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Friday SWFI News Roundup, March 6, 2015

Future Fund Invests in Couture Website Moda Operandi

Australia’s Future Fund was a late-stage institutional investor in New York City-based Moda Operandi in 2014. Moda Operandi raised a round of Series E financing for US$ 60 million. Other investors besides the Future Fund includes Fidelity Investments. New Enterprise Associates (NEA) is an investor in Moda Operandi and the Future Fund has allocation to the venture capital firm. The Future Fund has allocated capital to around 10 venture capital firms globally.

Khazanah Nasional Looks to Target Southeast Asian Healthcare Companies

Khazanah Nasional is planning to invest in more Southeast Asian life and health insurance companies through its sovereign wealth enterprise (SWE) called Avicennia Capital Sdn Bhd. There is a secondary preference toward general insurance companies. Key potential markets include Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

GIC Increases Stake in Merlin Entertainments PLC

Singapore’s GIC Private Limited has accrued a 5.185% stake in UK-based Merlin Entertainments PLC. Merlin Entertainments operates Madame Tussauds waxworks and LEGOLAND. GIC raised its position from 27.6 million shares to 52.6 million shares. In early March, LEGO unveiled the Star Wars Death Star model display at LEGOLAND.

The HKBN IPO

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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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3 Reasons Why Other Sovereign Funds Will Not Dump Oil Stocks

Norges Bank informed the country’s ministry of finance to recommend the wealth fund to remove oil and gas listed equities from the fund’s benchmark index. The central bank came to the conclusion that Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) would be less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil prices if the wealth fund was not invested in oil and gas listed equities. For some academics there are arguments that wealth funds should diversify away from their sources of wealth. Contradictory studies have demonstrated that wealth funds should support industries that enhance the country’s sources of wealth. For example, earlier on, Norway’s fossil fuel wealth was buoyed by increased capital investment to the oil sector to increase output, a pre-cursor to the wealth fund’s explosive growth.

1. Stock Performance
For some sovereign investors, investments in master limited partnership in oil and gas have been strong driver of returns, or even in smaller fossil fuel listed companies. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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GIC Financially Backs Innovation Precinct Project in Melbourne

Singapore’s GIC Private Limited acquired a majority interest in a joint project located in Melbourne, Australia. The joint project is between Sydney-based Lendlease, Australia-based Urbanest and GIC. In 2014, the project was labeled Carlton Connect Initiative with the goal of being an innovation hub.

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