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SWFI First Read, July 6, 2017

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Qatar Sovereign Wealth: $26 Billion in U.S., Since 2015

Revealed at a business roundtable meeting held by the US-Qatar Business Council (USQBC) in Washington, D.C., is that the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has invested roughly US$ 26 billion into the United States since 2015. The QIA is looking to open a San Francisco office to get exposure to biotech and the high-tech sector of Silicon Valley.

Temasek Holdings Subscribes to Capital Increase in Axereal Group

On July 5, 2017, French cooperative Axereal Group, a major European cereal collector and the fifth biggest maltster in the world, raised €150 million to finance its growth projects. Investing in the stock subscription were Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, French farmer-controlled investment fund Unigrains and minority shareholder Tereos.

SoftBank Group Seeks to Raise Billions in Debt

In a natural move to acquire more financial firepower, Japan’s Softbank Group Corporation, is seeking to raise around US$ 3 to US$ 5 billion in a debt raise in U.S. dollar bonds. SoftBank is meeting fixed income investors in Hong Kong, Singapore and London. Joint global coordinators on the bond offering include Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Ardian Infrastructure Acquires 44% Stake in Société du Pipeline Méditerranée Rhône

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Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Hire its First Chief Investment Officer

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) hired its first chief investment officer. The US$ 10 billion philanthropic vehicle hired David Lee to be its CIO. The search process was conducted by New York-based recruiting firm David Barrett Partners. Lee spent the last eight years working at Princeton University’s endowment – holding the managing director position as his final station. Lee got his MBA at Yale University.

According to the CZI press release, “In this role, Lee will be responsible for managing an investment portfolio that will grow the organization’s ability to fund its efforts across its three core Initiatives – Science, Education and Justice & Opportunity. CZI is a new kind of philanthropic organization that pairs engineering with grantmaking, impact investing, policy and advocacy work, in order to help build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone.”

Lee will report to an investment committee which is led by Yale University CIO David Swensen. Other investment committee members of CZI include Lei Zhang, Founder and CEO of Hillhouse Capital; Matt Cohler, General Partner of venture capital firm Benchmark; and Carter Simonds, a former Managing Director of Blue Ridge Capital – a hedge fund investor.

Photo Credit: CZI

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Saudi Arabia Sends Second Installment of Aid to Pakistan

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On December 14, 2018, Pakistan received its second installment of the US$ 3 billion in aid promised from Saudi Arabia on October 23, 2018. The US$ 1 billion given on December 14th boosted the foreign reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan, which went from US$ 7.2 billion to US$ 8.2 billion. The first installment was given on November 23, 2018. The last installment is expected to occur in January 2019.

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White House Nominates Heath Tarbert for CFTC Chairman

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The White House announced Heath P. Tarbert will be nominated to serve as Commissioner and Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Tarbert currently serves as Assistant Secretary for International Markets at the U.S. Treasury Department. Before joining the U.S. Treasury, Tarbert was a Partner at law firm Allen & Overy. Tarbert was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for his current Treasury post at 87 (yes) to 8 (no).

Upon Senate confirmation, Tarbert’s CFTC term would start on April 14, 2019 and last for five years. Tarbert is taking over from J. Christopher Giancarlo whose term ends in April 2019. Tarbert will need a U.S. Senate confirmation to take the head CFTC post.

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