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SWFI Trend Report: A Tale of Two Europes

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European sovereign wealth fund dealsIn terms where sovereign wealth funds and large pensions directly invest, there exist two Europes. In the North, wealth funds are comfortable investing directly. These institutional investors still utilize external managers and commit massive amounts of capital to private funds. Analyzing the Iberian Peninsula and across to Italy, these pension and sovereign investors have a preference investing directly in real, tangible assets – such as infrastructure and office properties. Within this realm, often wealth funds partner with local groups and work through domestic financial intermediaries. Southern Europe has posed challenges for some sovereign wealth funds. The New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZSF) is in a legal dispute with Portugal’s central bank over a significant debt investment, while Greece is facing a pending default.

Sovereign Wealth Fund Trends

According to our research, sovereign wealth funds and large public institutional investors have chosen to invest a clear majority of their capital directly into the United Kingdom in the last twelve months from March 31, 2015. The UK takes the top position in Europe for inbound direct investment by public institutional investors, totaling US$ 28.4 billion in the Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database. Primarily looking at sovereign wealth funds for the same 12-month period, US$ 21.1 billion was invested in the UK. Specifically, sovereign funds have been drawn to institutional-quality real estate in London and other metropolitan areas. When thinking about sovereign funds investing in London properties, many professionals highlight the Qatar Investment Authority – Canary Wharf transaction. Yet, there is a property deal that didn’t receive ample coverage from financial media back in August 2014. The Crown Estate, the entity that manages property owned by the Queen of England, partnered with Gingko Tree Investment Ltd, a sovereign wealth enterprise nested under China’s SAFE Investment Company, to acquire Fosse Shopping Park. The property is a shopping center in Leicester – the transaction amounted to £345.5 million.

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Source: SWFI – Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database -www.swftransaction.com

SWFI First Read, September 19, 2018

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QIA Eyes Investment in Chinese Lender Lufax

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is in talks about a possible investment into Shanghai-based Lufax, one of China’s largest online lenders. The seller of the possible stake is China’s Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. Ltd. Lufax’s official name is Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange Co. Ltd.

Wealth Funds Back Hotpot Giant

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Japanese Government Capital Provides Initial Life for Texas Bullet Train

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Dallas-based Texas Central Partners, LLC is the developer of a proposed high-speed rail system, dubbed the Texas Bullet Train, between Dallas and Houston. Project costs are estimated between US$ 12 billion to US$ 15 billion. The developer secured US$ 300 million in project loans from Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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DOJ Investing Tesla Over Musk Comments

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is conducting a fraud investigation over Tesla as its CEO Elon Musk made public statements on twitter. This is a criminal probe. In addition, earlier, SWFI reported the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is conducting a civil inquiry into Elon Musk regarding his statements.

This all surrounds Musk tweeting in August that he was thinking of taking Tesla private and had “funding secured” for the transaction. Both government authorities are seeing if Musk misled investors and violated federal securities laws with his public statements.

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