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Is Sears Near the End?

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OCTOBER 15, 2018 UPDATE: Sear has filed for bankruptcy. Eddie Lampert is stepping down as CEO of Sears, but will remain chairman of the company.


Sears Holdings Corporation – which owns Kmart and Sears, Roebuck and Company – plans to file for bankruptcy, according to various media sources including the Wall Street Journal. Many retail experts are predicting Sears to file for bankruptcy this week, as the storied retail company faces a US$ 134 million debt due on October 15, 2018. The struggling retailer added Alan J. Carr, a restructuring expert, to its board of directors. Carr’s company Drivetrain, LLC worked on public companies such as Lehman Brothers, LyondellBasell, Calpine, NextMedia, Nortel, Parmalat, Liberty Electric, Mirant, Quinn Group. In a recent 10-Q of Sears, at August 4, 2018, the company posted a deficit of US$ 4.402 billion, meaning liabilities were greater than assets on the corporate balance sheet. If a bankruptcy were to happen, Sears would most likely close at least 142 stores by year-end.

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BlackRock Experiences Outflows Among Institutional Investors

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Is BlackRock at peak earnings? BlackRock disclosed its third quarter 2018 results showing a growth of assets under management at US$ 6.4441 trillion at the end of September 2018 versus US$ 5.976892 trillion at September 2017. However, a large portion of the AUM growth has been in the ETF business, iShares, which tends to be very low in fees. The iShares business saw an inflow of US$ 33.7 billion for the quarter.

For the third quarter, BlackRock experienced US$ 24.8 billion in institutional investor outflows, with US$ 23.6 billion being on the index side, while US$ 1.2 billion being on the active side. Institutional investors such as pensions, insurers, and hedge funds withdrew from passive equity strategies. BlackRock saw US$ 4.745 billion in outflows in active equity on the institutional side, but seeing inflows of US$ 2.471 billion in multi-asset institutional and inflows of US$ 1.468 billion in alternatives institutional.

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GIC Buys Large Stake in Nordic Aviation Capital

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Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, a yield-hungry sovereign investor, invested in Denmark-based Nordic Aviation Capital A/S, becoming a significant minority shareholder. Other shareholders in Nordic Aviation Capital include EQT VI Limited fund, KIRKBI Invest (wealth origins tied to Legos), and Martin Møller, the founder of Nordic Aviation Capital. EQT VI will remain the largest shareholder of Nordic Aviation Capital. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Trump Wants Pharma Companies to Disclose Drug Prices in Advertisements

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U.S. President Trump is progressing on plans to mandate pharmaceutical companies to reveal their prices in drug advertisements. “The drug industry remains resistant to providing real transparency around their prices, including the sky-high list prices that many patients pay,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “So while the pharmaceutical industry’s action today is a small step in the right direction, we will go further.”

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department would require pharmaceutical companies to include drugs’ sticker prices in their video advertisements. This would be similar to how drug companies disclose the laundry list of side effects.

Increasingly, sovereign funds like Temasek Holdings have backed mid-stage pharmaceutical companies and other therapies, while market investors like Norway’s GPFG have large holdings in listed pharmaceutical companies.

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