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DOJ and SEC to Probe Apple

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in preliminary stages of investigating Apple Inc., maker of the iPhone, iPad and iMac. The investigation surrounds whether Apple violated U.S. securities laws regarding disclosures on software updates that slowed the performance of older iPhone models.

The government agencies requested information from Apple.

Slowdown

Apple made a public apology once this information was revealed to the public. Apple then moved to lower the price of battery replacements in its retail locations down to US$ 29 from US$ 79.

Clouds Form

Apple is facing a number of issues. First, CalSTRS and activist investor Jana Partners recently issued a warning to Apple regarding the negative effects of smartphone addiction on children. Second, the iPhone X was pushed out in September 2017 with a US$ 1,000 price (US$ 999.00 to US$ 1,149.00 according to sources) – a record price tag of a standard smart phone. Apple informed suppliers it was lowering its first quarter 2018 production target for the iPhone X down 50% to roughly 20 million phone units from 40 million units. The weaker-than-expected demand has spooked some investors. Last, Apple is planning to delay new iOS software features until 2019.

Funds and Ownership, KKR Partners with Shinhan Financial

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South Korean financial giant Shinhan Financial Group Co., Ltd. reached a preliminary agreement with KKR & Co. to form a series of global buyout funds that could raise up to 5 trillion KRW. KKR and Shinhan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Seoul in early October. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Norwegian Government Recommends SWF Remains at Central Bank

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There was speculation that Norway Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) could be managed outside of Norges Bank. The Norwegian government shot down this idea and recommended Norway’s GPFG remain in Norges Bank. This recommendation came in the form of a white paper submitted to the Norwegian Parliament, Stortinget.

Norway’s Minister of Finance Siv Jensen, commented in a press release, “The Government proposes a new and modernised governance structure for Norges Bank. Moving forward, this new structure lays the foundations for the sound management of the central bank and of the GPFG.”

Some Central Bank Recommendations

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Invesco Buys OppenheimerFunds for $5.7 Billion

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Invesco Ltd. signed a deal to acquire OppenheimerFunds, Inc. from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). In turn, MassMutual and the OppenheimerFunds employee shareholders will receive a combination of common and preferred equity consideration, and MassMutual will become a significant shareholder in Invesco, with an approximate 15.5% stake. This strategic transaction will bring Invesco’s total assets under management (AUM) to more than US$ 1.2 trillion. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019, pending necessary regulatory and other third-party approvals. The transaction gives Invesco access to more third-party distribution platforms.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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