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Norway SWF Chief Not Worried About U.S. Downgrade

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.”

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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