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Friday SWFI News Roundup, July 10, 2015

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Fairfax Financial Completes Insurer Brit Purchase

On July 8, 2015, Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited completed its cash tender offer to shareholders of Brit PLC, a global specialty insurer and reinsurer. Fairfax has sold 29.9% of the Brit shares to Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (OMERS). Fairfax currently owns 70.1% of Brit and has the ability to repurchase the shares owned by OMERS over time.

Kazakhstan President Says National Oil Fund Will No Longer Allocate Funds to Support National Economy

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev informed local press that the National Oil Fund will no longer allocate funds to support the national economy. He stated in a teleconference, “In difficult times, we cannot spend money from the National Fund. From now on, the National Fund will not allocate money to support the economy.”

National Bank of Austria to Close Offices to Save on Expenses

National Bank of Austria, the country’s central bank, is expecting to cut expenses by €96 million in the next five years. The central bank has enacted an optimization project to lower expenses. The bank’s New York, Graz and Linz offices will close by 2018.

AustralianSuper Returns 10.9% for Latest Fiscal Year

AustralianSuper’s default option plan posted a 10.9% return for the fiscal year ended June 30. This return is after fees and taxes. The Melbourne-based fund has A$ 90 billion in assets.

KIC Being Audited Over Botched LA Dodgers Potential Investment

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RDIF and Makara Capital form Technology Company Investment Joint Venture

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The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Singapore-based Makara Capital, a specialist in transaction financing and asset management, signed a deal to form a US$ 200 million joint investment platform to finance breakthrough innovative projects in Russia and Asia. Ali Ijaz Ahmad, the CEO of Makara Capital, is a board director of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). Ali Ijaz Ahmad served as an adviser to Morgan Stanley and The Carlyle Group. He also had stints at the World bank and Goldman Sachs. Makara Capital was founded in 2005 as a joint venture with Credit Suisse AG and made independent by its founding partners in 2008.

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SVB Financial Group to Acquire Leerink Holdings

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Linking Boston to the San Francisco Bay Area in the world of pharmaceuticals, SVB Financial Group (SVB) announced that it has entered into a merger agreement to acquire Leerink Holdings LLC, the Boston-based parent company of Leerink Partners LLC, an investment bank focused on the healthcare and life science industries. Jeffrey A. Leerink formed Leerink in 1995. Santa Clara, California-based SVB Financial Group is the parent company of Silicon Valley Bank. SVB is big into life sciences and provides services to many healthcare companies and startups.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Digital Currencies Gaining Steam Among Central Banks

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At the Singapore Fintech Festival, International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde noted that central banks should consider issuing digital currency, as non-cash payments increased over the years – especially in developed markets. Digital currencies, also known as cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin have lost tremendous value in recent months. Lagarde is referring to having the central bank issue digital currencies. Lagarde argued that a digital currency would be the liability of the state and not a private company. Saudi Arabia, China, Canada, Sweden, and even Uruguay have tinkered with possibly having digital currencies or some form. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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