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Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index Released

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The Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index was developed at the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute by Carl Linaburg and Michael Maduell.

The Linaburg-Maduell transparency index is a method of rating transparency in respect to sovereign wealth funds. Pertaining to government-owned investment vehicles, where there have been concerns of unethical agendas, calls have been made to the larger “opaque” or non-transparent funds to show their intentions. As of March 2008, the Government Pension Fund-Global of Norway ranks second among the largest sovereign wealth funds with approximately US$ 380 billion, this fund also ranks among the highest in transparency.

Norway currently leads the pathway to reducing the need for a code of conduct, possibly to the benefit of all sovereign investors. This index of rating transparency was developed around this fund, as it is known to be the pinnacle of clear investment intentions.

This index is based off ten essential principles that depict sovereign wealth fund transparency to the public. The following principles each add one point of transparency to the index rating. The index is an ongoing project of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. The minimum rating a fund can receive is a 1, however, the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute recommends a minimum rating of 8 in order to claim adequate transparency. Transparency ratings may change as funds release additional information. There are different levels of depth in regards to each principle, judgment of these principles is left to the discretion of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.

Point Principles of the Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index
+1 Fund provides history including reason for creation, origins of wealth, and government ownership structure
+1 Fund provides up-to-date independently audited annual reports
+1 Fund provides ownership percentage of company holdings, and geographic locations of holdings
+1 Fund provides total portfolio market value, returns, and management compensation
+1 Fund provides guidelines in reference to ethical standards, investment policies, and enforcer of guidelines
+1 Fund provides clear strategies and objectives
+1 If applicable, the fund clearly identifies subsidiaries and contact information
+1 If applicable, the fund identifies external managers
+1 Fund manages its own web site
+1 Fund provides main office location address and contact information such as telephone and fax

Developed by Carl Linaburg and Michael Maduell

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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