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Friday SWFI News Roundup, June 6, 2014

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Texas Municipal Retirement System Hires 3 Managers for US$ 750 Million for MBS Investing

Austin-based Texas Municipal Retirement System has hired three external managers to invest in residential mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and commercial MBS. Each manager will get to manage US$ 250 million for a total of US$ 750 million toward the mortgage investment strategy. The chosen managers are Ellington Management Group, Voya Investment Management and Marathon Asset Management.

Growth in South Korean Foreign Reserves

The foreign exchange reserves of South Korea elevated to a new high in May 2014, touching US$360.91 billion. According to the Bank of Korea, this was a US$ 5.07 billion increase from April.

Bahrain’s Mumtalakat Generates Profit in 2013

Bahrain’s Mumtalakat Holdings suffered five years of straight losses, mostly due to Gulf Air’s financial performance. In 2013, Mumtalakat generated a net profit of US$ 219 million versus a loss in 2012.

Mahmood al-Kooheji, chief executive of Mumtalakat told Reuters in a recent interview, “We’re out of the red and we’ll not be back there again, God willing.”

PineBridge Investments Raises US$ 140 Million for Sharia-Compliant Real Estate Fund

New York-based PineBridge Investments has raised US$ 140 million for a sharia-compliant real estate fund targeting income producing assets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. These assets include retail, logistic properties and social infrastructure. Talal Al-Zain, the former CEO of Mumtalakat Holdings, is the current CEO of MENA for PineBridge Investments, running out of Manama. Al Zain expects a final fund closing of US$ 200 million.

GIC Buys Chinese Corporate Debt

Singapore’s GIC Private Limited has been investing in Chinese corporate debt. The sovereign fund purchased US$ 700 million worth of bonds from Lenovo, due 2019 at 4.5%. These bonds were unrated. The GIC also invested US$ 258 million in a note from Tencent Holdings, due 2020 at 3.2%. Typically, sovereign wealth funds rarely allocate such capital to unrated bonds.

New Mexico SIC Invests US$ 75 Million in Real Estate Debt Fund

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Scatec Solar Places Big Solar Bet in Bangladesh

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Oslo-based Scatec Solar ASA, a publicly-traded independent power producer operating in the emerging market solar development space, plans to construct and own a 800 mega watt photovoltaic solar power plant in Chandpur, Bangladesh. Scatec Solar has solar assets scattered across numerous emerging markets such as South Africa, Rwanda, Honduras, Egypt, Jordan and the Czech Republic.

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APFC Sells $1.4 Billion Stake in Simpson Housing

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The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) embarked on a major shift in its real estate portfolio by selling a 50% ownership stake in Denver-based Simpson Housing LLLP for US$ 1.4 billion. Simpson Housing had made up roughly 24.7% of APFC’s US$ 5.6 billion real estate portfolio. The other owner of Simpson Housing is that State of Michigan Retirement Systems.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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ISIF Invests in Cybersecurity Firm Vectra

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The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) committed €10 million to Vectra Networks, Inc., a San Jose, U.S.-based cybersecurity company. The investment capital will assist Vectra in creating a research and development center in Dublin.

ISIF is part of a larger funding round of €30 million. These other investors include Khosla Ventures, Accel Partners, DAG Ventures, AI Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures and Wipro Ventures.

Kevin Dillon, who is the former Head of Microsoft Ireland and a Managing Partner at Atlantic Bridge, will join the board of directors at Vectra.

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