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Could Norway’s Sovereign Fund be a Vanguard for Corporate Governance

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Yngve Slyngstad

Yngve Slyngstad

Endowed with immense oil wealth, Norway’s gigantic sovereign wealth fund is a major owner of public stocks. Being a prominent owner of European equities, the sovereign fund has gradually increased their clout in corporate governance. In the second quarter of 2013, the sovereign fund voted in 6,078 general meetings as well as 239 shareholder proposals on environmental and social issues. Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) has the potential to greatly influence the corporate governance market in Europe – possibly China as well. China is an investment market in which the GPFG wants to allocate more to.

As asset owners grow, the expectation in participating in active corporate governance increase.

Active ownership has been championed by many massively-sized public investors such as the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). Public funds continue to rally for changes such as separating chairman and chief executive officer roles. In May, CalPERS tried to corral fellow institutional investors in JPMorgan Chase & Co. to split Jamie Dimon’s dual role. It was unsuccessful. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

CDPQ Boosts Stake in Azure Power

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Disclosed on October 17, 2018, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), through CDPQ Infrastructures Asia Pte Ltd., increased its stake in Azure Power Global Limited, a listed Indian solar power producer. CDPQ increased its ownership in Azure Power to 40.3% ownership by a US$ 100 million commitment in a recent capital raise. Post-deal, CDPQ has invested US$ 240 million in Azure Power.

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Invesco Lost a Big SWF Equity Mandate

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Invesco celebrated its landmark acquisition to acquire OppenheimerFunds from MassMutual. Invesco faced some outflows on its active management side of the business. In the third quarter of 2018, Invesco had outflows from two sovereign wealth funds, which totaled approximately US$ 2.5 billion. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Sky News Reveals CPPIB Eyeing Gatwick Airport

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Mark Kleinman of Sky News revealed that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is seeking to purchase a stake in Gatwick airport. The transaction could be more than £3 billion GBP, as CPPIB seeks to acquire a 42% in the airport from Global Infrastructure Partners. Furthermore, CPPIB would invest more capital into the airport if the deal goes through.

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