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SWFI First Read, January 14, 2018

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MSCI Decision Tabled for June 2018 on EM Inclusion

MSCI issued a status update on the possible reclassification of the MSCI Saudi Arabia Index to emerging market status. A decision is expected to be released in June 2018, which is part of the company’s MSCI 2018 Market Classification Review. MSCI believes the size of the Saudi Arabian listed equity market will increase with the Saudi Aramco initial public offering.

Saudi PIF Keeps Leverage Options Open

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is analyzing options on whether to use leverage in its activities by possibly raising US$ 5 billion in 2018 from banks.

Swiss National Bank Expects Large Profit for 2017

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is expecting a profit of 54 billion CHF (US$ 55 billion) for the 2017 calendar year. SNB has stepped up its investment in listed equities in recent years. However, most of SNB’s profit is due to currency movements – which amounted to 49 billion CHF in 2017. The central bank holds nearly all of its assets in foreign currencies.

PineBridge Investments Hires Former SSgA EMEA Executive

PineBridge Investments scooped up Michael Karpik to be the firm’s chief operating officer. He replaces Julian Sluyters who exited PineBridge Investments.

Karpik was CEO of EMEA at State Street Global Advisors (SSgA). Additionally, Karpik served in Chairman and CEO roles across their UK, France, and Ireland entities and has significant investment, fund product, and governance experience. He also held roles in Europe as Head of Investments; Chief Operating Officer; Head of UK, Ireland, and Middle East; Global Head of Cash Investments; and EMEA Head of Cash Investments. Before his role at State Street, Karpik worked at Sallie Mae as a senior funding manager in Washington, DC.

He will report to PineBridge CEO Gregory Ehret and be based in New York.

Bank Indonesia Issues Warnings on Cryptocurrencies

Bank Indonesia issued another warning about cryptocurrencies viewing them as high risk, not a legal medium of exchange in Indonesia and prone to speculation. Many central banks have issued concerns that cryptocurrencies could be used to facilitate money laundering and fund terrorism. Others argue that physical cash already does facilitate money laundering and fund terrorism.

NZ Super Names Three New Board Members

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New appointments have been made to the Board of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZ Super). The appointments were made on July 19, 2018. The three new board members are Catherine Drayton, Simon Botherway and Henk Berkman.

According to the NZ Super press release, “Simon Botherway’s appointment runs from 1 August 2018 to 30 September 2021. He is a professional director with a history in investment, investment regulation and supervision. Other board roles have included his current position as Chair of Serko, a director on Callaghan Innovation and previously being the Chair of the FMA Establishment Board and a member of the Securities Commission.

Henk Berkman will serve from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2022. He has been Professor of Finance, Department of Accounting and Finance at the University of Auckland since 2008. Mr Berkman has held previous professorial positions at Massey University, University of Sydney and the University of Maastricht.

Catherine Drayton will serve from 1 November 2018 until 30 September 2022. She is a Christchurch-based director who previously led the Assurance and Advisory Practice for PwC in Central Eastern Europe. Her public sector governance experience includes her current role as Chair of Christchurch International Airport and as a member of the University of Canterbury Council. Her experience as a Director of Ngai Tahu Holdings has provided her with iwi governance experience.”

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AIMCo Names Former Talisman Energy Executive to Board

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The Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) appointed Jacqueline (Jackie) Sheppard as a member of the board of directors for a term set to expire on June 30, 2021. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Grant & Eisenhofer Reveals Fortis Investors to Receive $1.5 Billion in Mega Settlement

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Law firm Grant & Eisenhofer won a landmark case for its clients after a seven-year legal duel in Dutch courts. On July 13, 2018, the Amsterdam Court of Appeals officially approved the largest securities settlement ever reached in Europe, paving a path for international insurance company Ageas N.V./S.A. to begin payment of US$ 1.5 billion (€1.3 billion) to multiple groups of institutional and individual investors from Europe and the United States. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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