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Nigeria’s SWF to Develop Infrastructure Platform with AFC

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oil_refineDeveloping infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa is a capital intensive, intricate undertaking requiring investors with a technical capacity. Large pools of assets that are long-term oriented like sovereign funds and pensions can play a role in financing infrastructure. The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a multilateral institution, and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that details strategic collaboration on building an infrastructure investment platform. To jumpstart critical infrastructure investment in Nigeria, both entities plan to support the financing, development and operational aspects of future infrastructure projects.

Currently, infrastructure investment activity in sub-Saharan Africa has been heavily allocated toward natural resources and industrial activities. Vital infrastructure deficits affecting human prosperity and economic growth are found in the transportation and power sectors.

Created in May 2007, the Africa Finance Corporation with a capital base of US$ 1 billion aims to stimulate private sector investment in infrastructure by filling a critical void. Partnership with organizations like the AFC assists the Nigerian Infrastructure Fund of fulfilling its mandate to increase investment in Nigerian infrastructure.

Africa Finance Corporation Shareholders
African Financial Institutions 47.6%
Central Bank of Nigeria 42.5%
Industrial and Corporate Shareholders 9.8%

Shaktikanta Das Named as New CB Governor for India

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The Indian government named Shaktikanta Das as the new Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He will be the 25th governor to lead the central bank. Das is India’s former economic affairs secretary who stepped down in May 2017.

Das replaces Urjit Patel, who stepped down as central bank governor for “personal reasons.”

Urjit Patel had been arguing with India’s finance ministry on matters such as easing lending policies versus what the appropriate size of foreign reserves should be.

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UBS and APG Form Japanese Residential Property Venture

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Long horizon institutional investors are keen on taking advantage of appealing underlying fundamentals in select Japanese residential submarkets that have experienced population growth versus rural areas. The housing market in Tokyo has decoupled from the rest of Japan due to attractive demographics and low interest rates. Real estate valuations for Japanese housing in Tokyo is still at a distance relative to the very-much inflated market of the late 1980s. UBS Asset Management Real Estate & Private Markets business and APG Asset Management, which oversees the assets of Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, formed a new property joint venture to invest in residential properties in Japan. UBS Asset Management will manage the fund and partnership, while APG will play a strategic role. APG will contribute US$ 175 million into the venture.

This platform will pursue a build-to-core investment strategy with some allocation to the reconfiguration of income-producing operating assets in cities such as Tokyo and Osaka.

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GIC Sells 2 Chifley Square to Charter Hall

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Singapore’s GIC Private Limited sold a 100% ownership stake in a large building in Sydney, 2 Chifley Square, for A$ 98.5 million to the Charter Hall Prime Office Fund, a wholesale real estate fund. Charter Hall Group owned the building next to Chifley, the Gresham building at 167 Macquarie Street.

Advisors for the transaction are Colliers International and KPMG Real Estate Advisory.

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