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Friday SWFI News Roundup, October 31, 2014

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Friday Roundups – Halloween Edition

sovereign wealth fund pumpkin

In London: We had over US$ 2.7 trillion in public asset owner capital in the audience.

lyons-swfi-london2014
Photo: Gerard Lyons addressing delegates of asset managers, sovereign wealth funds, pensions and policymakers.

Harrods Pays £118 Million Dividend to Qatar Holding

Harrods, a luxury department business, paid a £118 million dividend to its owner Qatar Holding, a sovereign wealth enterprise of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). For 2014, Harrods posted record sales and profits, turnover increased by 10% to £843 million. Qatar Holding acquired Harrods in 2010 from Mohamed Al Fayed.

Most of Rosneft’s Aid Request to be Denied

Rosneft, an integrated oil company majority owned by the Russian government, filed a request for over 2 trillion rubles (US$ 48 billion) from Russia’s National Welfare Fund. Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev, on October 29th, addressed the media, “We’ll work with the company (Rosneft). The request in its current form does not comply with the requirements, which are set to projects entitled to financing from the National Welfare Fund because it actually aims to cover the company’s financial gaps as a whole and with regard to its investment program.”

GIC Invests in Turkish Real Estate Firm

Singapore’s GIC Private Limited acquired a 20% stake in Rönesans Gayrimenkul Yatýrým A.S., a Turkish real estate firm for €250 million. The Turkish firm has 25 properties in its portfolio. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

CPPIB Invests Big in Brazil

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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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