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Friday SWFI News Roundup, June 6, 2014

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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Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew Joins Lindsay Goldberg

New York-based buyout firm Lindsay Goldberg LLC has announced that Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew will join the company as a partner focusing on investments across sectors, institutional relationships, and firm management, according to an announcement released on Monday, November 20. Lindsay Goldberg is a private equity firm co-founded by Alan E. Goldberg and Robert D. Lindsey, both veterans of Morgan Stanley in which they worked in the Transaction Development Group.

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San Diego City Employees Retirement System to Reduce PE and Infrastructure for FY 2018

The San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System plans to reduce annual commitments to private equity and infrastructure down to US$ 75 million for fiscal year 2018. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Institutional Investors Remain Skeptical as Bitcoin Continues to Rise

Bitcoin has continued to rally over the past month – hitting a record US$ 8,224 in the early hours of November 20 – and institutional investors are beginning to take notice of the cryptocurrency’s increasing popularity. With a market value of more than US$ 130 billion, the digital currency has seen unprecedented growth of over 700% over the past year. But Bitcoin’s rise has also been marked by a number of volatile slumps, leaving institutional investors divided over its durability as a long-term store of value and wondering whether to get in on the action. Despite these headwinds, more than 100 hedge funds have been formed to trade in digital currencies.

Split Consensus on Wall Street

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