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Friday SWFI News Roundup, March 13, 2015

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Azerbaijan Sovereign Wealth Fund Looks to Open London Office

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) plans to open an overseas office in London. This is a sign for more allocation to overseas markets.

GSO Capital Begins to Market Debut Energy Credit Fund

GSO Capital Partners, the credit unit of the Blackstone Group, is attempting to raise US$ 2.5 billion to US$ 3 billion for its debut energy credit fund. GSO Capital expects its first close at the end of April.

QSE Contemplates IPO

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) is contemplating selling shares in an initial public offering (IPO). The QSE had discussions with its sole owner, Qatar Holding LLC, a sovereign wealth enterprise of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System Commits to Coller International Partners VII

Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System (LASERS) plunked down US$ 75 million toward Coller International Partners VII, a secondaries fund being managed by London-based Coller Capital. In June 2012, the pension fund committed US$ 100 million to Coller International Partners VI.

OMERS Keen on Hydro One Investment

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SWFI First Read, June 22, 2018

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JPMorgan Fund Buys 40% of Oxford Properties’ French Portfolio

A fund advised by JP Morgan Asset Management committed €400 million in Oxford Properties’ French portfolio. Essentially, Oxford Properties sold a 49.9% non-managing interest in 32 Rue Blanche, 92 Avenue de France and Paris Bastille. Oxford Properties made its maiden investment in Paris in 2014 when it acquired 32 Rue Blanche.

Oxford Properties is the real estate unit of OMERS.

Temasek Explores Further Cash Commitments to FirstCry

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DOL Fiduciary Role is Struck Down by Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

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The U.S. Court of Appeal, Fifth Circuit, confirmed a March 15th decision to strike down the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule. The fiduciary rule is a series of seven different rules that broadly interpret the term “investment advice fiduciary” and redefine exemptions to provisions concerning fiduciaries that appear in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a decision by a Dallas federal court that had upheld the DOL fiduciary rule.

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Supreme Court Ruling on Online Shoppers Sales Tax Could Impact SWF Investing

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In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that U.S. states could mandate online shoppers to pay sales tax when they make online purchases. This new ruling overturns a ruling from 1992.

Sovereign wealth funds directly invested at least US$ 9 billion in internet-related retail businesses from January 1, 2015 to March 31, 2018, according to SWFI transaction data. This is not counting fund commitments or funds invested. Sovereign funds have been plowing capital into online mega giants such as Amazon and Expedia, while spending big on e-commerce startups in the United States.

“Each year the physical presence rule becomes further removed from economic reality and results in significant revenue losses to the States. These critiques underscore that the physical presence rule, both as first formulated and as applied today, is an incorrect interpretation of the Commerce Clause,” Justice Anthony Kennedy penned in an opinion joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Neil Gorsuch.

“Retailers have been waiting for this day for more than two decades,” the National Retail Federation said in a statement.

Already a number of U.S. states enacted laws mandating online marketplaces to collect sales taxes on behalf of third-party sellers.

The case is South Dakota v. Wayfair, 17-494.

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