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French Government Said to Seek Areva Financing Accord This Week

Bloomberg reports, “The French government is seeking commitments from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and the sovereign funds of Qatar and Kuwait to buy new shares in nuclear company Areva SA by the time the Areva board meets on Nov. 16, two people with direct knowledge of the talks said. The state, owner of 91 percent of Areva, may sell shares in two stages to avoid a delay into 2011, said one of the people, who requested anonymity because talks are private.

The sale to sovereign wealth funds may take place this year, while a deal with industrial partners may not happen until 2011 because talks about cooperation are more complex, the person said. Areva Chief Executive Officer Anne Lauvergeon has been pushing for the capital increase to help fund spending on plants and uranium mines. The company, whose finances have been hurt by construction cost overruns at a reactor in Finland, is seeking to fend off competition and sell more reactors and fuel in Europe, China and India. Failure to seal talks with Kuwait and Qatar by next week would drag the entire stock sale into 2011, the person said.”

Read more: Bloomberg

Concerns Raised at Potential BlackRock Takeover of CalPERS’ Private Equity

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has been analyzing options on what to do with its massive US$ 26 billion private equity program. The pension system has embraced the mantra of reducing cost, reducing complexity and reducing risk, the hallmark of its program called “INVO 2020”. CalPERS also wants less, but more strategic relationships with external money managers. At one point, CalPERS was contemplating increasing its direct investment staff to model Canadian pension funds such as Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), OMERS and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension plan. The pendulum has begun to swing the other way as reported earlier by SWFI research staff.

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CDP Signs €1.7 Billion Infrastructure Loan Agreement with Atlantia Group

Cassa depositi e prestiti S.p.A. (CDP) and Atlantia Group’s Autostrade per l’Italia (ASPI) have signed a €1.7 billion loan contract dedicated to upgrading motorways in Italy under concession to ASPI. €1.1 billion will come in the form of a term loan with a 10-year tenure, with the remaining €600 million wrapped up in a five-year revolving loan.

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Sovereign Funds Commit to Integrating Climate-Related Risks at One Planet Summit

Representatives from a number of sovereign wealth funds who collectively govern over US$ 2 trillion in assets came together at the One Planet Summit at the Élysée Palace in Paris in order to discuss what public asset owners can do to incorporate climate change-related risks and opportunities into investment considerations.

The newly formed committee – called the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Working Group – includes as its founding members the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Norges Bank Investment Management (manager of Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global), Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

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