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SWFI First Read, October 6, 2016

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Credit: NASA Earth Science Office - Hurricane Matthew - Oct 6, 2016

Credit: NASA Earth Science Office – Hurricane Matthew – Oct 6, 2016

NRK Reports: 225 Billion NOK – Norwegian Government Spend from SWF in 2017

Public broadcaster NRK reported that the Norwegian government is looking to raise its spending from the nation’s wealth fund to 225 billion NOK (US$ 28.1 billion) in 2017.

IMF: US$ 152 Trillion and Growing

The Washington D.C.-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that the world debt level has skyrocketed to 225% of global gross domestic product (GDP). IMF has calculated that gross debt in the non-financial sector amounted to US$ 152 trillion in 2015 and its growing. The debt amount counts debt held by governments, non-financial firms and household. Most of that debt is private debt. In 2002, the amount of debt was 200% of global gross domestic product (GDP).

The IMF is concerned about a negative feedback loop.

Japan’s GPIF Forms New Stewardship & ESG Group

On October 1, 2016, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) formed a new division called Stewardship & ESG in its public markets investment department. This division was formerly known as the Stewardship Enhancement Group which was formed in March 2016. Hiroshi Komori is leading the Stewardship & ESG group. GPIF accepted Japan’s Stewardship Code in May 2014.

Tradeweb Experiences Growth in U.S. ETF Trading Volume

New York-based Tradeweb Markets LLC, which runs fixed income, derivatives and exchange-traded fund (ETF) marketplaces, continues to experience growth on its platform. Tradeweb announced that more than US$ 12 billion notional volume has traded year-to-date on its electronic request for quote (RFQ) platform for U.S. ETFs since launching in the first quarter of 2016. On another note, Deutsche Bank AG, UBS Group AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc are looking to possibly sell their minority ownership stakes in Tradeweb. Thomson Reuters Corporation is the majority owner of Tradeweb.

NIRP Consequences: Japanese Banks Look at U.S. Munis

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Public Asset Owners Feel Pressure on PetSmart

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Paying big fees compared to traditional equity strategies, sovereign funds and pensions have allocated mounds of capital to private equity firms on buying out North American big-box retail businesses. Many of these private equity firms and advisory firms have also offered “co-investment” opportunities in these retail acquisitions as well. Private equity firms had loaded retailers such as Toys “R” Us and Sports Authority with excessive debt. Sports Authority shuttered in 2016.

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Mubadala Sells Stake in Local Ports Operator

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Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Company and its emerging markets infrastructure arm, Mubadala Infrastructure Partners, are parting ways with Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT), selling their 50% combined stake in the hometown shipping operator to remaining shareholder Abu Dhabi Ports (ADP) for an undisclosed amount. Khaled Al Qubaisi – Chief Executive of aerospace, renewables, and information technology at Mubadala – expressed in a statement his confidence in ADT’s future success as a key player in the local economy.

Established by government decree in 2006 alongside its new owner as part of Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 plan for economic development, ADT primarily operates the semi-automated Khalifa Port Container Terminal under a 30-year concession it secured in 2012 from ADP, which is mandated to develop and manage all 11 commercial ports in the emirate and hosts some 25,000 vessels every hour.

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SWFI First Read, April 26, 2018

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Former Obama Cabinet Officials to Advise TPG Rise Fund

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was named a senior advisor for TPG’s Rise Fund. Kerry’s role will be to help find investments for the fund and advised in areas such as renewable energy. Another Obama administration veteran, former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, is also an advisor to the Rise Fund.

Jobless Claims in U.S. Drop to the Lowest Level in 48 Years

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the rate of layoffs in the country fell in late April to the lowest level since 1969.

ECB Holds Rates Steady

The European Central Bank (ECB) kept interest rates unchanged on April 26, 2018.

Singulato Motors Raises Series C Round

Singulato Motors raised US$ 474 million in a Series C round from a number of investors. Some current backers include TaoYun Beijing Investment Fund, GX Capital and Qihoo 360. Singulato Motors is a Chinese electric vehicle startup.

Thae Khwarg Nears CIO Role at Korea National Pension Service

Thae Khwarg appears to be the top contender for the Chief Investment Officer role at Korea’s National Pension Service. Khwarg is the former head of Baring Asset Management Korea, which is formerly known as SEI Asset Korea. Khwarg was selected by NPS’ chairman for the role and is awaiting approval from South Korea’s Minister of Health and Welfare.

Al Hilal Bank Uncovers Internal Fraud

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