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First Xiaomi, Could Snapchat Be Next for Sovereign Wealth Funds?

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Institutional investors are plowing money into mobile startups, eager to gain exposure in a growing world population becoming heavily reliant on mobile devices. China smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi raised just over US$ 1 billion in capital from investors that include, Hopu Investment Management Co., Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, Russian investment firm DST Global and Yunfeng Capital – a private equity firm affiliated with Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma. The consortium investment in Xiaomi was led by Chinese financier Fang Fenglei who runs Hopu. The US$ 1 billion raise puts Xiaomi valued at US$ 45 billion, trumping most startups globally, even Uber, which is valued at US$ 41 billion.

Xiaomi is the world’s third largest smartphone maker. In fact, Xiaomi is selling around 100,000 units per week through e-commerce sites like Flipkart. Flipkart is backed by investors such as Singapore’s GIC Private Limited. In December, Xiaomi invested US$ 200 million in appliance maker Midea.

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Altitude Infrastructure Gets Financing on Haute-Garonne Network Project

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Altitude Infrastructure SAS inked a 25-year concession agreement and closed a debt financing package for the deployment and maintenance of an ultra-high-speed broadband network in Haute-Garonne. Haute-Garonne is a department in the south of France.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Guggenheim Partners Agrees to Acquire Millstein & Co.

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On July 11, 2018, Guggenheim Partners inked a deal to acquire New York-based Millstein & Co., L.P., an advisory firm formed by Jim Millstein. Millstein will become co-Chairman of Guggenheim’s securities business. Millstein & Co. will become part of Guggenheim Securities, the investment banking division of the company. Ronen Bojmel will lead the combined Guggenheim restructuring team.

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GIC Holds Steady, Maintains Cautious Investment Stance

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Singapore’s GIC Private Limited returned a 5-year return of 6.6% ended March 31, 2018. At March 2018, GIC had increased cash and nominal bonds up 2% to 37% of the total portfolio, while lowering exposure to developed market equities from 27% to 23%.

GIC CEO Lim Chow Kiat commented in his annual letter in the FY 2017-2018 report that, “In view of the high asset valuations, the increased risk of monetary policy tightening across different jurisdictions and the elevated uncertainty, we maintain a cautious investment stance. Nevertheless, we remain ready to take advantage of potential dislocations. The jump in market volatility experienced in early 2018 offered an indication of potentially bigger market turbulence and opportunities in the future.”

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