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DENIED: Bank of England Refuses to Release Venezuelan Gold

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“Whoever has the gold makes the rules,” the King famously said in 1964’s comic strip, The Wizard of Id. England is proving the old truism to be accurate. Keynes’ “barbarous relic” is showing tremendous staying power in a world awash in cryptocurrencies and virtual wealth.

Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands have all repatriated gold reserves in recent years, and they can now count Venezuela among the countries attempting to do the same. Venezuela’s government made the decision to repatriate 14 tons of gold bars on the heels of U.S. sanctions. The custodian, the Bank of England, has refused to release the gold, worth a total sum of US$ 550 million, to Caracas. The British are citing anti-money laundering regulations. The specific concern is that Nicolas Maduro may personally seize the gold and use it for personal gain. Washington’s new rules for Venezuela target the country’s gold exports, based on reports of Maduro spending the country’s current precious metals illegally. Venezuela’s economy collapsed when oil revenue plunged. Supplies of food, medicine, and consumer staples were affected. Shortages and hyperinflation have resulted.

National Security Advisor to the United States, John Bolton, labeled Venezuela a member of a “troika of tyranny,” along with Cuba and Nicaragua. Bolton railed against the “triangle of terror stretching from Havana to Caracas to Managua.” He called it “the cause of immense human suffering, the impetus of enormous regional instability, and the genesis of a sordid cradle of communism in the Western Hemisphere,” Cuba has been accused of assisting the Maduro government. “The Cuban military and intelligence agencies must not disproportionately profit from the United States, its people, its travelers, or its businesses,” Bolton declared. For its part, Nicaragua is in hot water due to a violent crisis that sprung up when President Daniel Ortega announced that there would be changes coming to Nicaragua’s social security system. The U.S. is pushing for free elections.

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KIC to Manage a Portion of Korea Post Assets

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In late February, the Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) inked an agreement to manage some of Korea Post’s global assets. KIC also seeks to provide investment training and research to Korea Post.

“As part of effort for Korea Post to allocate part of global investment assets to KIC, both agencies agreed to discuss details during the first half of this year, including the manner in which joint investment and asset allocation will be made,” KIC said in a statement.

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Singaporean Sovereign Wealth Capital Participates in DoorDash Series F Round

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San Francisco-based DoorDash Inc., a food delivery company, raised US$ 400 million in a Series F investment round. The investment round was led by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and San Francisco-based Dragoneer Investment Group, LLC. Post-raise, DoorDash has raised US$ 1.4 billion in equity capital. This gives DoorDash a post-money valuation of US$ 7.1 billion. DoorDash competes against publicly-traded company Grubhub, Postmates, and UberEats, a service of Uber Technologies.

Other investors in the Series F round include SoftBank Vision Fund (managed by SoftBank Group), DST Global, Coatue Management, Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, Sequoia Capital, and Y Combinator.

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CPPIB and Sterling Partners Exit Livingston International

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Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and U.S. private equity firm Sterling Partners are exiting their investment in Livingston International Inc., an international trade-services firm based in Toronto, Ontario, which specializes in customs brokerage, freight forwarding, and trade consulting. Livingston International is Canada’s largest customs broker and third-largest entry filer in the United States.

U.S. private equity firm Platinum Equity is buying Livingston International from CPPIB and Sterling Partners. Platinum Equity is a private equity firm founded by Tom Gores in 1995.

Livingston International was founded in 1945 by Gerry Livingston. In 2002, the company went public after backing from CAI Capital Partners. In 2010, CPPIB and Sterling Partners acquired the company for US$ 324 million. On May 8, 2012, Livingston International acquired New Orleans, Louisiana-based M.G. Maher & Company, Inc. and MCLX, Inc. Maher is an international freight forwarder, customs broker and logistics provider. In 2013, the owners of Livingston International refinanced debt raising US$ 555 million in senior secured credit facilities.

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