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Norway’s GPFG announces first property investment

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Yngve Slyngstad

According to the press release, “Norges Bank, which manages the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, has agreed to buy a 150-year lease on a 25 percent stake in The Crown Estate’s Regent Street properties in London. The purchase price is expected to be £448 million, or approximately 4.2 billion Norwegian kroner. A final agreement and completion of the transaction is anticipated by the end of March 2011, giving the fund its first investment in real estate after the Norwegian government on 1 March gave permission to invest in the asset class.

“A move into real estate will strengthen the fund, which today is solely invested in stocks and bonds,” says Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive officer of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM).

Regent Street is one of London’s busiest shopping streets with retailers including Apple, Burberry, Banana Republic and Hamleys. The properties in the Regent Street portfolio, which consists of 113 buildings spread over 39 blocks, are owned by The Crown Estate on behalf of the United Kingdom. The partnership would give the fund 25 percent of the properties’ net income, which would mainly come from office and retail space rent. The Crown Estate would retain 75 percent of the income.

“The Crown Estate would continue to be responsible for the management of the portfolio, while NBIM would take part in significant capital decisions,” says Slyngstad.

The Crown Estate has since 2002 been implementing a regeneration programme in Regent Street to transform it into an international destination for business and retail. Further development of the area is set to continue. The fund got a mandate on 1 March to gradually invest as much as 5 percent of its assets in real estate through a corresponding decrease in fixed-income investments. Real estate investments will mainly be in unlisted real estate, well-developed property markets and traditional property types, initially in Europe. The fund’s investments consisted of 60 percent equities and 40 percent fixed-income securities at the end of the third quarter.”

Source: NBIM Press Release

SWFI First Read, September 21, 2018

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U.S. Public Becomes More Aware that Gmail Scans Emails

Alphabet is a major stock holding for sovereign wealth funds and large pensions. Search giant Google is under fire for allowing third-party partners and companies, like Return Path Inc and other advertisers, to share data from Gmail accounts. Many experts and tech observers already knew this, but more people in the public are becoming aware of Google’s practices when it comes to privacy. Google disclosed in a letter to U.S. lawmakers this finding. The Wall Street Journal reported that in some instances, app companies were able to read people’s emails in order to improve their algorithms. In 2017, Google said they would stop scanning all of one’s Gmail messages for the goal of personalized ads.

GPIF Infrastructure Exposure Almost Reached 200 Billion Yen in March 2018

Japan Government Pension Investment Fund’s (GPIF) exposure to infrastructure real estate was 196.8 billion JPY at the end of March 2018. At that period, 57% of the exposure was to the UK, 15% was to Australia, 15% to Sweden, 10% to Spain and 3% to Finland. 21% of GPIF’s infrastructure portfolio was linked to airports versus 27% to ports.

AIMCo-backed sPower Closes $498.7 Million Bond Deal

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Iceland Contemplates a Sovereign Wealth Fund

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The Government of Iceland is looking to possibly form a sovereign wealth fund to stabilize the country from unforeseen shocks to the national economy. The Iceland government released a statement saying, “The state’s contributions to the Fund will be equivalent to new revenues from publicly owned power production companies which are expected to accrue in the coming years.”

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CBRE Global Wins First GPIF Global Real Estate Mandate

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Japan Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) awarded its first global real estate mandate by hiring CBRE Global Investment Partners Limited. This is a global core real estate fund-of-funds separate account. Overseeing this mandate as a gatekeeper is Asset Management One Co., Ltd., which is a unit of Mizuho Financial Group. This RFP was launched in April 2017.

CBRE Global Investment Partners is the multi-manager arm of CBRE Global Investors.

In addition, on August 8, 2018, GPIF hired two custodians for short-term investments. These custodians are Trust & Custody Services Bank, Ltd and The Master Trust Bank of Japan, Ltd.

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