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COMPETITION: Sovereign Wealth Funds Spice Up Deal Activity in Asia

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sovereign wealth fund center asia

Sovereign wealth funds continue to expand their reach in a variety of transactions across Asia. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is competing against Goldman Sachs on the acquisition of the Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower. The 72-story tower is the tallest building in Hanoi and is worth an estimated US$ 1 billion. Korea-based Keangnam Enterprises, Ltd is the developer and seller of the tower.

Goldman Sachs’ offer would be assuming project-financing debt of US$ 900 million and formation of a special purpose vehicle to take over control of the tower. The QIA’s offer is to acquire the whole tower for US$ 800 million in cash. The New York office of Colliers International is the lead manager of the sale. Major companies such as KPMG, Standard Chartered and PwC have reserved space to setup offices in the tower. The tower includes an InterContinental hotel.

Temasek Eyes Postal Savings Bank of China

BNP Paribas, UBS and Temasek Holdings are among a selection of institutional investor bidders attempting to acquire up to a 10% stake in Chinese state-owned Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC) for at least US$ 3 billion. PSBC is China’s largest bank in terms of outlets (around 40,000 branches), not in assets. The bank is preparing its initial public offering (IPO) for 2016, looking to raise US$ 25 billion. The Government of China would be open to selling a larger stake and is keen on selling to strategic investors versus typical commercial investors.

China International Capital Corporation (CICC) and Morgan Stanley are arranging the pre-IPO sale.

Sovereign Wealth Funds Makes Dough on Chinese Bank Investments

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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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