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Russia and Turkey Go for the Gold

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Russia added nearly 63 metric tons to its gold reserves in the first quarter of 2018 for a reported cache of 1,891 tons, surpassing China as the fifth-largest sovereign stockpiler after bulking up on the precious metal every month since March of 2015 – exactly a year after the United States and its allies imposed economic sanctions on the Kremlin for its involvement in Ukraine in 2014. Four years and 700 tons of bullion later, financial tensions between the two countries show no signs of improving, and so Russia’s gold rush continues.

With the ruble on the decline and capital outflows at an all-time high in 2017, gold has proven to be Russia’s instrument of choice for shoring up its financial vulnerabilities in the face of its ongoing isolation on the international stage of Western powers. Moscow doesn’t have to look very far for it either; some 200 tons of gold are mined in its own backyard every year, making it the precious metal’s third-largest producer. The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) – identified last year as the globe’s leading stockpiler by the World Gold Council – purchases roughly two-thirds of that amount each year. The central bank keeps all of its gold at home.

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PSP Investments and Blue Sky Alternative Investments End Strategic Partnership Agreement

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Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited informed Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) that it agreed to terminate its strategic agreement effective March 31, 2019. In December 2017, Blue Sky Alternative Investments forged an agreement with PSP Investments to assist in committing capital in a number of agricultural investments.

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Yield-Hungry Korean Insurance Capital Backs TSX Broadway

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Mirae Asset Daewoo Co., Ltd., the Seoul-based investment banking firm, has provided a US$ 375 million loan for a redevelopment in New York’s Times Square. It joins L & L Holding Company, Maefield Development, and Fortress Investment Group who are bringing the development known as TSX Broadway to life. The building is at 1568 Broadway in Manhattan. TSX Broadway, a US$ 2.5 billion project when all equity financing is added in, will allow for renovations and expansion of the 46-storey building. An LED screen, which is not an uncommon sight in the Big Apple, will wrap around the corner of the tower. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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OFFICIALS: Saudi Crown Prince Denies Interest in Acquiring Manchester United

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The Saudi Arabian government dispelled rumors that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will acquire football club Manchester United. However, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) had talks regarding sponsorship with the football club. Manchester United signed a partnership deal with Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority in 2017.

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