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Friday SWFI News Roundup, May 20, 2016



MOODY’S: U.S. Tech Giants Hold Massive Pools of Cash

Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service put out a study showing that Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (formerly called Google), Cisco Systems and Oracle are sitting on US$ 504 billion, or 30%, of the US$ 1.7 trillion in cash and cash equivalents held by U.S. non-financial companies in 2015. The cash concentration is higher in 2015 compared to 2014, in which the companies mentioned held 27% of cash and 25% of cash in 2013.

December 2015 – Financial Data – Cash in Billions

    Apple, AAPL, US$ 215.7
    Microsoft, MSFT, US$ 102.6
    Alphabet, GOOGL, US$ 73.1
    Cisco Systems, CSCO, US$ 60.4
    Oracle, ORCL, US$ 52.3

Source: Moody’s Investors Service

CPPIB Posts Lowest Return Since Great Recession

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) posted an annual return of 3.4%. This is its lowest rate of return since the Great Recession. CPPIB released its latest annual report.

Korean Investors Buy IZD Tower in Vienna

CBRE Global Investors acquired IZD Tower in Vienna, Austria for Korean separate account institutional clients. The office tower is located in the district of Donau City. The seller is a fund managed by Vienna-based Signa Real Estate Capital Partners.

QIA Interested in Asia Square Tower I

Another sovereign wealth fund is taking a crack at a large Singapore office property. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has expressed interest in the Asia Square Tower 1 in Singapore. The seller is BlackRock.

Hermes Investment Management Buys Out Future Fund’s Stake in Southern Water

Hermes Investment Management, owned by the U.K.’s BT Pension Scheme, acquired a 17% stake in British utility Southern Water that was owned by Australia’s Future Fund. The Future Fund indicated it was looking to dispose of its position in Southern Water. Hermes Investment Management now owns 21% of Southern Water.

STT Buys Large Stake in Data Center from Tata

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SWFI First Read, December 10, 2018



IMF Bentham Opens New London Office

IMF Bentham Limited opened a new London office called IMF Litigation Funding Services Limited. The division will provide litigation finance, investment capital and strategic services for disputes in the EMEA region, which includes the United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

Falck Renewables Buys Portfolio of Windfarms in France

A subsidiary of Falck Renewables acquired a portfolio of five onshore windfarms in north-eastern and western France from a fund affiliated with Glennmont Partners for €37 million. The sale was due to the fund’s divestment plan. These windfarms are located in Bois Ballay, Les Coudrays, Mazeray, Eol Team, and Noyales.

Carlos Ghosn Charged by Japanese Prosecutors

Japan government prosecutors indicted Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman of Nissan Motor, and the auto company. The indictment accuses the parties of violating Japanese financial laws by underreporting his compensation. Nissan disclosed Ghosn’s misconduct which included underreporting his compensation and using corporate funds for personal expenses.

OIF Plans to Go Defensive on Public Equities

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First Inning on Augmented Reality a Strike for SWFs



Augmented reality (AR), which is not the same as virtual reality, is an industry that sovereign wealth capital has slowly permeated. The impressive technology has not made inroads into mainstream U.S. culture – remember Google’s efforts with Google Glasses. However, these augmented reality glasses may have industrial purposes such as in car production or logistics.

Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Berhad backed London-based Blippar, an augmented reality studio company. Blippar appears to be on the brink of financial collapse, according to a number of media sources. There is a dispute between investors Khazanah and Nick Candy, in which the SWF had blocked emergency fundraising. This fundraising effort would have most likely lowered Khazanah’s equity stake. In June 2018, Blippar raised an extra £20 million from investors to keep things running. David Rubin & Partners LLP was hired by Blippar as insolvency practitioners.

Magic Leap

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PREVIEW COVER: January Issue of the Sovereign Wealth Quarterly



Here is a mockup cover of the next issue of the Sovereign Wealth Quarterly, the top publication on sovereign funds, pensions, and other institutional investors.

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