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SWFI First Read, September 12, 2018

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GIC Eyes GE Aviation Assets

Singapore’s GIC Private Limited indicated interest in possibly acquiring the airplane leasing unit of General Electric Co. (GE) called GE Capital Aviation Services.

Haizan Johari Joins Amundi Malaysia

Haizan Johari was named Managing Director of Amundi Asset Management Malaysia, a unit of Amundi Asset Management. Previously, Haizan was Director of Institutional Business at Eastspring Investments. Haizan succeeds Roslina Rahman who exited Amundi to become Group Chief Executive Officer of ValueCAP, a fund management company.

Rob Barrett Joins Lazard Asset Management

Rob Barrett was hired on as Director for the U.K. Institutional Market at Lazard Asset Management. Previously, Barrett was Head of U.K. Institutional Sales at AXA Investment Managers.

Facebook Plans for Massive Singapore Data Center

Social media giant Facebook is planning an 11-storey data center in Singapore. Facebook is investing S$ 1.4 billion for the facility which is expected to be completed in 2022. Fortis Construction is the general contractor for the project.

Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company Gets Exposure to Frankfurt Office

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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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