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Orders Top $1B For Bahrain Mumtalakat Bond Debut

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According to the Wall Street Journal, “Offers for Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Co.’s first-ever bond issue are in the range of $1 billion to $1.25 billion, according to a source familiar with the sale.

That means the sovereign wealth entity’s debut could be larger than the minimum $500 million benchmark size when it completes on Wednesday. Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JPMorgan and Standard Chartered are leading the sale.

The five-year senior unsecured bonds, rated A by Standard & Poor’s and A from Fitch Ratings, are expected to yield 300 basis points over mid-swaps. Proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including to refinance existing debt.

The Kingdom of Bahrain, which owns Mumtalakat outright, issued $1.25 billion in 5.5% bonds on March 24 via JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas, according to Dealogic.  In a note on June 21, Standard & Poor’s said there is an “almost certain likelihood that the government of Bahrain would provide timely and sufficient extraordinary support to Mumtalakat in the event of financial distress,” although it does not formally guarantee its liabilities.

Mumtalakat does not make material investment decisions without government consent, S&P added. Most of the company’s assets are in domestic real-estate, telecommunications, aviation, banking and manufacturing. Bahrain owns a separate holding company for oil and gas assets, the National Oil and Gas Authority.  The issuer’s decision to tap the capital markets for the first time was predicated on the Mumtalakat’s need to become more independent from Bahrain, said the source.

“In the wake of the Dubai World issues, Bahrain is trying to push these sovereign entities away from its balance sheet and would like them to fund themselves on their own,” the person said.”

Source: Wall Street Journal

SWFI First Read, July 19, 2018

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GIC Eyes Provenance Land

GIC Private Limited is nearing a deal to purchase up to 50% of Provenance Land. Provenance Land owns India’s first Four Seasons hotel.

Eduard van Gelderen Leaves UC Regents for PSP Investments CIO Role

Eduard van Gelderen exited his position as Senior Managing Director at the University of California Regents’ Office of the Chief Investment Officer. His role will not be replaced. He accepted an offer to be Chief Investment Officer of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments).

PAAMCO Prisma Holdings CEOs to Exit

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Google Fined Big Time by EU Regarding Antitrust Violations

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The European Union (EU), through its competition commissioner, levied a €4.34 billion fine against Alphabet Inc., the owner of Google. The fine is over Google having “imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search,” according to the European Commission (EC).

The European Commission is requiring Alphabet to cease from its conduct that it is accused of within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said in a press release, “Today, mobile internet makes up more than half of global internet traffic. It has changed the lives of millions of Europeans. Our case is about three types of restrictions that Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine. In this way, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine. These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules.”

The EC press release added, “In particular, Google: 1. has required manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and browser app (Chrome), as a condition for licensing Google’s app store (the Play Store); 2. made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices; and 3. has prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google (so-called “Android forks”).”

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Mubadala, RCIF and UFC Agree to Form UFC Russia Joint Venture

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Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) is taking its UFC brand into Russia. Endeavor is financially-backed by investors such as Silver Lake Partners, CPPIB, KKR and Singapore’s GIC Private Limited. The global talent agency company inked a deal with the Russia-China Investment Fund, Mubadala Investment Company (UAE) to form a platform to focus on the development and expansion of UFC’s mixed martial arts (MMA) business in Russia and CIS countries. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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