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Korea Investment Corporation says has gone underweight on euro assets

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Scott Kalb

According to Reuters, ” Korea Investment Authority, South Korea’s $35-billion sovereign wealth fund, has reduced exposure to euro zone equity and fixed income investments and is now underweight on assets in the region, the fund’s top official said on Thursday.

“We are very worried about what’s going on in Europe. I don’t think the austerity measures (adopted by some of the euro zone countries) will be enough. I think they will have to do some debt rescheduling,” said Scott Kalb, chief investment officer at the sovereign wealth fund known as KIC.

Kalb spoke at a forum sponsored by The Korea Society. Kalb, however, said the fund is not shorting the euro but trimming its investments in the region from what he thought was a substantial exposure. The KIC official said Europe has “an artificial union” with Germany as the principal backer.

“We’re kind of shocked that Germany seems to have stepped away.” Germany came under fire at the height of the Greek debt crisis after it seemed the euro zone’s largest economy was reluctant to bail out Greece.

It did eventually vote to assist Greece and other indebted euro zone nations via a $1-trillion safety net, but not before widespread criticism from other euro zone countries and global investors. More recently, Germany got flak after it announced plans for 80 billion euros in budget cuts over the next four years.”

Read more: Reuters

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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