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SWFI First Read, January 22, 2018

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Superbowl Match up – Patriots vs. Eagles

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will get another opportunity for a 6th Super Bowl win. The Patriots face off with the Philadelphia Eagles, after beating the Jacksonville Jaguars.

UBS Plans 3-Year Stock Buy Back Program

UBS Group AG revealed plans to buy back a total of 2 billion CHF worth of stock over a 3-year period starting in March 2018. UBS is also taking a 2.87 billion CHF tax charge due to a change in U.S. tax law. Other banks such as Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup, also revealed one-time tax charges as well. Additionally, UBS plans to commit 720 million CHF into its Swiss pension fund in three phases in years 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System to Commit to Mega Blackstone Infrastructure Fund

Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System is one of the investors in the massive Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, which touts Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) as a key fund limited partner.

Egypt Eurobond Offering Gets Closer

In late December, the Egyptian government selected five banks for its planned dollar-denominated Eurobond issuance worth some US$ 3 billion to US$ 4 billion. These banks arranging the financing are HSBC, JPMorgan, Citibank, Morgan Stanley and First Abu Dhabi Bank. Earlier in 2017, Egypt had sold US$ 7 billion in bonds. Egypt continues to be plagued by a lack of foreign liquidity mostly in U.S. dollars.

Sultan of Johor Invests in Sri Lankan Healthcare District

Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Sultan Iskandar is the Sultan of Johor. He and Malaysian entrepreneur Patrick Lim Soo Kit formed a company called Pharma Zone Limited to enter into a joint venture with the State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Corporation of Sri Lanka (SPMC). SPMC and Pharma Zone are constructing the first-ever Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Zone of Sri Lanka in the Welipenna area of the Kalutara District as an investment that totals over US$ 10 million. This deal was revealed on January 9, 2018.

The Sultan of Johor is making the investment through his entity called Inti Kemuncak Sdn Berhad.

Vietnam SCIC Sells Down Stake in Vinamilk

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Atlas Merchant Capital and GIC Scoop Up Stake in Ascensus

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Atlas Merchant Capital LLC and Singapore’s GIC Private Limited acquired just under a 25% equity stake in Dresher, Pennsylvania-based Ascensus, the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. San Francisco Genstar Capital LLC and New York-based Aquiline Capital Partners LLC were the sellers of the shares in Ascensus and will maintain control over the company.

Atlas Merchant Capital LLC was founded by Bob Diamond and David Schamis. Diamond is the former group chief executive of Barclays plc.

GIC is an investor in Alight Solutions, a provider of human capital solutions.

Advisors

Barclays acted as the lead financial advisor and J.P. Morgan acted as financial advisor to Ascensus in connection with this transaction. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as legal counsel to Ascensus.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted as legal counsel to Atlas Merchant Capital and Sidley Austin LLP acted as legal counsel to GIC.

In 2015, JC Flowers sold Ascensus to Genstar Capital and Aquiline Capital Partners.

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The Value of Research: Skill, Capacity, and Opportunity

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This article is sponsored by S&P Dow Jones Indices.

How much should a portfolio manager be willing to pay for research? The question is of importance to any manager, but has become particularly pertinent since newly imposed European rules require that the costs of investment research—previously offered by many investment banks as an in-kind consideration in return for brokerage business—be unbundled from trading.

Unfortunately, attempts to determine a fair value for research in the most general circumstances are doomed to fail. Even if we only consider direct recommendations to buy or sell certain securities, the value of such recommendations to a portfolio manager will vary according to the absolute size of positions taken in response. Instead, we provide a framework for estimating relative research values across markets and constituents, under certain stylized (but reasonable) assumptions.

REPORT: The Value of Research: Skill, Capacity, and Opportunity

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Khazanah to Scale Back International Investments, Preps 2019 Dividend

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Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Berhad is prepping to declare more than 1 billion MYR in a dividend payout to the Malaysian government for 2019. Khazanah Nasional is undergoing a significant strategy shift to focus more on domestic assets, while selling off venture tech investments, overseas real estate, fund investments, and other non-strategic assets. The wealth fund also plans to scale back its overseas presence in markets such as San Francisco and London.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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