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Friday SWFI News Roundup, December 16, 2016

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U.S. President Barack Obama - Dec 16, 2016, Year-End Press Conference

U.S. President Barack Obama – Dec 16, 2016, Year-End Press Conference

FRR to Exclude Tobacco and Thermal Coal from Bond and Equity Portfolios

Paris-based Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR) will now have to exclude tobacco companies and companies that derive more than 20% of their revenue from thermal coal extraction from the fund’s equity and bond portfolios. This decision was made by FRR’s supervisory board.

Korean Teachers’ Credit Union Invests in Distressed Euro Credit Fund

The Korean Teachers’ Credit Union (KTCU) is kicking in €50 million toward the European Special Situations (ESS) Fund II, a fund managed by Cross Ocean Partners, that will target discounted senior secured loans from European banks. KTCU invested €30 million in European Special Situations (ESS) Fund I in 2013.

Centrica Touts Gas Flowing from Cygnus Field

According to Centrica plc, the first gas has flowed from the Cygnus field. This field could possibly be the biggest producing natural gas field in the U.K.’s part of the North Sea. The company projects at peak the gas field could contribute up to 5% of the U.K.’s total gas production.

Gulf Wealth Participates in JetSmarter Series C Round

JetSmarter, an app for private jet services, raised US$ 105 million in a Series C round at a reported US$ 1.5 billion pre-money valuation. New investors participating in this round include London-based KZ Capital, a Qatar private equity fund, JetEdge, and an Abu Dhabi-based equity fund. Existing investors and backers such as Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and members of the Saudi royal family participated in the Series C round as well. XOJET President and CEO Bradley Stewart joined JetSmarter’s board in connection with the Series C round.

PKA Sells German Windfarm Stake to ITOCHU-Led Investor Group

An investor consortium led by Japan’s ITOCHU Group purchased Denmark’s PKA 22.5% ownership stake in the Butendiek German offshore windfarm. The windfarm is close to the border of Denmark and Germany, close to the island of Sylt. PKA typically holds on to these types of investments for 25 years, but they had the opportunity to make a timely profit for its members. PKA had invested in the windfarm in 2013, together with Industriens Pension.

Mirae Asset Financial Group Eyes Charles Schwab SF Building

Mirae Asset Financial Group indicated interest to acquire the headquarters of Charles Schwab in San Francisco. The prospective seller is CIM Group, which bought the building in January 2010. The 18-storey property, located at 211 Main Street, is apparently worth about US$ 300 million. Charles Schwab’s building lease expires in May 2018. The building was constructed in 1973.

Merseyside Pension, West Yorkshire Pension and Lancashire County Pension Joining GLIL Infrastructure

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Cryptocurrencies Creep into the Middle East

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Banking behemoth J.P. Morgan Chase disclosed its own digital currency called JPM Coin. The digital token will be used to settle payments between clients. JPM Coin will be backed by physical U.S. dollars and be based off Quorum. Quorum is J.P. Morgan’s private Ethereum-based chain. JPM Coin plans to compete with Ripple, which created XRP, another digital currency that is used for settlements. Ripple’s main target market is cross-border payments and remittances.

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority have unveiled their plans for Aber, an interbank digital currency. Both banks have indicated that Aber will be limited to financial settlements using distributed ledger technologies. It will be rolled out on a probational basis, and used by select banks within the two countries. A date for rollout has not yet been declared. A joint statement hinted at a broader application of the currency in the days ahead. If “no technical obstacles are encountered, economic and legal requirements for future uses will be considered.”‏ Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers technologies will be employed. The plan is for ‘Proof-of-Concept’ testing, which involves studying and fully comprehending the ways modern technologies can achieve practical applications. The digital currency has the potential to become a reserve system for central payments.

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CPPIB Inks Partnership Vehicle with La Française and its Shareholder CMNE

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La Française and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) formed a strategic partnership for the launch of a real estate investment and development vehicle: Société Foncière et Immobilière du Grand Paris. The joint venture between CPPIB (80%) and Caisse Fédérale du Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe (CMNE) (20%), La Française’s shareholder, will invest in major real estate projects linked to the Grand Paris infrastructure in the Greater Paris area. The parties will initially allocate €387.5 million in equity to the venture. The partnership will target regeneration and infrastructure-led investments.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Norges Bank Governor Voices Opinion on Relaxing SWF Withdrawals over Specific Uses

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Øystein Olsen, the Governor of Norges Bank, which oversees the Norway Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), voiced his opinion on the Norwegian government’s plans to alter the rules that regulates the country’s SWF withdrawal rules in certain circumstances. The coalition government led by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg wants to relax the limits on SWF withdrawals in specific cases. Norway’s government seeks to raid the fund to pay for the replacement of four major state buildings impacted by a terrorist attack and a crashed Royal Norwegian Navy frigate (KNM Helge Ingstad).

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