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Russia Analyzes Diminishing Options, Institutional Investors Brace

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Sovereign Wealth Funds and Russia

The Kremlin is embarking on a series of measures to counter inflation and rapid currency devaluation. The rapid fall in oil prices, coupled with Western sanctions have crippled Russia’s economy and put massive strains on its economic system. Meanwhile, oil and metal conglomerates have been hoarding hard currency. To counter this trend, Russian government officials have been pleading that Russian corporate CEOs slowly begin converting their earnings into rubles. Furthermore, if this action is not taken seriously, Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, may pass a bill to require exporters convert 50% of earnings.

The Belarus central bank imposed full-blown capital controls.

The ruble has lost as much as 59% of its value this year. On December 22nd, the Central Bank of Russia announced a plan to provide a 30 billion ruble loan facility (US$ 530 million) to assist Trust Bank, as other major Russian banks had no interest in acquiring the troubled financial institution. In addition, the central bank will put Trust Bank, a top #30 Russian bank, under supervision from Russia’s Deposit Insurance Agency.

Private money has been flowing out of Russia than institutional money. Institutional investors have exposures to Russia, especially through index vehicles. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Youtube is Crashing

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Youtube, a video service of Google, is crashing. Institutional investors are major investors in Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

At 6:41 PM on October 16, 2018, Team YouTube tweeted, “Thanks for your reports about YouTube, YouTube TV and YouTube Music access issues. We’re working on resolving this and will let you know once fixed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and will keep you updated.”

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Investors Eye Tencent’s Next Moves

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Formed in Shenzhen in 1998, Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Limited is the largest gaming company in the world and the largest gaming market is in China. In August 2018, China’s Education Ministry disclosed its monitoring how many new games are coming online. Tencent needs approval from the Chinese government to publish games. In 2017, almost 9,000 games were approved in China compared to only 1,931 in 2018. Chinese President Xi Jinping is keen on combating shortsightedness in children from the overuse of video games.

Anime

Tencent will inject US$ $317.6 million into Chinese streaming site Bilibili in return for 12.3 % equity in the company. Bilibili is a video sharing site known for streaming anime, comics, and games. Tencent’s investment follows previous funding rounds from Tiger Global Management, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, BlackRock, and Alkeon Capital Management. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Ireland Strategic Investment Fund Signs MoU with IFC

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The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will initially focus on investment opportunities in the food and agriculture sector, given its strength and importance for the Irish economy. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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