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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.

Goldman Sachs Buys Weyerhaeuser Spin Off AM Unit from Lindsay Goldberg

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Increasingly, Goldman Sachs is buying up small alternative asset management groups across the United States. Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) is part of Goldman Sachs Group. GSAM inked a deal to purchase Aptitude Investment Management LP, a hedge fund-of-funds manager, from Lindsay Goldberg & Bessemer II AIV LP, a vehicle managed by Lindsay Goldberg. Aptitude Investment Management oversees around US$ 3.5 billion in discretionary assets. Aptitude Investment Management operates out of Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Before the creation of an in-house unit at Weyerhauser, Morgan Stanley was the sole investment manager of Weyerhauser’s retirement assets. Salim Shariff, formerly of Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, and Jeff Klein were hired as CIO and Deputy CIO of Weyerhaeuser Asset Management LLC in 2004. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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GIC Gets Exposure to Exchange Tower through Primewest Vehicle

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Singapore’s GIC Private Limited funded a deal through a fund to acquire the Exchange Tower in Perth. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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SWFI First Read, December 13, 2018

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Turkey Wealth Fund Could Tap Debt Markets in 2019

Turkiye Varlik Fonu or Turkey Wealth Fund could be issuing a large bond in 2019. The loan would most likely be short term in nature with a maturity of two years and be syndicated.

Rahm Emanuel Suggests Bonds to Help Support Chicago Pensions

The outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel revealed a plan on possibly issuing US$ 10 billion in bonds in funding Chicago’s underfunded pension funds. Chicago’s four pension funds have an average funding ratio of 26%. In March 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled an earlier pension reform law effecting employees and laborers’ pension funds that was signed by then Illinois Governor Pat Quinn that the law was unconstitutional.

SoftBank and Alibaba Back PT Tokopedia

PT Tokopedia is an Indonesian generalist e-commerce site. Tokopedia raised US$ 1.1 billion in an investment round led by the SoftBank Vision Fund and Alibaba Group. Softbank Ventures Korea and other investors participated in the round as well. William Tanuwijaya is the CEO and Co-Founder of Tokopedia.

Tikehau Capital and Total SA Form Low Carbon Fund

Tikehau Capital and Total SA created a private equity fund to focus on supporting the energy transition to cleaner sources of energy. The fund held a €350 million first close and raised money from investors such as Bpifrance and Groupama as anchor investors.

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