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Friday SWFI News Roundup, May 29, 2015

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GIC Bids for in Exora Business Park

Singapore’s GIC Private Limited is in the front of the pack in acquiring a 60% stake in Exora Business Park from Indian real estate firm Red Fort Capital. Other bidders are Singapore-based Ascendas and the Blackstone Group. The property is located in Bangalore.

Institutional Money Agreements for Egypt

A group of Egyptian banks, investors, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) have agreed to form a new investment fund. Egyptian Minister of Commerce, Industry and SME Munir Fakhri Abulnour made comments at a joint press conference giving bits of details about the fund. Officials from Russia and Egypt discussed potential projects in desalinization and waste recycling and energy developments. According to data by the Central Bank of Egypt, trade between Russia and Egypt for the first half of 2015 amounted to US$ 998.8 million. Russia is a major exporter of wheat.

GETTING CLOSER: Bahamas Inches Toward Petroleum Act

The Bahamian House of Assembly is examining both a Petroleum Bill and Sovereign Wealth Bill. If these bills pass the vote in the assembly, they will be sent to the Bahamas’s Governor General for signing. Parts of the bill include a legislative framework for managing accrued oil wealth. The Bahamas Petroleum Company Plc, founded by the late Alan Burns, sees the laws as a guide to govern the next phase of oil exploration around the islands.

Mumtalakat Posts 10.8% Increase in Net Profit in 2014

Bahrain’s Mumtalakat Holdings generated a 10.8% increase in net profit in 2014. Bahrain, Gulf Air and Batelco, made 91.6 million bahraini dinars (US$ 243 million) in 2014 compared to 82.7 million dinars in 2013.

IPIC Lends US$ 1 Billion to 1MDB

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Should Pension Giants Still Back Low-Vol Strategies?

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As occidental central banks cautiously signal a retreat from loose monetary policy, will there be greater bouts of volatility in the near future? The low-volatility trade has worked like magic – post the global financial crisis.

The early February sell-off rankled the feathers of U.S. pension trustees, sending plausible-sounding studies in low-vol strategies to the toilet. CBOE’s Volatility Index, or VIX, closed high during the period of market mayhem. For CIOs, should the selling of volatility continue, or should the trade be nixed?

Selling risk or volatility has been profitable for a cadre of U.S. pensions as they sought yield in a low interest rate world of quantitative easing. The falling of interest rates to near zero, zero and even negative in some countries, forced asset owners to rethink yield strategies to help pay for liabilities such as pensions, insurance claims or college expenditures. Public pension funds in the United States and even in Europe have augmented investment proportions in real estate, credit and private equity at the expense of lower-yielding bond instruments over the past 20 years. Investment giants like CPPIB and the Abu Dhabi Investment Council have participated in selling off risk via investments in the reinsurance industry, while smaller pensions have utilized option strategies.

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Temasek Invests in Shaver Company Harry’s

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Harry’s, the subscription shaving company that is taking on companies such as Gillette, which is owned by the multi-national corporation Procter & Gamble, has raised US$ 112 million in a new round of financing.

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New CEO at Dubai Holding

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In early February, Dubai Holding LLC, an entity that once oversaw an aggressive Dubai International L.L.C. buyout player, hired a new chief executive officer. Dubai Holding hired Amit Kaushal as CEO, who replaces Edris Alrafi.

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