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South Korea and Qatar Develop Investment Taskforce

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Finance Minister Bahk Jae Wan

Finance Minister Bahk Jae Wan

In Seoul, the Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Qatar Holding LLC to outline the creation of a joint infrastructure cooperation taskforce. Qatar has extensive natural gas reserves, while South Korea has a number of conglomerates that are significant in the engineering and shipbuilding sectors. Korean firms are keen on winning more foreign construction projects.

The meetings are planned to occur two times year to discuss prospective investment projects. If a project has merit, the government of South Korea will allocate funds from its global infrastructure fund to be invested alongside the Qatar Investment Authority.

On October 20, 2012, Samsung Engineering Co., Ltd, the biggest engineering firm in Korea was awarded the Yanbu refinery expansion project from Luberef (Saudi Aramco Lubricating Oil Refining Company). It was a US$ 871 million deal. Luberef is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco (owns 70%) and Jadwa Industrial Investment Company (owns 30%).

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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