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SWFI First Read, March 4, 2018

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HKMA’s Exchange Fund Has Best Year in Nearly a Decade

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s Exchange Fund generated an unaudited 7.1% annual return for 2017 versus a 2.0% annual return for 2016. This is the best annual return for the fund since 2007 at 11.8%, which followed a 2008 return of -5.6%. At the end of September 2017, HKMA’s Exchange Fund had 214.5 billion HKD in private equity (141.1 billion HKD) and real estate (73.4 billion HKD).

UPDATED: Axa to Buy XL Group

March 5, 2018 – UPDATED: French insurance giant Axa SA agreed to buy U.S. property and casualty insurer XL Group Ltd. for US$ 15.3 billion in cash

PREVIOUS: French insurance giant Axa SA is in negotiations of possibly buying U.S. property and casualty insurer XL Group Ltd., which is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. XL Group has a market value of around US$ 11 billion.

U.S. Moves to Defend Steel and Aluminum Industry, EU Threatens

The United States government moved to put a 25% duty on steel and 10% on aluminum, after decades of trade abuse in the industry, according to the U.S. government. In response, European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker warned they could target American brands such as Levis, Harley-Davidsons and Kentucky bourbon whiskey. Countering, the U.S. President warned they could put the lucrative European export auto industry in the country’s crosshairs.

On March 3, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, “The United States has an $800 Billion Dollar Yearly Trade Deficit because of our “very stupid” trade deals and policies. Our jobs and wealth are being given to other countries that have taken advantage of us for years. They laugh at what fools our leaders have been. No more!”

Lighthouse Investment Partners to Buy Most of Mesirow Advanced Strategies

Lighthouse Investment Partners, LLC agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of Mesirow Advanced Strategies, the multi-manager hedge fund division of Mesirow Financial, an employee-owned firm that is trying to focus more on its core business. The deal is expected to close mid-year 2018. Following the expected completion of the transaction, Mesirow Financial is expected to serve as a distribution partner to Lighthouse. Mesirow Advanced Strategies has around US$ 8 billion in assets under management. In June 2017, Palm Beach Retirement System dropped Mesirow Advanced Strategies in an US$ 8 million hedge fund-of-funds portfolio.

SWFI First Read, September 19, 2018

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QIA Eyes Investment in Chinese Lender Lufax

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is in talks about a possible investment into Shanghai-based Lufax, one of China’s largest online lenders. The seller of the possible stake is China’s Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. Ltd. Lufax’s official name is Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange Co. Ltd.

Wealth Funds Back Hotpot Giant

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Japanese Government Capital Provides Initial Life for Texas Bullet Train

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Dallas-based Texas Central Partners, LLC is the developer of a proposed high-speed rail system, dubbed the Texas Bullet Train, between Dallas and Houston. Project costs are estimated between US$ 12 billion to US$ 15 billion. The developer secured US$ 300 million in project loans from Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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DOJ Investing Tesla Over Musk Comments

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is conducting a fraud investigation over Tesla as its CEO Elon Musk made public statements on twitter. This is a criminal probe. In addition, earlier, SWFI reported the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is conducting a civil inquiry into Elon Musk regarding his statements.

This all surrounds Musk tweeting in August that he was thinking of taking Tesla private and had “funding secured” for the transaction. Both government authorities are seeing if Musk misled investors and violated federal securities laws with his public statements.

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