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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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China’s Central Bank Creates Macro-Prudential Management Bureau

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The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) created a new department to oversee and attempt to eliminate financial risks to the system. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Like its U.S. Peers, Legg Mason Seeks to Trim Costs

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Legg Mason Inc., a Baltimore-based asset manager, has announced a reduction in workforce as is prepares to streamline operations and save money. Legg Mason’s leadership commented that assets under management fell 5 % year-on-year. Legg Mason currently manages US$ 727.2 billion (as of December 31, 2018), which is down from the previous US$ 767.2 billion. CEO Joseph A. Sullivan noted that a global operating platform will centralize fund administration, IT, and other departments that work with affiliates. Sullivan did not discuss the number of layoffs expected, or specify which areas would be impacted. Legg Mason disclosed they planned to close a quarter of its exchange-traded funds in March 2019. These three ETFs include a U.S. strategy, emerging markets, and a developed markets strategy outside the U.S. However, these funds run around US$ 28 million in assets under management.

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Monetary Authority of Singapore Establishes Corporate Governance Advisory Committee

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On February 12, 2019, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revealed the creation of a Corporate Governance Advisory Committee (CGAC). CGAC was formed to advocate for good corporate governance practices among listed companies in Singapore. Bobby Chin, Director of Singapore Telecommunications Limited, will be the Chair of CGAC. According to a MAS press release, “CGAC will identify current and potential risks to the quality of corporate governance in Singapore.”

MAS formed the Corporate Governance Council (Council) in February 2017. The Council was dissolved after it pushed out a publication of its final recommendations on August 6, 2018.

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