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BREAKING – Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund Backs Uber

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The Wall Street Journal has reported that Uber raised a US$ 1.2 billion round of capital, giving the startup a valuation of US$ 41 billion. Uber has been posting hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue per annum.

On January 7, an SWFI article was posted called, “Uber Could Use Sovereign Wealth Fund Money,” explaining, “Sovereign fund money could also assist Uber in opening up regulatory hurdles faster in countries like China, Singapore, Italy or the United Arab Emirates. With regard to China, Uber has already carefully launched in Shenzhen, one of China’s technology hubs.”

Fast forward almost 1 year later, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) invested in the US$ 1.2 billion round, along with New Enterprise Associates. In addition, hedge funds, Valiant Capital Partners and Lone Pine Capital, invested in the latest round in Uber as well. Uber is available in over 250 cities, including Doha.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick posted this:

    “2014 has been a year of tremendous growth for Uber. It was just a year ago that Uber was operating in 60 cities and 21 countries — today we are in over 250 cities in 50 countries. We are 6 times bigger today than 12 months ago — and grew faster this year than last. This progress is remarkable, but it is in the coming years that Uber truly scales and the impact in cities becomes visible.

    In 2015 alone, Uber will generate over 1mm jobs in cities around the world and with that millions of people may decide that they no longer need to own a car because using Uber will be cheaper than owning one. Parking could become less strained in our biggest cities, and city congestion may actually start to ease due to uberPOOL’s expansion and success.

    This kind of continued growth requires investment. To that end, we have just raised a financing round of $1.2 billion, with additional capacity remaining for strategic investments. This financing will allow Uber to make substantial investments, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.

    This kind of growth has also come with significant growing pains. The events of the recent weeks have shown us that we also need to invest in internal growth and change. Acknowledging mistakes and learning from them are the first steps. We are collaborating across the company and seeking counsel from those who have gone through similar challenges to allow us to refine and change where needed.

    Fortunately, taking swift action is where Uber shines, and we will be making changes in the months ahead. Done right, it will lead to a smarter and more humble company that sets new standards in data privacy, gives back more to the cities we serve and defines and refines our company culture effectively.

    We have an interesting journey ahead and I’d like to thank all of the riders, drivers and Uber employees who have made it possible to get this far. I’m inspired and energized every day by the work we do, the people in our community we serve and the impact we can have in bringing positive change to cities around the world.”

White House Nominates Heath Tarbert for CFTC Chairman

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The White House announced Heath P. Tarbert will be nominated to serve as Commissioner and Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Tarbert currently serves as Assistant Secretary for International Markets at the U.S. Treasury Department. Before joining the U.S. Treasury, Tarbert was a Partner at law firm Allen & Overy. Tarbert was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for his current Treasury post at 87 (yes) to 8 (no).

Upon Senate confirmation, Tarbert’s CFTC term would start on April 14, 2019 and last for five years. Tarbert is taking over from J. Christopher Giancarlo whose term ends in April 2019. Tarbert will need a U.S. Senate confirmation to take the head CFTC post.

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KIA Could Sell Stake in North Sea Energy Business

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The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), through its unit Wren House Investment Management, is nearing a deal to sell a 40% stake in its North Sea energy business to JPMorgan Asset Management. In July 2018, KIA closed on a deal to acquire oil and gas pipeline firm North Sea Midstream Partners from ArcLight Capital.

More details to follow –

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Pensioenfonds PGB Hires BMO Global for Equity Protection Strategy

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Pensioenfonds PGB is a Dutch multi-sector pension fund. PGB awarded a mandate to implement a protection strategy for its €12 billion equity portfolio to BMO Global Asset Management. PGB is a €26.5 billion fund. PGB has been using BMO Global’s responsible engagement overlay since 2017.

The Chief Investment Officer of PGB is Harold Clijsen.

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