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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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Deutsche Bundesbank to Slowly Add Renminbi into Foreign Reserve Mix

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Deutsche Bundesbank’s executive board made a decision to invest in Chinese renminbi in the summer of 2017 as part of its foreign currency reserves. The German central bank on January 15, 2018, confirmed it will start investing in Chinese renminbi and also consider investing in additional foreign currencies. The move mimics the European Central Bank (ECB), which already considers the Chinese renminbi as a reserve currency. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Bpifrance, CDB and Cathay Capital Launch Third Cross Border Fund

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Bpifrance, China Development Bank Capital Co., Ltd. (CDB Capital) and Cathay Capital agreed to launch Sino French Midcap Fund II. This is the second fund the group is launching after the €500 million Sino French Midcap Fund I from June 27, 2014. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Carillion Falls into Compulsory Liquidation

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U.K.-based Carillion plc, a construction and facilities management giant, has fallen into compulsory liquidation on January 15, 2018. In July 2017, the listed company issued a warning on its profits, while its CEO quit at the time. The company warned it was near a breach of debt covenants and was in need of a fresh capital injection. Carillion faced a downturn in new business, while dealing with expensive contract delays. U.K. lenders such as the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays are facing the news of having hundreds of millions of pounds default.

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