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BlackRock Positioning for Potential American Infrastructure Boom

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BlackRock Inc. has struggled in growing its alternatives business quickly, losing out to niche and well-funded infrastructure managers in expanding assets under management. According to regulatory filings, BlackRock experienced an outflow of US$ 364 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 from its alternatives business. As of December 31, 2016, alternatives for BlackRock comprised 2.27% of its total assets under management, some US$ 116.938 billion in assets. To compensate for a deficiency in fast organic growth, BlackRock is going out to acquire potential alternative platforms. Besides other commingled funds and separate accounts in infrastructure, the world’s largest asset manager oversees a number of renewable power funds and has a 10-year Latin American infrastructure vehicle. As of 2016, BlackRock has invested in over 70 wind and solar projects. And in 2016, BlackRock hired Patrick Christopher Eilers who headed up Madison Dearborn’s energy, power and chemicals investment practice to be the firm’s managing director in the infrastructure investment group. Eilers was also a former American football safety in the National Football League for the Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears.

BlackRock has agreed to purchase two energy infrastructure funds and the 37-person team that runs them from First Reserve Corporation, a private equity firm. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Korea’s NPS Invests In Crypto Exchanges Amid Crackdown

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South Korean news outlets have reported that South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) has unwittingly invested roughly US$ 2.4 million in four local cryptocurrency exchanges – Korbit, Upbit, Coinplug, and Bithumb – even as regulatory officials move to subdue the unbridled enthusiasm for crypto trading that has flourished in the tiny country. The US$ 550 billion pension scheme invested in the cryptocurrency exchanges indirectly through two venture capital funds handled by external managers with exclusive rights over asset allocation, according to an NPS officer.

Crypto trading has proved wildly popular in South Korea, drawing an estimated one million citizens to the largely unregulated exchanges that have cropped up over the past few years. South Korea, which is ranked first in the world in terms of internet sped, is the largest market for cryptocurrency transactions behind Japan and United States, and accounts for 29.8% of trade globally, according to a report released by the Korea Insurance Research Institute (KIRI) in December 2017.

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Ripple Attempts to go the Central Bank Route

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San Francisco-based Ripple, a tech company that professes the use of blockchain to reboot the payment systems globally, landed a big deal with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA). Ripple started a pilot program that will be spearheaded by SAMA and a few Saudi banks to deploy xCurrent for cross-border payments. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Investment Corporation of Dubai Eyes $1 Billion Loan Deal

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The Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) plans to raise US$ 1 billion in a loan to refinance existing debt. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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