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SWFI First Read, November 8, 2015

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Institutional Investors Examine Northern Australia

Australia’s far north has received far fewer infrastructure investments compared to other regions of the country. However, the north attributed with a more tropical climate, has drawn the attention of some mega institutional investors and global corporations. Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb is hoping the 3-day Northern Australia Investment Forum, based in Darwin, will start getting investors thinking about the Northern half of Australia. Some of the expected attendees include: China Investment Corporation (CIC), Korea Investment Corporation (KIC), Saudi Agricultural Livestock Investment Company, India’s Bharat Biotech International and São Paulo-based JBS S.A.

BlackRock Watch Out, Amundi is Ready

Paris-based Amundi just raised a fresh load of cash and has €954 billion in assets under management. Amundi’s CEO Yves Perrier made it clear he wants to build a massive global brand by making a number of future acquisitions. Perrier was also a force behind the creation of Amundi. With €1.3 billion ready to be deployed and a goal to keep 40% of annual earnings for future deals, Amundi is looking to seize market share.

KKR and The Chernin Group Form Asian Media Venture

KKR and Los Angeles-based The Chernin Group, LLC formed Emerald Media, a new fund to target media and entertainment assets in Asia. KKR committed US$ 300 million to the venture, through its KKR Asian Fund II, while the Chernin Group will join as a minority co-investor. Furthermore, KKR acquired a minority interest in CA Media, the existing Asian media portfolio of The Chernin Group. The Chernin Group touts backers such as Providence Equity Partners, LLC and Qatar Holding.

S&P Dow Jones Indices Launch 2 New Smart Beta Pan-Arab Indices

Late last month, S&P Dow Jones Indices launched the S&P Pan Arab Low Volatility High Dividend Index and the S&P Pan Arab Composite Shariah Dividend Index which includes the highest dividend paying stocks – consistent with Islamic finance principles.

PUSHBACK: Qatar Airways CEO Says Few Companies Can Meet Stringent Standards Set by Authorities

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Saudi Aramco Contemplates SABIC Stake from PIF

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Oil giant Saudi Aramco is in early discussions on whether to pursue an ownership stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) from the Public Investment Fund (PIF). At the moment, Saudi Aramco has no plans to buy publicly-held shares of SABIC. SABIC was founded in 1976 by Saudi royal decree to convert oil by-products into useful chemicals, polymers, and fertilizers.

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SWFI First Read, July 19, 2018

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GIC Eyes Provenance Land

GIC Private Limited is nearing a deal to purchase up to 50% of Provenance Land. Provenance Land owns India’s first Four Seasons hotel.

Eduard van Gelderen Leaves UC Regents for PSP Investments CIO Role

Eduard van Gelderen exited his position as Senior Managing Director at the University of California Regents’ Office of the Chief Investment Officer. His role will not be replaced. He accepted an offer to be Chief Investment Officer of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments).

PAAMCO Prisma Holdings CEOs to Exit

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Google Fined Big Time by EU Regarding Antitrust Violations

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The European Union (EU), through its competition commissioner, levied a €4.34 billion fine against Alphabet Inc., the owner of Google. The fine is over Google having “imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search,” according to the European Commission (EC).

The European Commission is requiring Alphabet to cease from its conduct that it is accused of within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said in a press release, “Today, mobile internet makes up more than half of global internet traffic. It has changed the lives of millions of Europeans. Our case is about three types of restrictions that Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine. In this way, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine. These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules.”

The EC press release added, “In particular, Google: 1. has required manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and browser app (Chrome), as a condition for licensing Google’s app store (the Play Store); 2. made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices; and 3. has prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google (so-called “Android forks”).”

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