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Friday SWFI News Roundup, March 27, 2015

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TRS Delivers 8.51% for 2014 Return

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas posted an 8.51% return for 2014, beating its policy index by 0.04%. The highest performing asset class for the pension system was stable value which posted 21.4%. Real return asset class posted 10.2%, followed by risk parity at 8.1% in return. Directional hedge funds for the system generated -0.7% in return.

BlackRock Intrigued by Mexican Infrastructure, Invests in Energy Sector

BlackRock is seeking to allocate capital to infrastructure developments in Mexico, specifically in energy. BlackRock just inked a deal with Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). BlackRock and First Reserve kicked in US$ 900 million for a 45% stake in a pipeline project, Los Ramones II pipeline. The energy infrastructure feeds U.S. natural gas into central Mexico. The pipeline is expected to be completed at the end of 2016.

BlackRock already has a presence in Mexico City through its iShares business. In addition, BlackRock’s infrastructure investment group has about US$ 6 billion in assets under management.

SAFE Grants Fidelity Investments QFII Quota Exceeding US$ 1 Billion

In the past, only sovereign wealth funds, central banks and other official institutions, were allowed Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) quotas of an excess of US$ 1 billion. China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) has granted Fidelity Investments Management (Hong Kong) Ltd a total quota of US$ 1.2 billion to invest in Chinese listed equities and bonds. This is the first time a foreign money manager has been granted a QFII quota exceeding US$ 1 billion.

Saudi Government Re-Orgs Public Institutional Investor Funds

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Shaktikanta Das Named as New CB Governor for India

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The Indian government named Shaktikanta Das as the new Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He will be the 25th governor to lead the central bank. Das is India’s former economic affairs secretary who stepped down in May 2017.

Das replaces Urjit Patel, who stepped down as central bank governor for “personal reasons.”

Urjit Patel had been arguing with India’s finance ministry on matters such as easing lending policies versus what the appropriate size of foreign reserves should be.

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UBS and APG Form Japanese Residential Property Venture

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Long horizon institutional investors are keen on taking advantage of appealing underlying fundamentals in select Japanese residential submarkets that have experienced population growth versus rural areas. The housing market in Tokyo has decoupled from the rest of Japan due to attractive demographics and low interest rates. Real estate valuations for Japanese housing in Tokyo is still at a distance relative to the very-much inflated market of the late 1980s. UBS Asset Management Real Estate & Private Markets business and APG Asset Management, which oversees the assets of Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, formed a new property joint venture to invest in residential properties in Japan. UBS Asset Management will manage the fund and partnership, while APG will play a strategic role. APG will contribute US$ 175 million into the venture.

This platform will pursue a build-to-core investment strategy with some allocation to the reconfiguration of income-producing operating assets in cities such as Tokyo and Osaka.

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GIC Sells 2 Chifley Square to Charter Hall

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Singapore’s GIC Private Limited sold a 100% ownership stake in a large building in Sydney, 2 Chifley Square, for A$ 98.5 million to the Charter Hall Prime Office Fund, a wholesale real estate fund. Charter Hall Group owned the building next to Chifley, the Gresham building at 167 Macquarie Street.

Advisors for the transaction are Colliers International and KPMG Real Estate Advisory.

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