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European Cities Compete for Institutional Investor Operational Presence

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A significant portion of the world’s largest sovereign funds have offices in London, including the revolution battered Libyan Investment Authority (LIA). Elephantine pension investors such as the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Korea’s National Pension Service also have a presence in London. Institutional investors are naturally attracted to financial centers. Since 1986, the financial services sector experienced deregulation in the U.K., and multiple executive administrations, despite political party changes, have kept the environment relatively attractive for financial capital. Granted, countries and states like Luxembourg and Jersey have advantages of structuring investment vehicles; the U.K. has economic size to its advantage.

The battle of luring the world’s largest institutional investors to a core European city has been brewing for quite some time.

Culturally, the British have an extensive history of being a colonial power, pushing influence in all corners of the globe. This can be true also of the French, Portuguese, Dutch and Spanish, but the British were able to influence regions from where sovereign funds have sprouted like Brunei, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, China, United States, Ireland and so on. Former territories and colonies have had long-term relationships with the British government and financial institutions – forging decades of economic cooperation and levels of trust.

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CIC Sells 10% Logicor Stake to Blackstone Fund

The China Investment Corporation (CIC) is selling a 10% stake of in European warehouse firm Logicor Ltd to a real estate fund managed by The Blackstone Group. Furthermore, CIC also hired Blackstone to oversee and manage Logicor’s warehouses and logistic properties portfolio.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Fintech Affirm Raises $200 Million in Series E Led By Singapore’s GIC

Affirm Inc., a financial technology firm which provides instant loans to consumers as an alternative to credit cards for their online shopping, has raised US$ 200 million in a Series E round lead by Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, with participation from Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Caffeinated Capital, and Ribbit Capital. The new infusion of capital brings the San Francisco-based company’s total funding to US$ 450 million and a reported valuation of US$ 2 billion.

The company is founded by Max Levchin, a co-founder of PayPal (part of the PayPal mafia, dubbed by the tech press). Max Levchin is also an advisory board member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFSB) in the United States.

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CHANGE: Saudi Arabia to Re-Open Movie Theaters, PIF Inks MoU with AMC

The Saudi Arabian government is ending its 35-year ban on cinemas. Next year, the government will allow cinemas to open. This watershed moment provides opportunities for entertainment companies to invest in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region.

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