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New Zealand SWF looking to buy farms

According to NZ Interest, “The New Zealand Superannuation Fund could potentially partner in the buy up of clusters of farms as it moves to invest between NZ$300 million and NZ$500 million through its rural land strategy over the next three to five years.

In an interview with Super Fund CEO Adrian Orr emphasized the rural push was a global, rather than merely New Zealand, one. However, he noted New Zealand was one of the best farms in the world so should “get a slice” of the investment.

Orr, former Reserve Bank deputy governor and head of financial stability, said the rural strategy was largely driven by riding the wave of global population growth, demand for protein and scarce resources. Created by the previous Labour-led government to help offset the burden of paying universal superannuation to a generation of retiring baby boomers, the Super Fund’s value stood at NZ$16.71 billion as of April 30.

Asked whether the 16 Crafar farms being sold by receivers KordaMentha or Dairy Holdings Ltd, the dairy farming business controlled by Allan Hubbard the owner of struggling South Canterbury Finance, might be of interest, Orr said it was too early to rule out anything.

“We don’t mind clusterings of farms because as part of a global portfolio it doesn’t have to be diversified just to New Zealand,” Orr said. “It (the Super Fund) is diversified globally.”

The Super Fund was currently working towards selecting managers who would have their own capital in the game and oversee the rural land investment.”

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UNICEF and NBIM to Host Meetings on Children’s Human Rights

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), a United Nations programme headquartered in New York City, has partnered with Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) to facilitate a series of meetings between companies to discuss issues surrounding children’s human rights.

According to the news release, “the network will facilitate dialogue between leading brands and retailers in the garment and footwear industry to strengthen children’s rights.”

NBIM is invested in many listed companies and have invited them to join a network to tackle these issues. Over the next two years, the organizations plan to hold three workshops as well as quarterly meetings surrounding these issues.

“Over time, we hope and expect that the network will contribute to improved market practices among companies and greater respect for children’s rights,” says Carine Smith Ihenacho, Global Head of Ownership Strategies, in a NBIM press release.

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SouthGobi’s CEO Arrested, CIC Struggles with Investment

The China Investment Corporation (CIC) has long struggled with its investments in coal assets, specifically in globally-listed coal miner SouthGobi Resources Ltd, which operates its flagship coal mine in Mongolia. In November 2009, CIC and SouthGobi Resources inked a convertible debenture deal. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Qatar Central Bank Deals with MSCI

MSCI, a stock index company whose benchmarks influence investor behavior, has tremendous indirect power impacting the stock markets of smaller economies. In 1988, MSCI released its emerging markets index, a now-widely-used benchmark for many institutional investors wanting access to growth markets. China and South Korea make up the majority of the benchmark, but smaller economies such as Poland, Chile and even Qatar make up other pieces of it.

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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