Qatar Airways Increases Stake in British Airways Parent Company
Qatar Airways increased its stake in International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, the parent company of British Airways, to 15.01%. Qatar Airways in 2015 became the largest shareholder in International Consolidated Airlines Group. Under European Union regulations, foreign investors are limited to holding no more than 49% ownership of a European carrier.
CBRE Group Buys Large Stake in Malaysian Real Estate Services Firm
CBRE Group, Inc. entered into a transaction to buy a 49% stake in C H Williams Talhar & Wong Sdn Bhd, WTW Real Estate Sdn Bhd and WTW Property Services Sdn Bhd. The business will be rebrand as CBRE | WTW. The deal is expected to close during the second quarter of 2016.
Mapletree Buys Reading Property from Oxford Properties
Singapore-based Mapletree Investments has acquired office properties in Reading, United Kingdom, called Green Park from Oxford Properties Group, a unit of OMERS, for approximately £560 million. In November 2011, Oxford Properties Group bought the property from Prudential Property Investment Managers (PRUPIM) for £400 million. The final advisor for Oxford Properties Group was Eastdil Secured.
Japan’s Health and Welfare Ministry Names Two Professors to GPIF Advisory Committee
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U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin revealed the United States is preparing more Turkey sanctions. This stems over the issues with an American pastor in Turkey. Turkey’s lira, has fallen to record lows recently.
The week before, U.S. President Trump announced the doubling of tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium to 50 and 20 percent, respectively. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called for a boycott of electronics products of the United States, which includes iPhones (a smartphone product of Apple).
Scott Keller returns to T. Rowe Price as head of global investment management services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa from January 1, 2019. Keller is currently at UBS Global Asset Management, working in the Asia Pacific region, heading efforts in the bank’s institutional and intermediary distribution. Keller joined UBS in 2014. Before UBS, Keller was at T. Rowe Price.
Scott Keller is replacing Peter Preisler at T. Rowe Price. Preisler exited T. Rowe Price in August 2017.
At UBS, Nick Trueman will replace Scott Keller.
Sovereign wealth funds are paying closer attention to the U.S. Federal Reserve as it enters fresh territory under Jay Powell. Powell’s decisions are impacting foreign exchange holdings globally, as central bankers adjust to a newer environment of policy normalization. The United States is not the only country raising interest rates. The Philippines, Argentina, Indonesia, India, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Pakistan are just some emerging market countries that have raise interest rates.
Global institutional investors like BlackRock are concerned that the U.S. dollar could grind higher. In times of increased geopolitical or financial tensions, the greenback is seen as a safe haven by many central banks, sovereign funds and foreign public funds. July marks the 110th month of expansion, a streak that is one year away from becoming the longest in U.S. history. Stronger economic data – with U.S. gross domestic product hitting 4.1% for the second quarter of 2018, rising interest rates, and bids to lower U.S. trade deficits, are making sovereign funds rethink asset allocation or at least shift more assets out of markets like Turkey, South Africa and Brazil. The Turkish lira fell further in August, prompting the country’s central bank to take drastic action. The fallen lira sent jitters across emerging markets and to banks in Southern Europe who have exposure to Turkey. What are sovereign wealth funds doing now?
On the fixed income front, sovereign funds are paying much closer attention to their government bond holdings, keeping a close eye on countries that rely heavily on external funding. Shorter duration bonds and inflation-linked debt can act as a safeguard against rising rates and inflation. Sovereign funds, like Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, are recognizing that global equity returns are less synchronized, thus there is a move to identify select countries and regions being conducted for strategic asset allocation for 2019 and beyond. A stronger greenback, positive U.S. corporate earnings, and rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China are becoming a boon for active equity managers and smart beta funds, as public funds are requesting enhanced levels of skills in navigating stock selection. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]
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