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CIC and Noble Enter into Investment and Cooperation Agreement

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Press Release states, “The Noble Group (SGX: NOBL) is pleased to announce today an agreement to place 573,000,000 number of shares, for a total consideration of approximately USD 850,000,000 to China Investment Corporation (“CIC”) at a price of SGD2.1137 per share. The placement comprised of 438,000,000 newly issued shares by the Company and 135,000,000 shares from trusts associated with the interests of Noble founder and CEO Richard Elman. The placement is subject to approval of the respective boards of directors of Noble Group and CIC and final legal documentation.

The placement was the result of extensive discussions between the two parties and underscores the expertise the Noble Group has developed in supply chain management and the distribution of commodities, particularly agricultural products. Noble’s diverse agricultural activities include farm production in Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil which is linked to an internal logistic and storage capability. Access to export markets is further supported by 5 owned port facilities throughout South America. Noble’s other agricultural assets include crushing plants and sugar refineries.

The newly issued shares will provide the Noble Group with additional capital to pursue strategic investments in key agricultural markets globally.

The shares sold by interests associated with Mr. Elman represent a small fraction of his holdings in the Noble Group and are only the second such sale by Mr. Elman since he founded the Group. It is the intention of Mr. Elman to use some of the proceeds associated with the sale of his interests in Noble to fund a charitable foundation with a focus on fostering international relations amongst Asian nations. The sale by Mr. Elman in no way reduces Mr. Elman’s commitment to Noble Group, the company which he founded and continues to be involved in day to day management.

CIC and Noble have agreed to enter into this partnership for the purpose of jointly investing in infrastructure assets and supply chain management related to agricultural commodities. It is the intention of both companies to bring to bear their respective strengths to achieve results which are satisfactory to their respective shareholders and bring benefits to consumers of agricultural products worldwide.

Mr. Elman commented “We are all extremely pleased with the investment by CIC in Noble and heartened that they, like us, evaluate the evolution and success of a company over decades as opposed to merely fiscal quarters. We think the opportunities to work together over the coming decades will be tremendous and we look forward to working together.”

Merrill Lynch (Singapore) Pte. Limited acted as the sole placement agent for Noble Group. J.P. Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Limited acted as financial advisor to CIC.”

read more: Press Release: The Noble Group

RDIF and Aggreko Reveal Strategic Partnership on Microgrids

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The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Glasgow-based Aggreko plc, a listed company that provides power, heating and cooling, signed a deal to cooperate on the development of microgrids. The parties plan to invest in the construction of facilities that will provide uninterrupted power supply and temperature control to industrial enterprises and utilities in the Russian regions. Aggreko operates one of its 6 global hubs in Tyumen, Western Siberia, through an entity called Aggreko Evraziya, OOO. In 2017, Aggreko plc acquired Younicos, a company specialized in the development of modular batteries and Microgrids control solutions.

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China and Russia Buy Up More Physical Gold

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The worst fears of the Federal Reserve may be coming true. The barbarous relic is once again offering some resistance to Fed policy as it maintains its uptrend from mid-November, and is being snapped up from central banks worldwide. Former Fed chairman Paul Volcker shared the central bank view that “Gold was the enemy.” If so, the enemy is gaining ground. China’s gold reserves quietly grew from December 2018 to February 2019. The People’s Bank of China disclosed in February 2019 that it increased its gold reserves by 10 tonnes that month, following purchases of 11.8 tonnes in January 2019, and 9.95 tonnes in December 2018. Goldman Sachs has listed central bank purchasing as the reason for the uptrend. Goldman Sachs expects to see gold at US$ 1,400 over the next six months, which would lift it well above its long-held resistance at US$ 1,350. China’s gold holdings are now US$ 79.5 billion. China, which is emphasizing diversification from the U.S. dollar, has been a fan of precious metals for years, and it has been encouraging its citizens to purchase gold and silver for a decade, when previous controls on precious metals were done away with. Now anyone in China can trade gold internationally with the swipe of a card.

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AP1 Selects Approved Managers for Emerging Market Equities Mandate

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Sweden’s AP1 chose 14 external fund managers for its 45.3 billion SEK allocation to emerging market equities. These are approved managers for AP1, but not all of them will manage money for this mandate.

The managers selected are:
Aberdeen Standard Investments
BlackRock
First State Investments
Fisher Asset Management (Fisher Investments)
GMO
GQG Partners
JP Morgan Asset Management
KBI Global Investors
Legal & General Investment Management
RBC Global Asset Management (part of Royal Bank of Canada)
Robeco
TOBAM
UBS Asset Management
Wellington Management

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