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SWFI First Read, January 10, 2019

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BlackRock Promotes Mark Wiedman

Mark Wiedman was promoted to be Head of International Corporate Strategy at BlackRock. Wiedman will report to Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock. This is a new position. Previously, Wiedman was Head of Global iShares and Index businesses at BlackRock. Salim Ramji, Senior Managing Director and Head of BlackRock’s U.S. wealth advisory business, will become the new Global iShares head.

Saudi Aramco Plans Bond Issuance in 2019

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Khalid al-Falih revealed Saudi Aramco plans to issue U.S. dollar-denominated bonds in the second quarter of 2019.

ADIA Seeks to Sell 330 Madison Avenue Building

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is looking to sell its interest in an office property in Manhattan located at 330 Madison Avenue. CBRE Inc. is marketing the building on behalf of ADIA. Vornado Realty Trust, the 25% minority owner in 330 Madison Avenue, plans to retain its stake in the 845,000-square-foot building.

Tradeweb to IPO

The former financial business of Thomson Reuters, which is now called Refinitiv, is confidentially filed for an initial public offering of its Tradeweb Markets LLC business. Tradeweb is a fixed income trading platform. Blackstone, CPPIB , and GIC Private Limited control a majority stake in Refinitiv.

360 Enterprise Security Group Keep Raising Money

360 Enterprise Security Group is a spin-off Qihoo 360. The spin-off raised 900 million RMB (US$ 131.2 million) in a Series B round led by existing investor AlphaX Partners. 360 Enterprise Security Group provides online security services to Chinese businesses and state-owned enterprises.

Benewake Raises Money

Benewake, a Chinese LiDAR manufacturer raised capital in a Series B2 round led by KeyWise Capital, Delta Capital, and Valeo LP of Cathay Capital. Existing investors Shunwei Capital and IDG Capital participated in the Series B2 round.

Qatar Steps Up for Lebanon, Plans $500 Million Bond Purchase

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Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani appeared at an Arab economic summit and it was revealed that Qatar plans to purchase US$ 500 million of Lebanese government bonds. Earlier, there was speculation Qatar was going to deposit US$ 1 billion in Banque du Liban (Bank of Lebanon), which was never confirmed by the bank.

Lebanese officials in January revealed the possibility of a debt restructuring. The International Monetary Fund calculated that public debt in Lebanon is at over 160% of gross domestic product this year and could raise to around 180% by 2023.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Turkey Wealth Fund Could Provide Support to Credit Card Debt Market

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Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, has a new reform to jump start the consumer debt-laden economy, and it involves Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund. His strategy is to offer money to those facing overwhelming credit card debt. Ziraat Bank (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Ziraat Bankası) will allow borrowers to apply for debt rescheduling and secure lower interest rates. Erdogan announced that “Any retail client from any bank can apply.” Credit card debt is a monstrous problem in the country. Consumer credit has exploded due to low rates, government assistance, and easy credit availability. Last summer, non-housing debt reached US$ 97 billion. Half of this is credit card debt. Over US$ 30 million is non-performing. The debt was accumulated in foreign currencies, because they used to provide the lowest interest rates. Unfortunately, as the Turkish lira’s exchange rate cratered, much of the debt became impossible to service. The lira is among the world’s weakest currencies. Erdogan expects a smooth transition, “They will pay off their debt with a loan from Ziraat, and will pay it back according to the level of their monthly earnings.” Ziraat Bank is managed by Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund, which is chaired by President Erdoğan.

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

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KIC Sells City of London Office to South African Investor

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Investec Structured Property Finance, part of Investec, provided a £107 million loan to a South African investor being represented by London-based Pembrey Asset Management Ltd to acquire an office in London at One Bartholomew Lane. The Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) is the ultimate owner of the office and is selling it through Hines UK, part of Hines. BNP Paribas Real Estate acted on behalf of Pembrey Asset Management and CBRE acted on behalf of Hines.

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