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Future Fund Bids for Listed Australian Infrastructure Fund

According to the press release, “The Future Fund Board of Guardians confirms that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Australian Infrastructure Fund (AIX) to acquire all of AIX’s portfolio assets as part of an agreed transaction.

David Neal, Chief Investment Officer at the Future Fund said: “Australian infrastructure assets are attractive to the Future Fund because of their strong correlation with Australian economic growth, inflation protection and relative high levels of earnings certainty. These characteristics provide a strong fit with the Fund’s mandate to achieve high, risk adjusted returns over the long term.

“Over the last five years, the Fund has been building its Tangible Assets program. The infrastructure program is part of that and is now valued at over $4.3 billion or 5.6% of the portfolio. We continue to seek opportunities to increase our exposure to quality Australian and international infrastructure assets.”

The proposal is consistent with the Future Fund’s long stated strategy, and will further enhance the Fund’s direct exposure to quality domestic infrastructure assets. The Future Fund already directly holds 16.8% of Australia Pacific Airports Corporation. The Future Fund has given careful consideration to its proposal. The MOU provides exclusivity and sets out the process to close the transaction, including the requirement for a period of confirmatory due diligence and final approval by the Future Fund Board of Guardians.

The proposal to acquire AIX’s assets for $2 billion represents a 10% premium to the AIX Directors’ published valuation of its assets as at 30 June 2012 and provides AIX securityholders with certainty of value.

Any transaction would require the support of the Board of Directors of Australian Infrastructure Fund Limited and the sub-committee of independent directors of Hastings Funds Management Limited, as well as the approval of AIX securityholders.”

Read more: Press Release

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.

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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