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Linaburg Talks Climate Change and Institutional Investors at the United Nations

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Photo Credit: United Nations Webcast, webtv.un.org

Photo Credit: United Nations Webcast, webtv.un.org

The leaders of Pacific island nations are voicing their opinion on the negative effects of climate change. Many fear rising sea levels will damage their territorial integrity, economy and livelihood. One of the islands, Kiribati, has one of the oldest sovereign wealth funds in the modern age. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave a speech touching on that financing will be essentially to advance the support of small island developing states with regard to climate change. Carl Linaburg, chairman of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI), spoke at the United Nations on June 29th, during the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) event, to talk about institutional investors and climate change. Carl Linaburg invented the Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index (LMTI), a way of objectively measuring the transparency of sovereign wealth funds with Michael Maduell in 2008.

However, when focusing specifically on the size of the sovereign investor market, he said, “US$ 7.2 trillion dollars is quite a bit of money that could make an impact on climate change for the better or for the worst.”

Linaburg commented on upcoming regulatory changes regarding investment and climate change being brought down by the European Commission. Linaburg mentioned the European Union (EU) wants to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum threshold of 40% by 2030. Globally, pension funds like CalPERS, CalSTRS and Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) are examining how climate change and regulation related to it could impact their portfolios. In addition, asset managers running massive amounts of capital for pensions and wealth funds are taking notice.

Long-Term Institutional Investors Playing a Large Role Combating Climate Change

The SWFI chairman discussed how sovereign wealth funds, pensions and family offices can play a role in the “grand scheme of things.” Linaburg talked about platforms being formed institutional investors such as sovereign funds, foundations, pensions and other long-term investors looking at green investments. However, when focusing specifically on the size of the sovereign investor market, he said, “US$ 7.2 trillion dollars is quite a bit of money that could make an impact on climate change for the better or for the worst.”

Linaburg highlighted, “Another thing that we need to understand about sovereign wealth funds is that these are, indeed, profit vehicles. They are initially set up to provide for their future economies, and typically they are run by former financial gurus who are good at producing a return on investment. These individuals have a lot of pressure not only from their governmental owners but also from the public to produce a positive return on their portfolios. The key to approaching sovereign wealth funds with initiatives like climate change is finding a middle ground.”

He mentioned the growing movement of the Portfolio Decarbonisation Coalition, taking a strong foothold in Europe. This coalition was founded by Amundi, AP4, CDP and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative. It is a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to drive greenhouse gas emissions down by assembling institutional investors to gradually embrace the decarbonisation of their portfolios. Linaburg spoke about hearing the speech of Mats Andersson, CEO of AP4, at the SWFI’s Institute Fund Summit 2015 conference in Seoul in April, talk about the buffer fund’s approach on becoming a low-carbon institutional investor.

Sovereign wealth funds are gradually playing a bigger role in the green investment world. Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global has made allocations to environmental investment mandates, while funds like the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZSF) have made direct investments in companies like Bloom Energy. According to the SWFI’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database, even Gulf funds like Mubadala and the China Investment Corporation have made big bets in renewables.

Youtube is Crashing

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Youtube, a video service of Google, is crashing. Institutional investors are major investors in Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

At 6:41 PM on October 16, 2018, Team YouTube tweeted, “Thanks for your reports about YouTube, YouTube TV and YouTube Music access issues. We’re working on resolving this and will let you know once fixed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and will keep you updated.”

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Investors Eye Tencent’s Next Moves

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Formed in Shenzhen in 1998, Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Limited is the largest gaming company in the world and the largest gaming market is in China. In August 2018, China’s Education Ministry disclosed its monitoring how many new games are coming online. Tencent needs approval from the Chinese government to publish games. In 2017, almost 9,000 games were approved in China compared to only 1,931 in 2018. Chinese President Xi Jinping is keen on combating shortsightedness in children from the overuse of video games.

Anime

Tencent will inject US$ $317.6 million into Chinese streaming site Bilibili in return for 12.3 % equity in the company. Bilibili is a video sharing site known for streaming anime, comics, and games. Tencent’s investment follows previous funding rounds from Tiger Global Management, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, BlackRock, and Alkeon Capital Management. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Ireland Strategic Investment Fund Signs MoU with IFC

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The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will initially focus on investment opportunities in the food and agriculture sector, given its strength and importance for the Irish economy. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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