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Friday SWFI News Roundup, December 9, 2016

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2022: BlackRock to Move HQ to 50 Hudson Yards

BlackRock is moving its headquarters from East 52nd Street (Midtown) to 50 Hudson Yards. Hudson Yards is partially backed by sovereign wealth money such as the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA). The move is targeted for 2022.

Lucien Wong to Resign from Temasek Holdings’ Board

On November 25, 2016, the Singapore Prime Minister’s Office announced Lucien Wong will be appointed Attorney-General from January 14, 2017. As part of the transition to his new appointment, Wong will be appointed Deputy Attorney-General from December 19, 2016. Accordingly, Wong will be stepping down from Temasek Board with effect from December 15, 2016. Wong was appointed to the Temasek Board on March 1, 2013.

IFC to Help Vietnam SOEs on Corporate Governance

On December 7, 2016, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Vietnam’s State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC). The MoU goes into the continued improvement of corporate governance practices in SCIC’s portfolio companies. In addition, IFC will assist SCIC in executing its complex divestment plan and explore co-financing opportunities in Vietnam’s agribusiness, services, and manufacturing sectors.

ECB Reduces Size of Monthly Asset Purchases

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced they would be slowing the pace of its asset purchase program, from €80 billion per month to €60 billion per month. The ECB has extended its quantitative easing (QE) program by nine months, having the total size be north of €2.2 trillion. The ECB has swiftly denied that they are ending its monetary stimulus program.

Allstate Names New Chief Investment Officer

Insurance giant Allstate named John Dugenske as executive vice president and chief investment officer of the company’s US$ 81 billion investment portfolio. Dugenske replaces Judy Greffin who exited in March 2016, ending a 25-year career with Allstate. Before this role, Dugenske was Group Managing Director and Global Head of Fixed Income at UBS Global Asset Management.

Aon Contemplates Putting its Outsourced Employee Benefits Business up for Sale

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Saudi Aramco Contemplates SABIC Stake from PIF

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Oil giant Saudi Aramco is in early discussions on whether to pursue an ownership stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) from the Public Investment Fund (PIF). At the moment, Saudi Aramco has no plans to buy publicly-held shares of SABIC. SABIC was founded in 1976 by Saudi royal decree to convert oil by-products into useful chemicals, polymers, and fertilizers.

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SWFI First Read, July 19, 2018

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GIC Eyes Provenance Land

GIC Private Limited is nearing a deal to purchase up to 50% of Provenance Land. Provenance Land owns India’s first Four Seasons hotel.

Eduard van Gelderen Leaves UC Regents for PSP Investments CIO Role

Eduard van Gelderen exited his position as Senior Managing Director at the University of California Regents’ Office of the Chief Investment Officer. His role will not be replaced. He accepted an offer to be Chief Investment Officer of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments).

PAAMCO Prisma Holdings CEOs to Exit

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Google Fined Big Time by EU Regarding Antitrust Violations

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The European Union (EU), through its competition commissioner, levied a €4.34 billion fine against Alphabet Inc., the owner of Google. The fine is over Google having “imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search,” according to the European Commission (EC).

The European Commission is requiring Alphabet to cease from its conduct that it is accused of within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said in a press release, “Today, mobile internet makes up more than half of global internet traffic. It has changed the lives of millions of Europeans. Our case is about three types of restrictions that Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine. In this way, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine. These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules.”

The EC press release added, “In particular, Google: 1. has required manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and browser app (Chrome), as a condition for licensing Google’s app store (the Play Store); 2. made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices; and 3. has prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google (so-called “Android forks”).”

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