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Gao and other Sovereign Funds in Davos

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Some sovereign wealth funds and mega pensions have converged on Davos, the Swiss city where the World Economic Forum is held. Bahrain’s Mumtalakat Holdings, a frequent Davos delegate sender, had their CEO Mahmood al-Kooheji representing Bahrain. Kooheji gave an optimistic update on Gulf Air citing layoffs and restructuring changes. In addition, Kooheji told Reuters reporters in Davos, “This year we will be more active in investments……. We are looking across the globe and open for investments in all sectors except aviation and real estate. We’re very active in the broader ICT (information and communications technology) space and hope to do some acquisitions there.”

Another visitor to Davos is Gao Xiqing who has retired from the China Investment Corporation. China was a major theme in Davos and the reforms being swept in to balance trade versus domestic consumption. In fact, eight sessions focused on sustainable growth in mainland China. Similar to last year at Davos, economists like Nouriel Roubini, founder of Roubini Global Economics, predicts Chinese growth to slow down.

Government officials from Georgia made a Davos appearance including Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili . He told reporters, “Georgia lacked long-term capital, this is why we will start a new sovereign wealth fund in February and are planning new infrastructure projects.”

Some attendees on the institutional investors’ side happen to be on the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute’s Public Investor 100 ranking for 2013. Other major Asian institutional investors include GIC Private Limited who sent group president Lim Siong Guan. The Kuwait Investment Authority sent managing director, Bader M. Al Sa’ad. Shahmar Movsumov, executive director of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, also made an appearance.

Other mentions include CPPIB’s Mark Wiseman, Yngve Slyngstad and Choi Kwang.

BizAsia’s Martina Fuchs Speaks with Mr. Gao Xiqing

JPMorgan Sells Stake in Saudi Investment Bank

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. is one of the largest foreign banks in Saudi Arabia. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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What Will BlackRock Look Like in 2030?

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Will BlackRock, currently the world’s biggest asset manager, be around in 10 years, or be overtaken in the exchange-traded fund market by tech companies like Amazon or Alibaba? Amazon is already in the online lending game. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos once said, “Your margin is my opportunity.” Will Laurence “Larry” Fink still be CEO or at least Chairman of BlackRock? A lot can happen. BlackRock’s Aladdin is rubbing the lamp, calling on a genie to make its third final wish.

Over the past decade, BlackRock and the élite asset management community benefitted handsomely from central bank measures such as quantitative easing, with the rapid creation of money flowing into listed equity markets. At the end of 2017, BlackRock topped US$ 6.29 trillion in assets under management, rivaling nearly the size of the whole sovereign wealth fund market. Can BlackRock get any bigger or at least reach US$ 10 trillion in assets by 2030? This open-ended question can be answered in many ways, but factors such as market access to China, India and Southeast Asia will be crucial for BlackRock. In fact, SWFI research sees the Asia-Pacific region growing faster than the global AUM rates. BlackRock could be missing out on China, as players like Ant Financial offers products such as Yu’e Bao (Chinese for leftover treasure), a money market fund that was pushed out in June 2013 permitting Alibaba customers to use money leftover in their Alipay accounts.

By 2030, the United Nations predicts planet Earth will have 8.5 billion residents (more potential investors) and by then many of these grandeur Middle Eastern vision plans will be complete. Sovereign funds could be commanding nearly US$ 20 trillion in assets. Next, corporate boards across the United States, Europe and Asia might have all-but-embraced some form of globally-recognized ESG standards by nudging from CalPERS, BlackRock and the Swedish buffer funds.

BlackRock Will be Bloomberg

As incumbent financial industry consultants analyze products, regulatory changes and asset flow patterns, many are missing out on BlackRock’s not-so-secret weapon. As certain financial products and services become cheaper, a key differentiating factor for these firms is technology which can reduce labor costs, improve services and reduce execution risks. In an uncompromising fashion, BlackRock continues to push its Aladding solution on new and current clients in a bid to make quitting harder, while deriving more data insights from its octopus-like client reach. Armed with eleven data centers and more than 30,000 Aladdin users, BlackRock desires to ingrain itself into the workflow of every asset owners – small or big – knowing full well that ETFs and fund mandates can be lost in a whim. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Ascendas-Singbridge Acquires Three Hotels in Osaka

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Singapore’s Ascendas-Singbridge has acquired three hotels in Osaka for 10.29 billion JPY to tap tourism growth in Japan’s third-largest city.

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

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