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Friday SWFI News Roundup, October 10, 2014

New Zealand Superannuation Fund Has Total Return of 19.36% for 2013-14

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZSF) returned 19.36% versus the reference portfolio of 19.47% for 2013-2014. Led by NZSF CEO Adrian Orr, in the 2012-2013 period, the NZSF posted 25.83% in total return. NZSF Chairman Gavin Walker cautioned that returns over the last 5 years should not be considered normal returns.

In a press release Walker stated, “Fund returns over the last few years have been exceptional and are unlikely to continue at this level.”

SNB Not in Favor of Proposed “Save our Swiss Gold” Initiative

The “Save our Swiss Gold” proposal produced by the populist Swiss People’s Party demands that the Swiss National Bank hold at least 20% of assets in gold. Currently, 7.5% of the bank’s assets are in gold. Furthermore, the Swiss central bank has 1,040 tons of gold, 70% is stored in the country. Other measures of the initiative would make sure that all of the bank’s precious metal holdings must be stored in Switzerland. Lastly, the Swiss National Bank would be prohibited from selling any gold in the future. The central bank’s Vice President Jean-Pierre Danthine commented that the proposed policy would severely limit the bank’s ability to conduct monetary policy. Swiss elections for the proposed initiative are set for November 30, 2014.

Bank of Lithuania Invests in Chinese Short-Term Government Bonds

Earlier this week, the Bank of Lithuania announced its first investment in China’s capital market. A small portion of the bank’s foreign reserve assets were allocated to Chinese securities. The central bank received a US$ 100 million quota from the Chinese regulator and approval to invest in China’s interbank bond market. The bank already used the whole quota, investing in Chinese short-term government bonds, a bit more than 1% of official international reserves of Bank of Lithuania.

Singapore’s GIC Participates in Series E Round for Square

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UNICEF and NBIM to Host Meetings on Children’s Human Rights

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), a United Nations programme headquartered in New York City, has partnered with Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) to facilitate a series of meetings between companies to discuss issues surrounding children’s human rights.

According to the news release, “the network will facilitate dialogue between leading brands and retailers in the garment and footwear industry to strengthen children’s rights.”

NBIM is invested in many listed companies and have invited them to join a network to tackle these issues. Over the next two years, the organizations plan to hold three workshops as well as quarterly meetings surrounding these issues.

“Over time, we hope and expect that the network will contribute to improved market practices among companies and greater respect for children’s rights,” says Carine Smith Ihenacho, Global Head of Ownership Strategies, in a NBIM press release.

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SouthGobi’s CEO Arrested, CIC Struggles with Investment

The China Investment Corporation (CIC) has long struggled with its investments in coal assets, specifically in globally-listed coal miner SouthGobi Resources Ltd, which operates its flagship coal mine in Mongolia. In November 2009, CIC and SouthGobi Resources inked a convertible debenture deal. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Qatar Central Bank Deals with MSCI

MSCI, a stock index company whose benchmarks influence investor behavior, has tremendous indirect power impacting the stock markets of smaller economies. In 1988, MSCI released its emerging markets index, a now-widely-used benchmark for many institutional investors wanting access to growth markets. China and South Korea make up the majority of the benchmark, but smaller economies such as Poland, Chile and even Qatar make up other pieces of it.

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