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Japanese Investors Back Space Junk Removal Company

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With U.S. President Trump’s vision of a space force and a city in China with dreams of creating an artificial moon, more money is being allocated to space. Chengdu city officials have plans to launch an illumination satellite into space by 2020 and the satellite’s mirror-like exterior could reflect sunlight down to Earth, thus aiming to save money on electricity. Like Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has dreams in space. The Japanese Prime Minister revealed in March 2018 the country plans to launch a US$ 1 billion fund to support the development of future space companies based in Japan.

Singapore-based Astroscale, a developer of space debris removal services, raised US$ 50 million in an investment round led by the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ). INCJ is investing US$ 35 million in the round. Other investors in the round were SBI Investment Company Ltd. and Mitsubishi Estate Company Ltd. Astroscale aims to provide a service to remove the estimated 750,000 pieces of space junk that is at least 1 centimeter long. The space debris poses a threat to low orbit satellite clusters. Astroscale has its main research and development offices in Tokyo.

Temasek Holdings

On another note, Singapore’s Temasek Holdings led a US$ 30 million Series D investment round into Israeli-based Airobotics, a builder of automated industrial drones. Other investors in the round are BlueRun Ventures, CRV (Charles River Ventures), and OurCrowd.

Japan’s GPIF Awards Nissay Asset Management with ESG Disclosure Mandate

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Increasingly asset owners across the Asia-Pacific region are studying the impacts of environmental, social, and governance factors on listed companies. As more Japanese pensions augment asset allocation to listed equities, the importance of corporate non-financial disclosures and practices becomes clear. These disclosures can have a material impression on company stock prices. In addition, Japanʼs Stewardship Code and Corporate Governance Code in 2014 and 2015 were launched, respectively. These codes helped the (environmental, social, and governance) ESG concept gain momentum in Japan.

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the largest public pension fund in the world, awarded a research mandate to Nissay Asset Management Corporation. The mandate entails studying ESG disclosures. The study will conduct a comparable analysis on ESG standards and practices, while taking into account input from both investors and companies. With around US$ 110.5 billion in assets under management, Nissay Asset Management is owned by Japanese life insurance giant Nippon Life Insurance Company.

As GPIF boosted its allocation to domestic equities, the asset owner took a deeper look into the impact of ESG on equity investing. GPIF is keen on improving efficiencies in Japan’s capital markets. GPIF is a universal owner of stocks, similar in some aspects to what Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) does.

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Norges Bank Real Estate Management Buys Central Paris Property

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Norges Bank Real Estate Management, the real estate unit of Norges Bank Investment Management (oversees Norway Global Pension Fund Global), has signed an agreement to acquire a 100 percent interest in an office property located on 54-56 rue la Boétie in central Paris.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Schlumberger Gets Closer to Eurasia Drilling Company

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Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and American oilfield services giant Schlumberger (SLB) have planned a deal to invest in Russia’s Eurasia Drilling Company Limited. RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev made the announcement. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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