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BEST QUARTER: Norway’s SWF Posts 5.3% Quarterly Return

Yngve Slyngstad

Yngve Slyngstad

Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) posted a 5.3% return for the first quarter of 2015 – earning a quarterly record of 401 billion kroner. The previous best performing quarters were in 2009, when the wealth fund generated 270 billion kroner in the second quarter and 325 billion in the third quarter. A key contributor to the performance was a rally in European listed equities. European Central Bank (ECB) signalling to quantitative measures have influenced European equity markets. The wealth fund had 7,012 billion kroner (US$ 876.76 billion) in assets on March 31, 2015.

Institutional Investor Profile – Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund

Norway’s GPFG returned 7.5% in equity investments for the 1st quarter of 2015. Fixed income investments earned 1.6%, while real estate investments returned 3.1%.

According to the press release, Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management commented, ” There were big price movements in the European market. After a weak return on European stocks last year, the market rallied in the first quarter.”

In addition, 5 billion kroner was transferred from the government to the sovereign wealth fund in the first quarter of 2015.

South Seattle Purchase

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Asian Sovereign Funds Not Slowing Down on Tech Investing

According to data from SWFI’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database, Asian sovereign funds invested US$ 6.05 billion directly into companies and assets in the information technology sector from Jan 2017 to November 22, 2017. In a comparable time frame from Jan 2016 to November 22, 2016, this same group of Asian sovereign funds directly invested US$ 5.02 billion in the sector. These are direct investments, not fund commitments or manager allocations.

Asian sovereign funds such as GIC Private Limited, Temasek Holdings and the Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) have demonstrated bullish signals to the technology community over other sectors. GIC and Temasek have also been major investors in the private side of deals, funding a wide range of tech startups, while providing financial firepower in buyout transactions.

Some notable direct tech investments in 2017 by sovereign funds include Meituan-Dianping, SoundCloud, Nets A/S, Visma AS, Turn, Inc. and Vantiv.

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Future Fund Makes a Guardian Out of Former J.P. Morgan ANZ Chair

The Australian government has appointed Robert Priestley – current non-executive chair of J.P Morgan for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) and a non-executive director of ASX – to serve on the Future Fund Board of Guardians for a five-year term from November 7, 2017. Priestley replaces former Morgan Stanley Australia chief executive Steven J. Harker.

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Associated British Ports Reboots Property Development Arm to Capitalize on Land Bank

Associated British Ports (ABP) – operator of 21 major ports throughout the United Kingdom – has announced a reboot of its ABP Property division, complete with a new team of specialists in commercial development and logistics led by Huw Turner, in order to identify and develop strategically significant locations in its 2,372 acre land bank.

ABP is owned in large part by a consortium of pensions and sovereign funds, including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) at 33.88% ownership, OMERS at 30%, Singapore’s GIC Ventures Pte Ltd at 20.00% ownership, and the Kuwait Investment Authority at 10.00% ownership. Large institutional investors such as sovereign funds, pensions, and endowments have slowly increased allocation towards infrastructure over the past six years as an alternative to equities and bonds, according to asset allocation data from SWFI.

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