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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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Mergermarket Gets Ready to be Sold

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Private equity firm BC Partners hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to advise on the sales of Acuris. Acuris is a collection of financial news and data sites, which includes Mergermarket, Dealreporter, and Debtwire. In 2017, BC Partners sold around a 30% stake in GIC Private Limited.

Before the rebranding to Acuris, Mergermarket was part of The Financial Times Group until 2013 when it was sold off to BC Partners.

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Why Japan Post Sees Promise in Aflac

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Aflac Inc. is an American insurance company founded in 1955. The company is the biggest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States. Aflac also has major operations in Japan.

In December 2018, Japan Post Holdings (JPHLF) signaled it was spending US$ 2.64 billion for a 7-8 % stake in Aflac. The goal is that, in four years time, Aflac will become an affiliate of Japan Post. Japan Post hopes to accomplish this by becoming the largest voting shareholder of the company. The world’s 13th largest company, with 400,000 employees, Japan Post needs to expand to chase further growth, mainly because Japan Post expects the postal business to decline. Diversification is seen as the optimal route to long term stability for the holding company. Japan’s economy is worrying. Japan’s aging population means that many insurance companies are facing a shrinking customer base, Japan Post settled on a plan to expand overseas.

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RDIF and Development Agency of Serbia Agree to Explore Joint Investments

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The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Development Agency of Serbia, also known as Razvojna agencija Srbije, reached an agreement to work together to identify attractive investment projects to strengthen bilateral economic ties and increase investment flows between Russia and Serbia. Russian capital and businesses are keen on investing in Serbia.

In addition, the two countries signed an agreement to cooperate on civil nuclear energy, according to state-owned Russian reactor builder Rosatom (Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation). Rosatom continues to expand it business of nuclear cooperation deals in a wide number of countries.

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