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Familiar with Education, CPPIB Participates in BYJU Capital Raise

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BYJU is an online education startup based in Bangalore, India. BYJU raised US$ 540 million in an investment round led by Naspers, a publicly-listed broad-based multinational internet and media company headquartered in South Africa. In addition, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) participated in the investment round. The holding company of BYJU is Think and Learn Private Ltd.

In 2017, BYJU raised funding from family office Verlinvest and China’s tech giant Tencent Holdings. In 2016, BYJU raised US$ 50 million from investors led by The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) and Sequoia Capital. This was CZI’s first investment in Asia. BYJU is founded by Byju Raveendran.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has invested in a number of education startups and data companies. CZI participated in a US$ 32 million round in Panorama. This round was led by the Emerson Collective. Other investors in the US$ 32 million round were Spark Capital, Owl Ventures, and SoftTechVC. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative also invested in Andela and Seattle-based Varsity Tutors. CZI participated in a US$ 50 million Series C round in Varsity Tutors.

Qatar Steps Up for Lebanon, Plans $500 Million Bond Purchase

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Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani appeared at an Arab economic summit and it was revealed that Qatar plans to purchase US$ 500 million of Lebanese government bonds. Earlier, there was speculation Qatar was going to deposit US$ 1 billion in Banque du Liban (Bank of Lebanon), which was never confirmed by the bank.

Lebanese officials in January revealed the possibility of a debt restructuring. The International Monetary Fund calculated that public debt in Lebanon is at over 160% of gross domestic product this year and could raise to around 180% by 2023.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Turkey Wealth Fund Could Provide Support to Credit Card Debt Market

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Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, has a new reform to jump start the consumer debt-laden economy, and it involves Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund. His strategy is to offer money to those facing overwhelming credit card debt. Ziraat Bank (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Ziraat Bankası) will allow borrowers to apply for debt rescheduling and secure lower interest rates. Erdogan announced that “Any retail client from any bank can apply.” Credit card debt is a monstrous problem in the country. Consumer credit has exploded due to low rates, government assistance, and easy credit availability. Last summer, non-housing debt reached US$ 97 billion. Half of this is credit card debt. Over US$ 30 million is non-performing. The debt was accumulated in foreign currencies, because they used to provide the lowest interest rates. Unfortunately, as the Turkish lira’s exchange rate cratered, much of the debt became impossible to service. The lira is among the world’s weakest currencies. Erdogan expects a smooth transition, “They will pay off their debt with a loan from Ziraat, and will pay it back according to the level of their monthly earnings.” Ziraat Bank is managed by Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund, which is chaired by President Erdoğan.

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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KIC Sells City of London Office to South African Investor

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Investec Structured Property Finance, part of Investec, provided a £107 million loan to a South African investor being represented by London-based Pembrey Asset Management Ltd to acquire an office in London at One Bartholomew Lane. The Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) is the ultimate owner of the office and is selling it through Hines UK, part of Hines. BNP Paribas Real Estate acted on behalf of Pembrey Asset Management and CBRE acted on behalf of Hines.

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