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Influence of the Future Fund

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According to the Australian, “Future Fund boss Paul Costello has performed well in his three years at the helm but still seems blissfully unaware of the fund’s impact on the stockmarket. In a luncheon address at the Melbourne Financial Services Symposium, Costello noted some of the recent weakness in Telstra’s stock price was sheeted back to the fact that the fund is now free to sell more its 11 per cent stake in the company.

He added: “I frankly doubt that.”

Granted he wouldn’t be the only reason with uncertainty over federal government regulation and the fact the company has gone ex-growth being more to the point, but one assumes the Future Fund holding would add to the negative pall hanging over the stock. Then there was last year’s disclosure that the fund was considering joining Canadian Pension Plan and Ontario Teachers proposed bid for Transurban.

Costello confided he made the disclosure because there was media comment he might join a rival bid and wanted to set the record straight but added any further comment remained the responsibility of either Transurban or the Canadians. Having broken his silence in a situation which would compel few other companies to speak up, one might think Costello could explain where he sits now especially after Transurban couldn’t find the Fund’s name on its share register given it is behind an HSBC nominee.

That aside the fund is travelling well with financial year-to-date returns of 9 per cent, well ahead of its mandate to achieve CPI plus 4.5 per cent.

Costello also flagged a move into timber investments and said it would release some time soon a guide to just how it voted its Australian shares now it has taken corporate governance issues in house. Separately, amid concern expressed by Lend Lease chair David Crawford that some funds were outsourcing their voting obligations by using advice from Risk Metrics et al, Costello said the funds took advice from various parties on its voting.”

read more: The Australian

PSP Investments and Blue Sky Alternative Investments End Strategic Partnership Agreement

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Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited informed Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) that it agreed to terminate its strategic agreement effective March 31, 2019. In December 2017, Blue Sky Alternative Investments forged an agreement with PSP Investments to assist in committing capital in a number of agricultural investments.

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Yield-Hungry Korean Insurance Capital Backs TSX Broadway

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Mirae Asset Daewoo Co., Ltd., the Seoul-based investment banking firm, has provided a US$ 375 million loan for a redevelopment in New York’s Times Square. It joins L & L Holding Company, Maefield Development, and Fortress Investment Group who are bringing the development known as TSX Broadway to life. The building is at 1568 Broadway in Manhattan. TSX Broadway, a US$ 2.5 billion project when all equity financing is added in, will allow for renovations and expansion of the 46-storey building. An LED screen, which is not an uncommon sight in the Big Apple, will wrap around the corner of the tower. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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OFFICIALS: Saudi Crown Prince Denies Interest in Acquiring Manchester United

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The Saudi Arabian government dispelled rumors that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will acquire football club Manchester United. However, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) had talks regarding sponsorship with the football club. Manchester United signed a partnership deal with Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority in 2017.

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