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Norges Bank to Hold Off on FX Reserve Purchases

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Norges Bank, which manages Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), will not be making foreign exchange (FX) purchases in January 2014.

Norges Bank is slated with the task of maintaining FX reserves. It does this by collecting North Sea oil revenues denominated in foreign currencies and FX purchase on the market into a common fund known as the petrobuffer. The appropriate allocations are then transferred to the GPFG on a monthly basis.

Norway’s Ministry of Finance determines the size of monthly transfers, but Norges Bank is actually responsible for the purchases, transfers and maintaining the petrobuffer.

If the petrobuffer is large enough (or if allocations to the fund decrease), Norges Bank holds off on FX purchases.

Deciding to forego FX purchase in January is not common for Norges Bank, although it is not unheard of; this will be the 5th January in 13 years. Instead the bank tends to slow down its purchases near the end of the year in order to shrink the petrobuffer, according to its website.

Scatec Solar Places Big Solar Bet in Bangladesh

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Oslo-based Scatec Solar ASA, a publicly-traded independent power producer operating in the emerging market solar development space, plans to construct and own a 800 mega watt photovoltaic solar power plant in Chandpur, Bangladesh. Scatec Solar has solar assets scattered across numerous emerging markets such as South Africa, Rwanda, Honduras, Egypt, Jordan and the Czech Republic.

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APFC Sells $1.4 Billion Stake in Simpson Housing

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The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) embarked on a major shift in its real estate portfolio by selling a 50% ownership stake in Denver-based Simpson Housing LLLP for US$ 1.4 billion. Simpson Housing had made up roughly 24.7% of APFC’s US$ 5.6 billion real estate portfolio. The other owner of Simpson Housing is that State of Michigan Retirement Systems.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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ISIF Invests in Cybersecurity Firm Vectra

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The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) committed €10 million to Vectra Networks, Inc., a San Jose, U.S.-based cybersecurity company. The investment capital will assist Vectra in creating a research and development center in Dublin.

ISIF is part of a larger funding round of €30 million. These other investors include Khosla Ventures, Accel Partners, DAG Ventures, AI Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures and Wipro Ventures.

Kevin Dillon, who is the former Head of Microsoft Ireland and a Managing Partner at Atlantic Bridge, will join the board of directors at Vectra.

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