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SWFI First Read, April 30, 2017

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LIA Turns its Legal Sights on Société Générale via Derivative Trades

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is going after its next target, Société Générale S.A. This is in relation to derivative trades made back in 2007 and 2009, a similar pursuit made by LIA to Goldman Sachs. The case is being taken up in London’s High Court.

WE’RE BACK: Citigroup Saudi Arabia Gets Investment Banking License in Saudi Arabia

On April 25, 2017, the Saudi Capital Market Authority had authorized Citigroup Saudi Arabia to get its investment banking license, enabling the firm to conduct dealings as underwriters arranging and advising on securities business activities. The current CEO of Citigroup Saudi Arabia is Carmen Haddad.

Citibank had its first office in Saudi Arabia in Jeddah in 1955. By 1980, through legislation by Saudi Arabia, Citibank transformed its Saudi banking unit into a joint venture with Saudi American Bank (Samba). By 2004, Citibank had sold its last remaining interest in Samba.

Purdue University to Buyout Kaplan University

On April 27, 2017, Purdue University made a big move to form a new public university after agreeing to buy an online university. Purdue University has agreed to buyout Kaplan University. Kaplan University is the for-profit higher education business of Kaplan Inc. Kaplan Inc is ultimately owned by Graham Holdings Co. This deal include the acquisition of its 15 campuses and learning centers.

According to the press release by Purdue University, “all existing Kaplan University students and faculty will transition to the new university, which will use the Purdue name in some fashion not yet identified.”

The release added, “the new university will formally begin operations upon approval from the U.S. Department of Education and the Higher Learning Commission. Purdue plans to take immediate steps to commence those approval processes. Both Purdue and Kaplan universities are accredited by the HLC.”

China Merchants Bank Makes Private Banking Push in Singapore

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Japan’s GPIF Awards Nissay Asset Management with ESG Disclosure Mandate

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Increasingly asset owners across the Asia-Pacific region are studying the impacts of environmental, social, and governance factors on listed companies. As more Japanese pensions augment asset allocation to listed equities, the importance of corporate non-financial disclosures and practices becomes clear. These disclosures can have a material impression on company stock prices. In addition, Japanʼs Stewardship Code and Corporate Governance Code in 2014 and 2015 were launched, respectively. These codes helped the (environmental, social, and governance) ESG concept gain momentum in Japan.

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the largest public pension fund in the world, awarded a research mandate to Nissay Asset Management Corporation. The mandate entails studying ESG disclosures. The study will conduct a comparable analysis on ESG standards and practices, while taking into account input from both investors and companies. With around US$ 110.5 billion in assets under management, Nissay Asset Management is owned by Japanese life insurance giant Nippon Life Insurance Company.

As GPIF boosted its allocation to domestic equities, the asset owner took a deeper look into the impact of ESG on equity investing. GPIF is keen on improving efficiencies in Japan’s capital markets. GPIF is a universal owner of stocks, similar in some aspects to what Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) does.

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Norges Bank Real Estate Management Buys Central Paris Property

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Norges Bank Real Estate Management, the real estate unit of Norges Bank Investment Management (oversees Norway Global Pension Fund Global), has signed an agreement to acquire a 100 percent interest in an office property located on 54-56 rue la Boétie in central Paris.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Schlumberger Gets Closer to Eurasia Drilling Company

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Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and American oilfield services giant Schlumberger (SLB) have planned a deal to invest in Russia’s Eurasia Drilling Company Limited. RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev made the announcement. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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