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Sovereign Wealth Funds React Differently on EU’s Russian Sanctions

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Sovereign Wealth Funds and Russia

Sovereign wealth funds in recent years have made significant investment strides into Russia – betting on Russian real estate, bonds and equities. Russia is one of the BRICS. Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the body that manages Norway’s sovereign wealth, has invested in Russian share sales and other companies within Russia. VTB, one of Russia’s state-owned banks, had participation from three major sovereign wealth funds as cornerstone investors in its US$ 3.3 billion share offering in 2013. The China Investment Corporation (CIC) has committed capital to a myriad of Russian partnerships, funds and companies. For example, the CIC took stakes in Polyus, a gold miner and Uralkali, a Russian potash fertilizer business. Furthermore, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) which is tasked to co-invest in opportunities with institutional investors into Russia, has helped bring more sovereign wealth investment into the country.

The Russian Government has spent considerable efforts building economic relations with the Middle East, East Asia and Central Asia.

EU and US Sanctions

VTB Group’s US$ 1.5 billion loan deal will probably be canceled. European banks are fearful to entangle themselves in risky deals. The United States received US$ 8.97 billion by imposing a fine on BNP Paribas SA. BNP Paribas engaged in deals that violated sanctions against Sudan, Iran and Cuba. It was the biggest fine ever paid by a bank in a sanctions case.

On July 29, 2014, European Union members enacted a series of targeted sanctions against Russia. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

QIA Becomes the Largest Shareholder in Colonial

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The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) became the biggest shareholder of Inmobiliaria Colonial, SOCIMI, S.A. (Colonial), a Spanish listed real estate company. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Mumtalakat Discloses Investment in Khairat Bahrain

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Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company disclosed an investment in Sudan called Khairat Bahrain. This is an agricultural investment in Sudan. The food and agriculture sector is key investment sector for many Gulf-based state investors. Khairat Bahrain is located in the world’s richest expanse of groundwater (the Nubian Sandstone Basin) occupying an area of approximately 100,000 feddans (400 square kilometers). The Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System is the world’s largest known fossil water aquifer system.

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Temasek Acquires Cybersecurity Firm Sygnia

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Singapore’s Temasek Holdings agreed to acquire Sygnia, Inc., an Israeli cybersecurity technology and services provider. Unverified estimates of the deal amount are around US$ 250 million. Sygnia runs out of Tel Aviv, but has an office in New York. Sygnia assists companies respond to cyber threats.

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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