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Bpifrance Acquires APE’s Stake in PSA Group

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The Agence des Participations de l’Etat (APE), a French government holdings entity overseeing around 70 firms, sold its 12.7% ownership stake in automobile manufacturer PSA Group (also known as Groupe PSA) to Bpifrance for €1.92 billion (US$ 2.1 billion). This represents a €1.12 billion capital gain for APE.

Paris-based PSA Group makes cars and other vehicles under brands such as Citroën, DS Automobiles and Peugeot. Both state entities reiterated the French government would retain two board seats on PSA Group. The actual transaction plans to occur on May 20, 2017 during PSA Group’s annual shareholder meeting. PSA Group is also waiting for approval to acquire Opel from General Motors.

Dongfeng Motor (Hong Kong) International Co., Limited and Établissements Peugeot Frères, the Peugeot family holding company, remain key shareholders in PSA Group.

On March 14, 2017, PSA launched a €600 million bond issue with a 7-year maturity. The bond issue was helped by BNP Paribas, CA CIB, Commerzbank, HSBC, Natixis, Santander, Société Générale, BBVA, CM CIC, Citi and NatWest Markets.

Bailouts and Conflict of Interest

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Like its U.S. Peers, Legg Mason Seeks to Trim Costs

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Legg Mason Inc., a Baltimore-based asset manager, has announced a reduction in workforce as is prepares to streamline operations and save money. Legg Mason’s leadership commented that assets under management fell 5 % year-on-year. Legg Mason currently manages US$ 727.2 billion (as of December 31, 2018), which is down from the previous US$ 767.2 billion. CEO Joseph A. Sullivan noted that a global operating platform will centralize fund administration, IT, and other departments that work with affiliates. Sullivan did not discuss the number of layoffs expected, or specify which areas would be impacted. Legg Mason disclosed they planned to close a quarter of its exchange-traded funds in March 2019. These three ETFs include a U.S. strategy, emerging markets, and a developed markets strategy outside the U.S. However, these funds run around US$ 28 million in assets under management.

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Monetary Authority of Singapore Establishes Corporate Governance Advisory Committee

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On February 12, 2019, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revealed the creation of a Corporate Governance Advisory Committee (CGAC). CGAC was formed to advocate for good corporate governance practices among listed companies in Singapore. Bobby Chin, Director of Singapore Telecommunications Limited, will be the Chair of CGAC. According to a MAS press release, “CGAC will identify current and potential risks to the quality of corporate governance in Singapore.”

MAS formed the Corporate Governance Council (Council) in February 2017. The Council was dissolved after it pushed out a publication of its final recommendations on August 6, 2018.

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Mubadala and SAMI Forge Ties to Explore Areas of Collaboration

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Mubadala Investment Company and Saudi Arabia Military Industries Company (SAMI), which is a defence company owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), agreed to a deal to partner and co-invest in defense manufacturing. This partnership grows defence ties between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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