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Norway’s GPFG Divests from Major Israel Real Estate Development Company

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According to this press release, “The Ministry of Finance has excluded the company Shikun & Binui Ltd. from the investment universe of the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG).

The decision to exclude the company follows an exclusion recommendation from the Council on Ethics to the GPFG. The company is a construction company involved in the building of settlements in breach of international humanitarian law in East-Jerusalem.

Council emphasizes that the construction of such settlements on occupied territory represents a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the convention for the protection of civilian persons in time of war. The Convention shall protect civilians in situations of war or occupation. The exclusion is based on an evaluation of the future risk that the company will contribute to serious violations of the rights of individuals in war or conflict. The Ministry of Finance has earlier excluded the companies Africa Israel Investments and Danya Cebus on the basis of similar activities on occupied territory. The divestment from the company has been concluded.

The GPFG owned shares worth some NOK 8.5 million in Shikun & Binui Ltd. on 31.12.2011.

The Ministry’s final decision on whether or not to divest from a company is made on the basis of the Council’s recommendation. The Ministry has not made an independent assessment of every aspect of the the Council’s recommendation but is satisfied that the recommendation document establishes with reasonable certainty that an investment in the company represents an unacceptable risk of violating the Ethical Guidelines.”

Read more: Norway Ministry of Finance

Saudi and Other Gulf Country Bonds to Join JPMorgan Emerging Market Bond Index

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In a boost for Gulf-based debt, JPMorgan is adding their debt compositions to two influential emerging market bond indexes. These emerging market indexes are the most widely tracked among asset managers in the industry. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar are being added to the J.P. Morgan EMBI Global Diversified Index and the EMBI Global, starting January 31, 2019. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Central Bank of Nigeria Reveals Plan for New National Micro-Finance Bank

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced plans for a new national micro-finance bank. The proposed bank will promote small and medium enterprises.

CBN’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, noted that the bank will partner with the Bankers Committee, the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, and the Nigerian Postal Service. Emefiele laid out the vision for the bank in his remarks in Abuja: “The bank will serve as an efficient channel for the disbursement and monitoring of key intervention funds by the CBN.” Nigeria’s micro-finance bank will be focused on meeting financial inclusion targets, promoting financial stability within the country, and fostering widespread economic growth.

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

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Mergermarket Gets Ready to be Sold

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Private equity firm BC Partners hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to advise on the sales of Acuris. Acuris is a collection of financial news and data sites, which includes Mergermarket, Dealreporter, and Debtwire. In 2017, BC Partners sold around a 30% stake in GIC Private Limited.

Before the rebranding to Acuris, Mergermarket was part of The Financial Times Group until 2013 when it was sold off to BC Partners.

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