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Kuwait Investment Authority opens representation office in China

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The Information Consultant at the Kuwait Investment Authority, Mr. Qais Ibraheem Al-Shatti announced to Kuwait News Agency, that the executive committee at the KIA held a meeting yesterday chaired by the Minister of Finance Mr. Mahmoud Al Nouri to follow up the results of the tour of H.H. the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah to the Eastern Asia countries. The executive committee decided to implement practical steps reflecting such visit by adopting four major approaches being the opening of a representative office in Shanghai or Hong Kong depending on the facilities available in order to follow up the development of the legislations, studying the investment opportunities and privatization projects in China, to contribute up to 20% with Kuwait private sector in the incorporation of an investment company in China and cooperate with some of public Institutions and international banks by studying the investment in the Peoples Republic of China in the real estate, insurance, international banking and other sectors in order to benefit from the economic growth. Also to study the incorporation of a joint Venture with Chinese Government to enter into the privatization projects on one hand and the technology and leading projects on the other.

The executive committee believes that the Eastern Asia countries and China in particular, enjoy very high growth rates and hold huge cash reserves, which qualify them to maintain their economic growth. Also there are worthy investment opportunities, which encourage us to proceed in order to realize and materialize such approaches despite the fact that some of these countries lack the legislations that encourage investment

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Cryptocurrencies Creep into the Middle East

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Banking behemoth J.P. Morgan Chase disclosed its own digital currency called JPM Coin. The digital token will be used to settle payments between clients. JPM Coin will be backed by physical U.S. dollars and be based off Quorum. Quorum is J.P. Morgan’s private Ethereum-based chain. JPM Coin plans to compete with Ripple, which created XRP, another digital currency that is used for settlements. Ripple’s main target market is cross-border payments and remittances.

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority have unveiled their plans for Aber, an interbank digital currency. Both banks have indicated that Aber will be limited to financial settlements using distributed ledger technologies. It will be rolled out on a probational basis, and used by select banks within the two countries. A date for rollout has not yet been declared. A joint statement hinted at a broader application of the currency in the days ahead. If “no technical obstacles are encountered, economic and legal requirements for future uses will be considered.”‏ Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers technologies will be employed. The plan is for ‘Proof-of-Concept’ testing, which involves studying and fully comprehending the ways modern technologies can achieve practical applications. The digital currency has the potential to become a reserve system for central payments.

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CPPIB Inks Partnership Vehicle with La Française and its Shareholder CMNE

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La Française and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) formed a strategic partnership for the launch of a real estate investment and development vehicle: Société Foncière et Immobilière du Grand Paris. The joint venture between CPPIB (80%) and Caisse Fédérale du Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe (CMNE) (20%), La Française’s shareholder, will invest in major real estate projects linked to the Grand Paris infrastructure in the Greater Paris area. The parties will initially allocate €387.5 million in equity to the venture. The partnership will target regeneration and infrastructure-led investments.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Norges Bank Governor Voices Opinion on Relaxing SWF Withdrawals over Specific Uses

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Øystein Olsen, the Governor of Norges Bank, which oversees the Norway Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), voiced his opinion on the Norwegian government’s plans to alter the rules that regulates the country’s SWF withdrawal rules in certain circumstances. The coalition government led by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg wants to relax the limits on SWF withdrawals in specific cases. Norway’s government seeks to raid the fund to pay for the replacement of four major state buildings impacted by a terrorist attack and a crashed Royal Norwegian Navy frigate (KNM Helge Ingstad).

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