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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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Colony Capital Picks Up LATAM Unit of Abraaj Group

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After negotiations, Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital agreed to purchase The Abraaj Group’s private equity platform in Latin America. The Latin American unit of Abraaj has around US$ 500 million in assets under management. The unit will be renamed to Colony Latam Partners, which will continue its focus on middle-market investments in Chile, Mexico, Colombia, and Peru.

Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) assisted in the transaction.

According to the press release, unit partners Miguel Angel Olea Sisniega, Hector Martinez Fry, Gerardo Mendoza Llanes, and Eduardo Cortina Murrieta will continue to lead the business.

Abraaj Group remains under a court supervised restructuring effort in the Cayman Islands.

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Henry Jones Named Board President at CalPERS

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The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) posted a -3.9% for the calendar year ended December 31, 2018. At this point, CalPERS is approximately 65% to 66% funded.

In addition, CalPERS is current searching for a permanent private equity director. CalPERS is still deciding on whether to change its approach to private equity investing by forming outside entities to make investments.

Last, the board of CalPERS named Henry Jones as board president.

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LAPFF Explores Direct Real Estate Investing

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The Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions (LAFPP), a smaller pension compared to its larger peers such as the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, is considering forming a direct real estate investment strategy that would be managed internally. LAPFF staff requested the pension’s real estate consultant The Townsend Group to explore the feasibility of creating an in-house real estate managed portfolio.

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