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Norwegian FinMin: Sovereign Wealth Fund is Not a Political Tool

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The Norwegian Ministry of Finance issued a press release stating the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) is “a financial investor, not a political policy tool.” Tensions have flared in the media and political scene, as the debate moves toward what Norway’s sovereign wealth fund should do when it comes to the environment and climate change. Green activists and some politicians demand the fund should divest from all coal or oil companies. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is funded by government oil & gas income among other sources.

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Norway is one of the few sovereign wealth funds that has a policy toward ESG principles. Green activist groups continue to put political pressure on the Norwegian government to forward their agenda.

In response, the Norwegian government has approached an “Expert Group” on how the institutional investor can tackle the issue of gas emissions from fossil fuel companies. In addition, the group will analyze whether ownership exclusion is more effective than exercising shareholder rights to affect change with the company.

Profile: Norway’s sovereign wealth fund

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund invests in over 8,000 companies.

The Ministry of Finance reiterated in the press release, “The management objective of the GPFG is to maximise its long-term international purchasing power. This is the fundamental basis for the investment strategy. It rests on a premise both of inter-generational equality and saving for future government expenditure, and of avoiding over-heating of today’s domestic economy.”

SWFI First Read, September 19, 2018

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QIA Eyes Investment in Chinese Lender Lufax

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is in talks about a possible investment into Shanghai-based Lufax, one of China’s largest online lenders. The seller of the possible stake is China’s Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. Ltd. Lufax’s official name is Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange Co. Ltd.

Wealth Funds Back Hotpot Giant

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Japanese Government Capital Provides Initial Life for Texas Bullet Train

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Dallas-based Texas Central Partners, LLC is the developer of a proposed high-speed rail system, dubbed the Texas Bullet Train, between Dallas and Houston. Project costs are estimated between US$ 12 billion to US$ 15 billion. The developer secured US$ 300 million in project loans from Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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DOJ Investing Tesla Over Musk Comments

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is conducting a fraud investigation over Tesla as its CEO Elon Musk made public statements on twitter. This is a criminal probe. In addition, earlier, SWFI reported the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is conducting a civil inquiry into Elon Musk regarding his statements.

This all surrounds Musk tweeting in August that he was thinking of taking Tesla private and had “funding secured” for the transaction. Both government authorities are seeing if Musk misled investors and violated federal securities laws with his public statements.

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