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Greek Voter Majority Rejects Bailout Referendum

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With nearly all ballots tabulated, results from the Greek referendum show voters strongly rejected the terms of an international bailout. Greece’s interior ministry posted figures of 61% voting “No” and 39% voting “Yes”. Syriza, the governing party of Greece, campaigned for a “No” to voters.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressed his country on television stating, ” As of tomorrow, Greece will go back to the negotiating table and our primary priority is to reinstate the financial stability of the country.”

Germany has the most at stake in terms of losing money as a creditor. Germany has a US$ 68.2 billion direct exposure to Greek debt, followed by France at US$ 43.8 billion – far more than the IMF’s US$ 21.4 billion. Also the European Central Bank has a US$ 18.1 billion direct exposure to Greek debt.

Probability of Grexit Intensifies

Greece is suffering under the heavy pressure of capital controls. The Greek economy has shriveled about 25% over the past six years. Greek banks will encounter serious problems without a massive influx of aid from the European Central Bank.

Greek Finance Minister Resigns

On July 6, 2015, the Greek Finance Minster Yanis Varoufakis resigned.

On Varoufakis’ blog, he said, “Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.

I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum.

And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.”

Greek PM Tweets Victory

Greek PM Twitter - July 5, 2015

Greek PM Twitter – July 5, 2015

Saudi Aramco Contemplates SABIC Stake from PIF

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Oil giant Saudi Aramco is in early discussions on whether to pursue an ownership stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) from the Public Investment Fund (PIF). At the moment, Saudi Aramco has no plans to buy publicly-held shares of SABIC. SABIC was founded in 1976 by Saudi royal decree to convert oil by-products into useful chemicals, polymers, and fertilizers.

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SWFI First Read, July 19, 2018

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GIC Eyes Provenance Land

GIC Private Limited is nearing a deal to purchase up to 50% of Provenance Land. Provenance Land owns India’s first Four Seasons hotel.

Eduard van Gelderen Leaves UC Regents for PSP Investments CIO Role

Eduard van Gelderen exited his position as Senior Managing Director at the University of California Regents’ Office of the Chief Investment Officer. His role will not be replaced. He accepted an offer to be Chief Investment Officer of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments).

PAAMCO Prisma Holdings CEOs to Exit

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Google Fined Big Time by EU Regarding Antitrust Violations

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The European Union (EU), through its competition commissioner, levied a €4.34 billion fine against Alphabet Inc., the owner of Google. The fine is over Google having “imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search,” according to the European Commission (EC).

The European Commission is requiring Alphabet to cease from its conduct that it is accused of within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said in a press release, “Today, mobile internet makes up more than half of global internet traffic. It has changed the lives of millions of Europeans. Our case is about three types of restrictions that Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine. In this way, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine. These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules.”

The EC press release added, “In particular, Google: 1. has required manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and browser app (Chrome), as a condition for licensing Google’s app store (the Play Store); 2. made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices; and 3. has prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google (so-called “Android forks”).”

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