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SWFI First Read, October 17, 2016

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OTPP Inks Deal on Canadian Wine Business of Constellation Brands

Victor, New York-based Constellation Brands Inc. inks a deal to dispose its Canadian wine business for C$1.03 billion (US$ 780 million) to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP). The transaction, which includes Canadian wine brands such as Jackson-Triggs and Inniskillin, wineries, vineyards, offices, facilities, and Wine Rack retail stores is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of 2016. Constellation Brands will continue ownership of Black Velvet Whisky and the related production facility in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

Bank Sohar and Bank Dhofar End Merger Talks

Bank Sohar and Bank Dhofar, two large Oman banks, have ended talks regarding a merger. A merger between the two lenders would have created the second largest bank in Oman behind Bank Muscat.

Uncertainty Regarding Misys Offering, Lowers Price

Financial software giant Misys has lowered its offering price by 30% to be valued around £3.2 billion and £3.5 billion, versus £4.5 billion. Vista Equity Partners took Misys private back in 2012 for £1.27 billion.

Sovereign Wealth Encircles Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences

Ascent Capital Pvt. Ltd and OrbiMed Advisors LLC are looking to sell their combined 40% stake in Thiruvananthapuram, India-based Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences, an operator of tertiary care hospitals. In addition, stock promoters plan to dilute an additional 25% to 30% of Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences. The private equity sellers are being advised by Rothschild. Interested investors in the Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences include Temasek Holdings, TPG Capital and India Value Fund Advisors Private Ltd. In 2012, Ascent Capital Pvt. Ltd and OrbiMed Advisors LLC invested Rs 170 crore into the Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences.

Arapahoe County Retirement Plan Hires Wam, Fires PIMCO on Bond Strategy

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Cryptocurrencies Creep into the Middle East

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Banking behemoth J.P. Morgan Chase disclosed its own digital currency called JPM Coin. The digital token will be used to settle payments between clients. JPM Coin will be backed by physical U.S. dollars and be based off Quorum. Quorum is J.P. Morgan’s private Ethereum-based chain. JPM Coin plans to compete with Ripple, which created XRP, another digital currency that is used for settlements. Ripple’s main target market is cross-border payments and remittances.

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority have unveiled their plans for Aber, an interbank digital currency. Both banks have indicated that Aber will be limited to financial settlements using distributed ledger technologies. It will be rolled out on a probational basis, and used by select banks within the two countries. A date for rollout has not yet been declared. A joint statement hinted at a broader application of the currency in the days ahead. If “no technical obstacles are encountered, economic and legal requirements for future uses will be considered.”‏ Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers technologies will be employed. The plan is for ‘Proof-of-Concept’ testing, which involves studying and fully comprehending the ways modern technologies can achieve practical applications. The digital currency has the potential to become a reserve system for central payments.

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CPPIB Inks Partnership Vehicle with La Française and its Shareholder CMNE

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La Française and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) formed a strategic partnership for the launch of a real estate investment and development vehicle: Société Foncière et Immobilière du Grand Paris. The joint venture between CPPIB (80%) and Caisse Fédérale du Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe (CMNE) (20%), La Française’s shareholder, will invest in major real estate projects linked to the Grand Paris infrastructure in the Greater Paris area. The parties will initially allocate €387.5 million in equity to the venture. The partnership will target regeneration and infrastructure-led investments.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Norges Bank Governor Voices Opinion on Relaxing SWF Withdrawals over Specific Uses

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Øystein Olsen, the Governor of Norges Bank, which oversees the Norway Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), voiced his opinion on the Norwegian government’s plans to alter the rules that regulates the country’s SWF withdrawal rules in certain circumstances. The coalition government led by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg wants to relax the limits on SWF withdrawals in specific cases. Norway’s government seeks to raid the fund to pay for the replacement of four major state buildings impacted by a terrorist attack and a crashed Royal Norwegian Navy frigate (KNM Helge Ingstad).

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