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See How Much the Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund Has Invested in Russia

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Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of NBIM

Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of NBIM

Norway’s massive sovereign wealth fund is reviewing its portfolio allocation and risk profile on Russia. NBIM Chief Executive Officer Yngve Slyngstad told reporters in Oslo that in regard to Russian investments, “We are at any given time also considering conditions that have dimensions of geopolitics and geopolitical risk.”

Given the threat of sanctions from the West, institutional investors are growing cautious about their Russian investments. For example, in July 2013, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) acquired a stake in Moscow’s 2.2 million-sqft Metropolis Shopping and Entertainment Mall through the Hines CalPERS Russia Long Term Hold Fund. The price was reported to be in the US$ 1 billion range.

The nearly US$ 850 billion sovereign wealth fund as of December 31, 2013 has a US$ 7.9 billion exposure to Russia in fixed income and equity investments. In essence, a 0.9% direct exposure to Russian assets. Norway’s GPFG has essentially zero exposure to Ukrainian assets.

norwaySWF_russia_dec2013

Exposure to VTB Bank

During that time period, the sovereign fund owned a 4.6% equity interest in VTB Bank OJSC. VTB Bank is led by Andrey Kostin, a key member of Putin’s United Russia party. Kostin has been an advocate for turning VTB into an international bank, setting up offices in Singapore, Dubai, London and Hong Kong. The investment banking subsidiary, VTB Capital, is seeking to cutting its staff in London and New York following the rapid succession of events unfolding in the Ukraine.

In addition, Norway’s GPFG has equity exposure to state-owned Sberbank of Russia – the largest lender in Russia. Ukraine’s acting Prosecutor General Oleh Makhnitskyi has accused Sberbank of “financing terrorism.” Sberbank denied the accusations.

NBIM’s Fixed Income Holdings in Russia

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Anne Sheehan to Retire, CalSTRS 1st Corp Gov Director

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Anne Sheehan, the first Corporate Governance Director at California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the current one, plans to retire March 30, 2018. Sheehan’s team manages an activist portfolio worth around US$ 4.1 billion, seeking to influence and help turnaround its large portfolio holdings in select public companies. Sheehan was hired back in 2008.

Christopher J. Ailman, CalSTRS’ chief investment officer, said in a organization release, “Anne has been my most unconventional, best hire.”

A replacement search is underway.

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Temasek Rides with Google on Go-Jek

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Singapore’s Temasek Holdings has reportedly joined forces with Google LLC and Chinese on-demand service provider Meituan-Dianping as part of a US$ 1.2 billion fundraising effort for Indonesian ride-hailing startup Go-Jek that has put regional rivals like Uber and Singapore-based Grab on notice.

Screen Shot Go-Jek, January 19, 2018

Although exact figures for individual stakes have so far been kept secret, the new infusion of capital puts Go-Jek, incorporated as PT Aplikasi Karya Anak Bangsa, at a valuation of roughly US$ 4 billion. Samsung Venture Investment Corporation also participated in funding, as well as existing private equity investors KKR & Co. LP and Warburg Pincus LLC.

Google’s direct involvement in Go-Jek’s growth – rather than through its Google Ventures unit – highlights its faith in the latent potential of ride-sharing services – and the tech-enabled consumer services sector as a whole – in Southeast Asia. Home to more than 640 million potential customers, the region was identified as the fastest growing emerging market for e-commerce globally in an industry report published jointly by Google and Temasek last December. According to data compiled by the internet-giant and the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, ride-sharing in Southeast Asia is expected to grow into a US$ 20.1 billion industry by 2025, compared to US$ 5.1 billion in 2017.

2011 Origin Story

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Temasek Leads Series B Round for Chinese Robo Startup Rokid

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Rokid Corporation Limited, a Chinese robotics startup that specializes in smart devices assisted by artificial intelligence (AI), announced the closing of a Series B extension round through its WeChat account on January 18, 2018. The capital-raising effort was led by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, with additional contributions from Credit Suisse Group, China Development Bank’s overseas investment arm CDIB Capital International, and existing investor IDG Capital. Although Rokid did not disclose the size or terms of the deal in its announcement, the technology company reportedly secured US$ 100 million in funding.

Founded in 2014 by chief executive Mingming Zhu and chief financial officer Eric Wong, Rokid’s core products consist of its smart speakers, the Rokid Pebble and Alien, as well as the newly debuted Rokid Glass augmented reality spectacles. The company’s most exciting offering, however, is its Full Stack Open Platform, a collaborative effort made in partnership with Alibaba that gives third-party developers backdoor access Rokid’s software suite and hardware integration and will – it hopes – help give its offerings the accessibility and recognition they need to thrive outside its home market of China.

Rokid is particularly keen on bringing its products to the U.S., where it believes it can challenge Google and Amazon’s dominance in the smart home arena. Amazon makes the Amazon Echo, while Google has Google Home.

The Series B

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