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Governance and Santiago Principles Take Center Stage in Doha

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Doha, Qatar’s capital city ripe with petrol wealth and ambitions of diversification whether it be tourism, housing, entertainment, insurance or retail, is home to a massive sovereign wealth fund called the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). Under the previous and current Qatari emirs, gargantuan developments like The Pearl, Katara and infrastructure related to the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup, has enhanced Qatar’s image to international businesses.

In November, Doha hosted the IFSWF’s sixth conference. The IFSWF focuses on the Santiago Principles, a set of guidelines drafted by sovereign funds and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to address concerns that sovereign funds are not influenced by politics, but rather have a commercial basis when it comes to investing. SWFI’s President Michael Maduell attended the event. On November 20, members of the IFSWF signed “The Doha Agreement,” to form the IFSWF as an independent entity from the IMF. In addition, the IFSWF has determined that central banks will not become IFSWF members.

Qatar PM Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Speaking at IFSWF Doha Conference - November 20, 2014

Qatar PM Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Speaking at IFSWF Doha Conference – November 20, 2014

Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani gave a speech, talking about developments in Qatar. The Qatar Investment Authority’s CEO Ahmad Al-Sayed, who ranked #25 on the Public Investor 100 for 2014, said the QIA’s investment policies will not be altered by the recent decline in global oil prices. In addition, Al-Sayed said the QIA has long-term plans to invest US$ 15 to US$ 20 billion in Asia over the next few years.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Korea’s NPS Invests In Crypto Exchanges Amid Crackdown

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South Korean news outlets have reported that South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) has unwittingly invested roughly US$ 2.4 million in four local cryptocurrency exchanges – Korbit, Upbit, Coinplug, and Bithumb – even as regulatory officials move to subdue the unbridled enthusiasm for crypto trading that has flourished in the tiny country. The US$ 550 billion pension scheme invested in the cryptocurrency exchanges indirectly through two venture capital funds handled by external managers with exclusive rights over asset allocation, according to an NPS officer.

Crypto trading has proved wildly popular in South Korea, drawing an estimated one million citizens to the largely unregulated exchanges that have cropped up over the past few years. South Korea, which is ranked first in the world in terms of internet sped, is the largest market for cryptocurrency transactions behind Japan and United States, and accounts for 29.8% of trade globally, according to a report released by the Korea Insurance Research Institute (KIRI) in December 2017.

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Ripple Attempts to go the Central Bank Route

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San Francisco-based Ripple, a tech company that professes the use of blockchain to reboot the payment systems globally, landed a big deal with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA). Ripple started a pilot program that will be spearheaded by SAMA and a few Saudi banks to deploy xCurrent for cross-border payments. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Investment Corporation of Dubai Eyes $1 Billion Loan Deal

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The Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) plans to raise US$ 1 billion in a loan to refinance existing debt. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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