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Qatar Wealth Fund Backed Legally-Entangled Texas Energy Giant

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Flying under the radar, Texas-based Vistra Energy (formerly known as TXU), an energy company that emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2016, controls TXU Energy and Luminant. The word “Vistra” is a mixing of “Vision” and “Tradition”. TXU Energy operates in the retail electricity market serving roughly 1.7 million residential and business customers in Texas, while Luminant is an independent power producer in Texas, generating approximately 17,000 MW in the state. With its new private equity owners, after bankruptcy protection, Vistra Energy fired some 500 employees, mostly in Dallas and cut overhead costs by more than 50%. The company then paid out a US$ 1 billion “special dividend” to the owners in December 2016 (a special cash dividend of US$ 2.32 per share). The company is still mired in a legal battle with creditors over certain assets.

Vistra Energy Major Shareholders in Equities – March 2017

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Saudi Arabia Sends Second Installment of Aid to Pakistan

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On December 14, 2018, Pakistan received its second installment of the US$ 3 billion in aid promised from Saudi Arabia on October 23, 2018. The US$ 1 billion given on December 14th boosted the foreign reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan, which went from US$ 7.2 billion to US$ 8.2 billion. The first installment was given on November 23, 2018. The last installment is expected to occur in January 2019.

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White House Nominates Heath Tarbert for CFTC Chairman

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The White House announced Heath P. Tarbert will be nominated to serve as Commissioner and Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Tarbert currently serves as Assistant Secretary for International Markets at the U.S. Treasury Department. Before joining the U.S. Treasury, Tarbert was a Partner at law firm Allen & Overy. Tarbert was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for his current Treasury post at 87 (yes) to 8 (no).

Upon Senate confirmation, Tarbert’s CFTC term would start on April 14, 2019 and last for five years. Tarbert is taking over from J. Christopher Giancarlo whose term ends in April 2019. Tarbert will need a U.S. Senate confirmation to take the head CFTC post.

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KIA Could Sell Stake in North Sea Energy Business

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The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), through its unit Wren House Investment Management, is nearing a deal to sell a 40% stake in its North Sea energy business to JPMorgan Asset Management. In July 2018, KIA closed on a deal to acquire oil and gas pipeline firm North Sea Midstream Partners from ArcLight Capital.

More details to follow –

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