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Norway SWF Chief Not Worried About U.S. Downgrade

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Yngve Slyngstad

In the aggregate, a growing number of sovereign wealth funds are allocating more to public equities, less in fixed income. This adds a bit of volatility to their portfolios but at the same time, some funds have achieved impressive gains in certain years. Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global has made significant strides in allocating to public equity in markets such as Europe and the United States.

Yngve Slyngstad, the head of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund confirmed that the downgrade rating the United States received had no effect on the way the fund views investments in the country.

During the financial crisis, Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global had exposure to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. S&P gave many mortgage CDOs strong ratings at that point in time.

During a news conference regarding 2Q fund results last Friday, Yngve Slyngstad expressed, “The US debt downgrade had no effect on our portfolio or our thinking.”

Funds and Ownership, KKR Partners with Shinhan Financial

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South Korean financial giant Shinhan Financial Group Co., Ltd. reached a preliminary agreement with KKR & Co. to form a series of global buyout funds that could raise up to 5 trillion KRW. KKR and Shinhan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Seoul in early October. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Norwegian Government Recommends SWF Remains at Central Bank

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There was speculation that Norway Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) could be managed outside of Norges Bank. The Norwegian government shot down this idea and recommended Norway’s GPFG remain in Norges Bank. This recommendation came in the form of a white paper submitted to the Norwegian Parliament, Stortinget.

Norway’s Minister of Finance Siv Jensen, commented in a press release, “The Government proposes a new and modernised governance structure for Norges Bank. Moving forward, this new structure lays the foundations for the sound management of the central bank and of the GPFG.”

Some Central Bank Recommendations

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Invesco Buys OppenheimerFunds for $5.7 Billion

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Invesco Ltd. signed a deal to acquire OppenheimerFunds, Inc. from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). In turn, MassMutual and the OppenheimerFunds employee shareholders will receive a combination of common and preferred equity consideration, and MassMutual will become a significant shareholder in Invesco, with an approximate 15.5% stake. This strategic transaction will bring Invesco’s total assets under management (AUM) to more than US$ 1.2 trillion. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019, pending necessary regulatory and other third-party approvals. The transaction gives Invesco access to more third-party distribution platforms.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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