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LEAGUE TABLES: Goldman Sachs Takes the Iron Throne for 2016

SWFI_LeagueTables_CY2016_Jan2017_cover-sqThe Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI), through its proprietary database, tracks direct transactions by sovereign wealth funds, pensions and other public funds. The database has a bias toward equity, real estate and infrastructure transactions and a much lower emphasis on bond deals. Combining all public investors, for calendar year 2016, transactions amounted to US$ 205.25 billion versus US$ 237.18 billion in 2015. 2015 ended up being a record year for public investor direct investments. When it comes to sovereign wealth funds, the 2016 transaction figure amounted to US$ 96.31 billion versus US$ 120.76 billion in 2015. 2016 follows the trend of a three-year decline in direct sovereign investor transactions from 2013. To be clear, 2013 was an outlier sovereign wealth fund direct transaction year, with a bias toward Norway’s Government Pension Global Fund (GPFG) acquiring many open market positions in listed equities. In addition, sovereign wealth funds expanded direct investments into the United States in 2016 by closing at US$ 30.39 billion versus US$ 24.58 billion in 2015. Drastic drops in direct transactions by sovereign investors incurred in major markets such as China and the United Kingdom.

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The report details trends on direct deals, sectors and countries.

Top Financial Advisors for 2016

For 2016, Goldman Sachs reclaimed the iron throne as the number one financial advisor for public investor direct transactions. Morgan Stanley, which placed #1 in 2015, plummeted to fifth place in 2016. JPMorgan, another financial advisor which placed #1 in 2015, dropped to #3 in 2016. Taking second place in 2016 was Credit Suisse. Other notable mentions for the year are CBRE, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Macquarie, Citigroup, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Eastdil Secured and HSBC.

Legal Advisors

For calendar year 2016, the top legal advisor for public fund transactions was Linklaters, displacing the previous top contenders, Clifford Chance and Torys. Torys did not even rank in the top four for 2016. Clifford Chance fell to third in 2016, being tied with Weil Gotshal & Manges and White & Case. Tied for second place are Kirkland & Ellis and Herbert Smith Freehills.

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Source: SWFI – Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database –, January 16, 2017

CIC Sells 10% Logicor Stake to Blackstone Fund

The China Investment Corporation (CIC) is selling a 10% stake of in European warehouse firm Logicor Ltd to a real estate fund managed by The Blackstone Group. Furthermore, CIC also hired Blackstone to oversee and manage Logicor’s warehouses and logistic properties portfolio.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Fintech Affirm Raises $200 Million in Series E Led By Singapore’s GIC

Affirm Inc., a financial technology firm which provides instant loans to consumers as an alternative to credit cards for their online shopping, has raised US$ 200 million in a Series E round lead by Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, with participation from Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Caffeinated Capital, and Ribbit Capital. The new infusion of capital brings the San Francisco-based company’s total funding to US$ 450 million and a reported valuation of US$ 2 billion.

The company is founded by Max Levchin, a co-founder of PayPal (part of the PayPal mafia, dubbed by the tech press). Max Levchin is also an advisory board member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFSB) in the United States.

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CHANGE: Saudi Arabia to Re-Open Movie Theaters, PIF Inks MoU with AMC

The Saudi Arabian government is ending its 35-year ban on cinemas. Next year, the government will allow cinemas to open. This watershed moment provides opportunities for entertainment companies to invest in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region.

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