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Sovereign Funds Went Big in the Final Quarter of 2016

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Despite a succession of political shockwaves, sovereign wealth funds went back to plowing money into direct investments in the fourth quarter of 2016, investing US$ 60.31 billion versus US$ 30.43 billion in 4Q 2015, according to data from the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI). The SWFI transaction database tracks direct transactions made by sovereign funds, pensions and other public funds. Sovereign investors rallied in listed equities in the final quarter of 2016, with the United States far ahead.

Direct Transactions by Sovereign Wealth Funds – Billions USD

Source: Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database, Extracted April 17, 2017

Source: Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database, Extracted April 17, 2017

Sovereign investors rallied in listed equities in the final quarter of 2016, with the United States far ahead.

Energy and Real Estate

The energy sector contributed a whopping US$ 12.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 by wealth fund direct investments. Next, the real estate sector represented US$ 11.4 billion in direct investments by sovereign funds in the fourth quarter of 2016. Some major real estate deals boosted the total, such as the China Investment Corporation (CIC) acquiring Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s (CPPIB) 45% ownership stake in 1221 Avenue of the Americas, a Manhattan office property. The sales price for the stake was US$ 1.03 billion, with net proceeds to CPPIB of approximately US$ 950 million before closing adjustments.

Betting on Banks

Arguably one of the central reasons why global institutional investors bet large on banks is the probable rise of U.S. interest rates, coupled with possible reforms on the U.S. Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The financial sector was a significant contributor to the total amount of direct wealth fund transactions in the ending quarter. Direct investments in the financial sector by sovereign funds surged to US$ 6.56 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to US$ 3.49 billion in the third quarter of 2016. Some notable transactions include large purchases of positions of listed equities in Comerica and Aviva.

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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