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SWFI First Read, April 2, 2018

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SoftBank Vision Fund Backs Indian Solar Venture with GCL System

Japan-based SoftBank Group inked a deal with China-based GCL System Integration Technology Co Ltd to form a US$ 930 million Indian joint solar venture. GCL is contributing the technology to the venture, while SoftBank is focusing on buying land and working through legal hurdles. SoftBank will control 60% of the Indian venture, with GCL owning the other 40%. SoftBank Group will use the Vision Fund’s capital for the venture.

Sequoia Capital Leads Investment Round into Cobalt Robotics

Sequoia Capital led a US$ 13 million Series A funding round into Cobalt Robotics, a startup focused on developing robotic security guards for office buildings. Other investors in the round include Founders Fund, Storm Ventures and Bloomberg Beta.

PSP Investments Commits to D-Wave Systems

On March 5, 2018, Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) committed US$ 20 million to invest into D-Wave Systems Inc., a quantum computing systems and software company.

Alibaba Solidifies Ownership of Ele.me

Alibaba Group Holding Limited moved to acquire China-based Ele.me, a local delivery company. Alibaba Group is buying out all the shares of Ele.me that it does not already own. The transaction gives Ele.me an enterprise valuation of US$ 9.5 billion, according to Alibaba Group. At the moment, Alibaba Group and its affiliate Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group own approximately 43% of Ele.me’s outstanding voting shares.

South Korean Handbag Maker’s Investment Unit Likes Mezzanine Debt

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Saudi and Other Gulf Country Bonds to Join JPMorgan Emerging Market Bond Index

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In a boost for Gulf-based debt, JPMorgan is adding their debt compositions to two influential emerging market bond indexes. These emerging market indexes are the most widely tracked among asset managers in the industry. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar are being added to the J.P. Morgan EMBI Global Diversified Index and the EMBI Global, starting January 31, 2019. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Central Bank of Nigeria Reveals Plan for New National Micro-Finance Bank

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced plans for a new national micro-finance bank. The proposed bank will promote small and medium enterprises.

CBN’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, noted that the bank will partner with the Bankers Committee, the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, and the Nigerian Postal Service. Emefiele laid out the vision for the bank in his remarks in Abuja: “The bank will serve as an efficient channel for the disbursement and monitoring of key intervention funds by the CBN.” Nigeria’s micro-finance bank will be focused on meeting financial inclusion targets, promoting financial stability within the country, and fostering widespread economic growth.

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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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