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SWFI First Read, December 20, 2017

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The U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives have approved a massive tax reform bill – the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill passed in the U.S. Senate with a 51-to-48 vote. The corporate tax rate is being lowered from 35% to 21%. It is the first major reform in the U.S. tax code in 31 years. U.S. President Trump tweeted, “I would like to congratulate @SenateMajLdr on having done a fantastic job both strategically & politically on the passing in the Senate of the MASSIVE TAX CUT & Reform Bill. I could have not asked for a better or more talented partner. Our team will go onto many more VICTORIES!”

On the personal income front, the law reforms a number of measures. For example, the bill roughly doubles the standard deduction to US$ 24,000 for married couples who file jointly. For singles, the deduction goes to US$ 12,000.

Ontario Teachers’ Acquires Avocado Farms in Western Australia

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan acquired Busselton, Australia-based Jasper Farms, an owner of avocado farms.

Temasek Participates in Series B in Orchard Therapeutics

London-based Orchard Therapeutics, a biotechnology company involved in gene therapies, raised US$ 110 million in a Series B round. The investment round was led by Baillie Gifford and ORI Capital. New investors in the company include Temasek Holdings and Cowen Healthcare Investments. Other investors in smaller allocations in the Series B round include Juda Capital, Pavilion Capital, RTW Investments, Agent Capital, 4BIO Capital and existing investors F-Prime Capital and UCL Technology Fund.

Investment Corporation of Dubai Refinances The Residences at the Mandarin Oriental

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Biogen and Eisai Battered by Markets Over Alzheimer’s Trial Fail

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Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen Inc. (BIIB) took a tumble of 28% in the morning of March 21st after it announced that it would cease its Phase 3 trials of Aducanumab. The therapy was intended to slow cognitive decline in patients with early onset Alzheimer’s. Biogen continued falling on March 22, 2019. Biogen and its Japanese development partner Eisai Co., Ltd. (ESALY) shared that the decision was based on results from an analysis conducted by an independent committee. The analysis determined that the trials were not going to demonstrate that Aducanumab could slow cognitive impairment. Eisai also fell 28% on the day, though it staged a relatively modest recovery on March 22nd. Some large institutional holders of Biogen include APG Asset Management (manager of Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP), Norges Bank Investment Management (manager of Norway Government Pension Fund Global), and Swiss National Bank.

The last time a treatment for Alzheimer’s made it to market was in 2003. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Italy’s CDP Inks Deals with Silk Road Fund and Bank of China

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China is building out its Belt Road Initiative (BRI) to continental Europe. On March 23, 2019, in Rome, Cassa depositi e prestiti Spa (CDP), Snam Spa (Snam) and Silk Road Fund Co., Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aiming at exploring and evaluating common business opportunities. Under the MoU, CDP and the Silk Road Fund will facilitate cooperation by focusing on the potential investment opportunities in the following sectors: financial services, agriculture, food, technology, manufacturing, infrastructure and transportation, energy and white economy (healthcare and personal care assistance).

Originally part of ENI, Snam S.p.A. is an Italian natural gas infrastructure company. The Silk Road Fund and Snam will analyze possible collaboration initiatives in the area of natural gas infrastructure (pipelines, storage facilities, LNG infrastructure and biomethane plants) in support of the growth of the natural gas and biomethane sectors in China from a decarbonisation perspective. In its capacity of a national promotion institutions, CDP will look at co-financing initiatives that are consistent with its mission also in the fields of energy and sustainability.

Bank of China

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Angolan Government Recovers Assets from Quantum Global Investment Management

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The State Prosecutor’s Office of Angola said that the country has control of all financial and non-financial assets. The Angolan government claims it recovered US$ 3.35 billion of assets that were under the management of Swiss-based Quantum Global Investment Management AG. Quantum Global Investment Management was essentially the sole manager of assets for the Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA).[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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