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Thailand No Longer Pursuing Sovereign Wealth Fund

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The Bank of Thailand and Thailand Ministry of Finance have agreed to not use the country’s foreign reserves to create a sovereign wealth fund. There was a significant internal debate among Thailand’s governmental financial bodies on if it was feasible to create a sovereign wealth fund. Including Thailand, the majority of Asian countries intervene to lower the value of their currency. By practicing currency intervention, Thailand and other countries that follow a similar activity, usually hastily accumulate international reserves.

Central banks are known to be conservative “investors” and usually invest in assets with low default risk and high liquidity, thus yielding very low returns. This negative carry has been pushing some central banks into yearly losses.

Left and right, Thailand observes its Asian peers creating sovereign wealth funds to deal with excess foreign reserves.

Thailand Finance Minister Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala wanted to see if it was possible to invest around US$ 180 billion in foreign reserves in higher-yielding assets. The big concern was government interference or meddling in the central bank over the excess foreign exchange assets.

Saudi and Other Gulf Country Bonds to Join JPMorgan Emerging Market Bond Index

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In a boost for Gulf-based debt, JPMorgan is adding their debt compositions to two influential emerging market bond indexes. These emerging market indexes are the most widely tracked among asset managers in the industry. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar are being added to the J.P. Morgan EMBI Global Diversified Index and the EMBI Global, starting January 31, 2019. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Central Bank of Nigeria Reveals Plan for New National Micro-Finance Bank

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced plans for a new national micro-finance bank. The proposed bank will promote small and medium enterprises.

CBN’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, noted that the bank will partner with the Bankers Committee, the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, and the Nigerian Postal Service. Emefiele laid out the vision for the bank in his remarks in Abuja: “The bank will serve as an efficient channel for the disbursement and monitoring of key intervention funds by the CBN.” Nigeria’s micro-finance bank will be focused on meeting financial inclusion targets, promoting financial stability within the country, and fostering widespread economic growth.

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Mergermarket Gets Ready to be Sold

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Private equity firm BC Partners hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to advise on the sales of Acuris. Acuris is a collection of financial news and data sites, which includes Mergermarket, Dealreporter, and Debtwire. In 2017, BC Partners sold around a 30% stake in GIC Private Limited.

Before the rebranding to Acuris, Mergermarket was part of The Financial Times Group until 2013 when it was sold off to BC Partners.

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