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Friday SWFI News Roundup, November 13, 2015

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Qatar Government Buys Palais Clam-Gallas

Palais Clam-Gallas, an Austrian neoclassical palace in Vienna, has been sold to the Qatar embassy. The property reportedly fetched a €30 million price tag. Palais Clam-Gallas was constructed in 1834 as a summer residence for Prince Franz Joseph von Dietrichstein. The French government acquired the iconic palace in 1951 and has been home to the French Institute since 1981.

Sunsuper Invests in Australian Technology Park Development

Superannuation fund Sunsuper, AMP Capital and Mirvac Group, a listed real estate developer, are investing in a massive office park joint venture. The asset is being sold by the New South Wales State Government. The three investors are funding a redevelopment project in Sydney called Australian Technology Park (ATP). The project will cost around A$ 1 billion. All three will have a 33.3% interest in the project. Furthermore, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has pre-committed to a 15-year lease.

Iwjw Raises Money from Temasek Holdings

Startup Iwjw is an online real estate agency company based in Shanghai. Iwjw raised US$ 150 million in a Series E round. Leading the round was Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and Hillhouse Capital. In May 2015, Iwjw raised US$ 120 million in a Series D round, led by GGV Capital and Morningside Ventures.

WuXi PharmaTech Deal Nears Close

An investment consortium led by Temasek Holdings, through its unit Temasek Life Sciences Private Limited, is nearing a close for the US$ 3.3 billion takeover of Shanghai-based WuXi PharmaTech Inc. A definitive merger agreement was signed back in August 14, 2015.

ISIF Backs Swrve

Mobile marketing startup Swrve has raised US$30 million in funding. The deal allows Swrve to acquire adaptiv.io, a data automation platform for mobile. Leading the latest funding round is Evolution Media Partners (EMP), a partnership of CAA-backed Evolution Media Capital, TPG Growth and Participant Media, and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF). Other investors in the round are Acero Capital and Atlantic Bridge – both existing investors.

Future Fund May Sell Stake in Southern Water

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US Treasury Sec Mnuchin May Have More Sanctions for Turkey

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin revealed the United States is preparing more Turkey sanctions. This stems over the issues with an American pastor in Turkey. Turkey’s lira, has fallen to record lows recently.

The week before, U.S. President Trump announced the doubling of tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium to 50 and 20 percent, respectively. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called for a boycott of electronics products of the United States, which includes iPhones (a smartphone product of Apple).

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Scott Keller Returns to T. Rowe Price to Head up EMEA

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Scott Keller returns to T. Rowe Price as head of global investment management services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa from January 1, 2019. Keller is currently at UBS Global Asset Management, working in the Asia Pacific region, heading efforts in the bank’s institutional and intermediary distribution. Keller joined UBS in 2014. Before UBS, Keller was at T. Rowe Price.

Scott Keller is replacing Peter Preisler at T. Rowe Price. Preisler exited T. Rowe Price in August 2017.

At UBS, Nick Trueman will replace Scott Keller.

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Rising Interest Rates Impact Sovereign Wealth Strategies

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Sovereign wealth funds are paying closer attention to the U.S. Federal Reserve as it enters fresh territory under Jay Powell. Powell’s decisions are impacting foreign exchange holdings globally, as central bankers adjust to a newer environment of policy normalization. The United States is not the only country raising interest rates. The Philippines, Argentina, Indonesia, India, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Pakistan are just some emerging market countries that have raise interest rates.

Global institutional investors like BlackRock are concerned that the U.S. dollar could grind higher. In times of increased geopolitical or financial tensions, the greenback is seen as a safe haven by many central banks, sovereign funds and foreign public funds. July marks the 110th month of expansion, a streak that is one year away from becoming the longest in U.S. history. Stronger economic data – with U.S. gross domestic product hitting 4.1% for the second quarter of 2018, rising interest rates, and bids to lower U.S. trade deficits, are making sovereign funds rethink asset allocation or at least shift more assets out of markets like Turkey, South Africa and Brazil. The Turkish lira fell further in August, prompting the country’s central bank to take drastic action. The fallen lira sent jitters across emerging markets and to banks in Southern Europe who have exposure to Turkey. What are sovereign wealth funds doing now?

On the fixed income front, sovereign funds are paying much closer attention to their government bond holdings, keeping a close eye on countries that rely heavily on external funding. Shorter duration bonds and inflation-linked debt can act as a safeguard against rising rates and inflation. Sovereign funds, like Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, are recognizing that global equity returns are less synchronized, thus there is a move to identify select countries and regions being conducted for strategic asset allocation for 2019 and beyond. A stronger greenback, positive U.S. corporate earnings, and rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China are becoming a boon for active equity managers and smart beta funds, as public funds are requesting enhanced levels of skills in navigating stock selection. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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