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SWFI First Read, September 14, 2018



Bezos Says HQ2 Decision to be Revealed at End of 2018

Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Inc., revealed that the company would inform the world of where they plan to build its second headquarters before the end of 2018.

Natixis Seeks to Offload Some Assets to Parent Company BPCE

French bank Natixis seeks to sell a number of its specialized finance businesses to its parent company called Groupe BPCE. The Natixis’ assets that are planned to be sold to BPCE include consumer financing, factoring, leasing, sureties and guarantees, and securities services businesses.

ECB Stays the Course to Curb Stimulus

The European Central Bank (ECB) decreased its economic forecasts for Europe’s economic growth this year and for 2019. ECB kept policy unchanged, remaining on track to cease bond purchases by the end of 2018.

Mubadala Looks to IPO Cepsa

Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Company is looking to pursue an initial public offering (IPO) for its holding Compañia Española de Petróleos (Cepsa), a Spanish oil company. This is after talks with The Carlyle Group did not come into fruition. Cepsa is a legacy asset when Mubadala ended up taking over IPIC.

Egyptian Gov. Seeks CEO for Misr Fund

The Egyptian government is looking to hire a chief executive officer for its new Misr Fund.

Khazanah Nasional Could Change its Investment Mandate

Armed with a new board, Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Berhad could be changing its investment mandate by year-end.

Chuck Grassley Leaves Judiciary for Senate Finance Chair



U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, age 85, is leaving the Senate Judiciary Committee as chair. He will become Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee next year. The Iowa Republican has served as chairman of the Judiciary Committee since January 2015. Chuck Grassley served as Chair of the Senate Finance Committee in 2001 and from 2003 to 2007.

Grassley is replacing Senator Orrin Hatch (from Utah) who is retiring from the Senate. Replacing Orrin Hatch in Utah as Senator, is former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who lost the 2012 election to Barack Obama.

“Looking ahead, at the Finance Committee, I want to continue to work to make sure that as many Americans as possible get to experience this good economy for themselves,” said Senator Grassley in a statement. “That means working to provide Americans with additional tax relief and tax fairness so they can spend more of their hard-earned money on what’s important to them.”

The Committee on Finance is one of the original committees established in the Senate and was first created on December 11, 1815. The committee deals with a whole matter of issues including taxation, revenue, customs, trade agreements, Social Security and more. It is considered to be one of the most powerful committees in Congress. In addition, the Committee on Finance has jurisdiction over both Medicare and Medicaid.

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Liberty Mutual Inks $1 Billion Risk Sharing Agreement with OPIC



Liberty Mutual Insurance inked a special deal with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S government’s development finance institution, to help facilitate investment in challenging markets. The deal entails forming a US$ 1 billion risk-sharing agreement to facilitate private sector investment in developing markets. OPIC recently received a new mandate from Washington D.C., armed with more capital and flexibility.

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Keppel Infrastructure to Acquire Ixom from Blackstone



Keppel Infrastructure Fund Management Pte Ltd, in its capacity as trustee-manager of Keppel Infrastructure Trust, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, has entered into a share sale agreement with certain funds managed by Blackstone and certain management sellers for the proposed acquisition of a 100% interest in Ixom HoldCo Pty Ltd (Ixom). The enterprise value for Ixom is A$ 1,100 million. The equity value for Ixom is A$ 777 million.

Ixom is an industrial infrastructure business in Australia and New Zealand. The company supplies and distributes water treatment chemicals. The Ixom Group is the sole manufacturer of liquefied chlorine in Australia, as well as a major provider of manufactured caustic soda.

The proposed transaction will be initially funded via debt.

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