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Friday SWFI News Roundup, November 4, 2016

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CICC Appears to be Near Buying China Investment Securities

After months of talks and negotiations, Beijing-based China International Capital Corporation (CICC) looks to be closer to buying Shenzhen-based China Investment Securities. China Investment Securities has around 200 retail branches throughout China. China Investment Securities is 100% owned by Central Huijin, a sovereign wealth enterprise (SWE) of the China Investment Corporation (CIC).

Xiaozhu.com Raises $65 Million in Series D

Chinese room booking web portal Xiaozhu.com raised US$ 65 million in a Series D round from Joy Capital, Capital Today and Bertelsmann Asia Investment Fund. Another investor in the round was Heyu Capitaland Morningside Venture Capital.

State Street Global Advisors Hires Peter Brackett

State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) named Peter Brackett as head of U.K. consultant relations. Brackett was the Head of Global Consultant Relations at Amundi. Before Amundi, he working in a U.K. institutional business role for American Century Investments. Bracket also held roles at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Aon Investments and Towers Watson.

CenturyLink Sells Data Centers to Investor Group Led by BC Partners and Medina Capital

Telecommunications company CenturyLink reached a deal to sell 57 data centers and colocation business to an investor group led by BC Partners and Florida-based Medina Capital (led by Manny Medina) for US$ $2.15 billion in cash and a minority stake to be valued at US$ 150 million in the consortium’s newly-formed global secure infrastructure company. Longview Asset Management is part of the investor group. The sales proceeds are partially funding CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3 Communications announced on October 31, 2016. Even though CenturyLink will not own the data centers, the telecoms giant plans to continue to offer colocation services as part of its product portfolio. The data center portfolio includes approximately 195 megawatts of power across 2.6 million square feet of raised floor capacity.

BofA Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC are acting as CenturyLink’s financial advisors and Jones Walker is acting as CenturyLink’s legal advisor. LionTree Advisors acted as financial advisor to BC Partners and its consortium investors. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor and PricewaterhouseCoopers is serving as accounting advisor. Citigroup, JP Morgan, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Jefferies, HSBC, Macquarie and Citizens have underwritten the debt package to finance the acquisition. Greenberg Traurig served as legal advisor to Medina Capital. Vedder Price served as legal advisor to Longview Asset Management.

Principal Real Estate Investors Launches Inaugural UCITS-Compliant Real Estate Debt Fund

Principal Real Estate Investors, part of Principal Global Investors, formally launched its inaugural UCITS-compliant real estate debt fund. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Why BlackRock Angled the EU Toward a Massive Supranational Pension Fund

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BlackRock is the world’s largest asset management firm and the company wields tremendous political power whether operating in the United States, Mexico, and parts of Europe. Before the populist wave that led to Brexit, BlackRock bet large in Europe by increasing headcount and lobbying efforts. By 2015, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink proposed the formation of a cross-border personal pension fund for Europe. Fink was keenly aware of the Capital Markets Union project that was revealed in July 2014 by European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. For BlackRock, why compete in each eurozone country when you can possibly win a mandate for the whole pie of Europe. The European pension fund market is hyper-competitive for asset management firms. Other asset managers like Vanguard have lobbied Brussels over issues like the cross-border distribution of funds, but data shows that BlackRock is far more active than its U.S. peers.

EU’s Definition of PEPP

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Malaysia’s Federal Land Development Authority Seeks to Restructure

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Malaysia’s Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), a government agency, is looking to restructure its investment holdings in a bid to reduce debt. The restructuring on the real estate side started in the middle of 2017. The government agency wants to lower its debts of 8.03 billion MYR (US$ 1.94 billion) down to 6.5 billion MYR. The restructuring could take over two years.

FELDA is seeking to dispose of assets which includes real estate in London. FELDA is an investor in student housing in London through its main unit called Felda Investment Corporation (UK properties owned by FIC UK Properties Sdn Bhd). [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Former Iran Central Bank Governor Banned from Leaving Country

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Iran remains in a very fragile financial state as more Iranian bank loans appear to delinquent, while the currency continues to lose value against the U.S. dollar. State-run Tasnim news agency reported that Valiollah Seif, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, is banned from leaving Iran. Seif is under investigation by the Iranian government over possible corruption in the currency market. Some of the central bank’s deputies have been arrested. Abdolnaser Hemmati replaced Valiollah Seif as central bank governor in July 2018. Valiollah Seif was dismissed from his post as governor.

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