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Qatar Sells Barclays Warrants, Maintains 6.7% Stake

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Qatar Holding LLC formally made plans to sell Barclays Plc shares as the sovereign wealth enterprise (SWE) of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) rids itself of their remaining warrants. 379 million units of Barclays warrants have been monetized by Qatar Holding LLC. The SWE remains the largest shareholder of Barclays Plc with a 6.65% stake.

Since October 2008, after Barclays’ announced plan to raise £7 billion of capital, shares of Barclays Plc climbed around 42%. This capital came from Gulf investors from Abu Dhabi and Qatar. At the time, the UK Financial Services Authority increased capital targets for all UK banks. Barclays wanted to avoid a United Kingdom government bailout and wanted to remain independent. Barclays Plc did not want government meddling in their operations as the UK government would most likely influence the strategic direction of the bank. Later that year in 2009, Qatar Holding sold a £1.4 billion stake in Barclays after warrant conversions.

On November 25, 2012 in a separate statement, “We remain a supportive strategic investor in Barclays, and maintain our confidence in the long-term prospects for the business,” Qatar Holding Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Al-Sayed said.

Mergermarket Gets Ready to be Sold

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Private equity firm BC Partners hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to advise on the sales of Acuris. Acuris is a collection of financial news and data sites, which includes Mergermarket, Dealreporter, and Debtwire. In 2017, BC Partners sold around a 30% stake in GIC Private Limited.

Before the rebranding to Acuris, Mergermarket was part of The Financial Times Group until 2013 when it was sold off to BC Partners.

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Why Japan Post Sees Promise in Aflac

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Aflac Inc. is an American insurance company founded in 1955. The company is the biggest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States. Aflac also has major operations in Japan.

In December 2018, Japan Post Holdings (JPHLF) signaled it was spending US$ 2.64 billion for a 7-8 % stake in Aflac. The goal is that, in four years time, Aflac will become an affiliate of Japan Post. Japan Post hopes to accomplish this by becoming the largest voting shareholder of the company. The world’s 13th largest company, with 400,000 employees, Japan Post needs to expand to chase further growth, mainly because Japan Post expects the postal business to decline. Diversification is seen as the optimal route to long term stability for the holding company. Japan’s economy is worrying. Japan’s aging population means that many insurance companies are facing a shrinking customer base, Japan Post settled on a plan to expand overseas.

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RDIF and Development Agency of Serbia Agree to Explore Joint Investments

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The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Development Agency of Serbia, also known as Razvojna agencija Srbije, reached an agreement to work together to identify attractive investment projects to strengthen bilateral economic ties and increase investment flows between Russia and Serbia. Russian capital and businesses are keen on investing in Serbia.

In addition, the two countries signed an agreement to cooperate on civil nuclear energy, according to state-owned Russian reactor builder Rosatom (Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation). Rosatom continues to expand it business of nuclear cooperation deals in a wide number of countries.

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