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SWFI First Read, January 14, 2019

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QIA Plans More Investments in U.S., While Stepping Back from Europe

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) seeks to expand its portfolio of U.S. investments from US$ 30 billion to US$ 45 billion over the next two years, as the QIA shifts investments away from continental Europe. QIA continues to seek out real estate, buyout opportunities, technology, and growth-investments in the U.S.

Bill Gross’s Bond Fund Breaches Below US$ 1 Billion

Former PIMCO bond guru Bill Gross, who now calls Janus Henderson Group plc his home, faces even more fund redemptions. Gross manages the Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, which had around US$ 60 million in redemptions in December 2018, lowering assets under management to an estimated US$ 950 million from an apex of US$ 2.24 billion in February 2018. Gross took a bold bet that interest rates on U.S. Treasuries and German bunds would converge. The fixed income strategy did not pay off in 2018, according to fund performance figures.

RBI Provides US$ 400 Million Swap to Central Bank of Sri Lanka

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) agreed to provide US$ 400 million in a swap arrangement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The RBI was seeking to boost Sri Lanka’s reserves. RBI is providing the swap funds under its South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation swap facility.

Pension Unit of Jardine Matheson Hires Willis Towers Watson for OCIO

Jardine Matheson, the Hong Kong conglomerate, hired an outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) for its pension fund assets. The OCIO mandate was awarded to Willis Towers Watson. The pool of pension assets is quite small, which is estimated less than US$ 500 million in liabilities.

Progetto Iride Issues Inaugural Tender for Joint PE Investment

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Progetto Iride, translated in English to Project Iris, is an investor group of five Italian pension funds. Progetto Iride issued an RFP for a private equity manager for a joint portfolio worth around €216 million.

The funds under Progetto Iride have €6,122,872,593 in assets as of December 31, 2018.

The five constituents of Progetto Iride are Foncer (€28 million allocation), Fondenergia (€72 million allocation), Fondo Gomma Plastica (€46 million allocation), Pegaso (€30 million allocation), and Previmoda (€39 million allocation).

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Flexstone, Hostplus Initiate U.S. Private Equity Program

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Australia-based superannuation fund Hostplus appointed Flexstone Partners to run a U.S. private equity emerging managers program. Flexstone Partners is owned by Natixis Investment Managers. The emerging managers program will see Flexstone Partners invest over the next three years in the first, second or third funds of U.S. middle-market private equity managers on behalf of the industry superannuation fund.

Hostplus is the industry superannuation fund for those who live and love Australian hospitality, tourism, recreation, and sport.

Flexstone Partners was formed in 2005 and is the combined entity of Caspian Private Equity, Euro-Private Equity France, Euro-Private Equity Swiss, and Eagle Asia Partners.

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Trump to Nominate Stephen Moore to Federal Reserve Board

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U.S. President Trump plans to nominate Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve board. Moore is currently a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation. He served as a Senior Economic Advisor to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. In 1987, Moore was Research Director of U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s Privatization Commission. Moore also served as a Fellow at the Cato Institute and was a Senior Economist under the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee under Chairman Dick Armey of Texas

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