Mizuho Financial Group. This RFP was launched in April 2017.

CBRE Global Investment Partners is the multi-manager arm of CBRE Global Investors.

In addition, on August 8, 2018, GPIF hired two custodians for short-term investments. These custodians are Trust & Custody Services Bank, Ltd and The Master Trust Bank of Japan, Ltd.

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