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OPIC Gets a New Name and Doubles Budget to $60 Billion

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Major changes are coming to OPIC (the Overseas Private Investment Corporation) as the organization equips to stem the tide of China’s far-reaching economic policies. As described in OPIC’s Twitter stream, the organization “advances development around the world by supporting financially-sound projects that promote free and open societies.” An Act signed by U.S. President Trump on October 5, 2018, will begin a new chapter for the organization. Ray W. Washburne, OPIC President and CEO, celebrated the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act as it was being signed into law. Washburne called it “a new era for development finance. With more tools, more flexibility and more running room – the United States will be able to have even greater impact.” OPIC now enters into a transition period which will allow Congress to plan the reorganization. Specifics include the transfer agencies, personnel, assets, and obligations to the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC).

OPIC currently offers its services in more than 160 countries worldwide. Since OPIC requires fees for use, it is self-sustaining and comes at no cost to taxpayers. OPIC projects are also barred from causing job losses in the U.S. Since 1971, OPIC has assisted businesses with risk mitigation, managing foreign direct investment, and has greased the wheels of economic development in emerging market countries. All the while, OPIC has advocated for U.S. policy initiatives throughout the world.

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Japan’s GPIF Awards Nissay Asset Management with ESG Disclosure Mandate

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Increasingly asset owners across the Asia-Pacific region are studying the impacts of environmental, social, and governance factors on listed companies. As more Japanese pensions augment asset allocation to listed equities, the importance of corporate non-financial disclosures and practices becomes clear. These disclosures can have a material impression on company stock prices. In addition, Japanʼs Stewardship Code and Corporate Governance Code in 2014 and 2015 were launched, respectively. These codes helped the (environmental, social, and governance) ESG concept gain momentum in Japan.

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the largest public pension fund in the world, awarded a research mandate to Nissay Asset Management Corporation. The mandate entails studying ESG disclosures. The study will conduct a comparable analysis on ESG standards and practices, while taking into account input from both investors and companies. With around US$ 110.5 billion in assets under management, Nissay Asset Management is owned by Japanese life insurance giant Nippon Life Insurance Company.

As GPIF boosted its allocation to domestic equities, the asset owner took a deeper look into the impact of ESG on equity investing. GPIF is keen on improving efficiencies in Japan’s capital markets. GPIF is a universal owner of stocks, similar in some aspects to what Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) does.

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Norges Bank Real Estate Management Buys Central Paris Property

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Norges Bank Real Estate Management, the real estate unit of Norges Bank Investment Management (oversees Norway Global Pension Fund Global), has signed an agreement to acquire a 100 percent interest in an office property located on 54-56 rue la Boétie in central Paris.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Schlumberger Gets Closer to Eurasia Drilling Company

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Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and American oilfield services giant Schlumberger (SLB) have planned a deal to invest in Russia’s Eurasia Drilling Company Limited. RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev made the announcement. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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