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Gao and other Sovereign Funds in Davos

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

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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