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Tory Peer Proposes Sovereign Wealth Fund Amendment to UK Infrastructure Bill

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, a Tory peer, proposed an amendment to the UK infrastructure bill. In it, Hodgson entails the formation of a soverign wealth fund being funded by shale gas revenue. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, could provide the UK with a boom in energy revenue.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Lord Hodgson issued the following statement:
“You could argue this is akin to an everlasting pension fund for UK plc. Norway has an extremely successful sovereign wealth fund and as a result Norwegian government bonds are some of the most sought after and highly rated in the world. A British sovereign wealth fund might not just help the country in the long run, it might also improve our financial stability in the short run.”

Proposed Clause – UK Sovereign Wealth Fund

Insert the following new Clause
“Revenue from shale gas: sovereign wealth fund:

    1. The Secretary of State may, by regulation, establish a sovereign wealth fund to receive and deploy revenue from the extraction and sale of shale gas.
    2. The regulations shall provide—
    a. that the fund shall receive no less than 50% of any revenue received by the United Kingdom Government from any activity connected with the extraction and sale of shale gas;
    b. that the assets of the fund shall be deployed to serve long term public objectives other than those connected with monetary and exchange rate policy;
    c. that the assets of the fund may be deployed in the United Kingdom or overseas;
    d. that no more than 4% of the assets of the fund may be paid out in any one year; and
    e. for the governance, independent oversight and transparent reporting of the activities of the fund.”

Source: Lords Amendments – UK Parliament – October 2014

Institutional Investors Remain Skeptical as Bitcoin Continues to Rise

Bitcoin has continued to rally over the past month – hitting a record US$ 8,224 in the early hours of November 20 – and institutional investors are beginning to take notice of the cryptocurrency’s increasing popularity. With a market value of more than US$ 130 billion, the digital currency has seen unprecedented growth of over 700% over the past year. But Bitcoin’s rise has also been marked by a number of volatile slumps, leaving institutional investors divided over its durability as a long-term store of value and wondering whether to get in on the action. Despite these headwinds, more than 100 hedge funds have been formed to trade in digital currencies.

Split Consensus on Wall Street

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3 Reasons Why Other Sovereign Funds Will Not Dump Oil Stocks

Norges Bank informed the country’s ministry of finance to recommend the wealth fund to remove oil and gas listed equities from the fund’s benchmark index. The central bank came to the conclusion that Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) would be less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil prices if the wealth fund was not invested in oil and gas listed equities. For some academics there are arguments that wealth funds should diversify away from their sources of wealth. Contradictory studies have demonstrated that wealth funds should support industries that enhance the country’s sources of wealth. For example, earlier on, Norway’s fossil fuel wealth was buoyed by increased capital investment to the oil sector to increase output, a pre-cursor to the wealth fund’s explosive growth.

1. Stock Performance
For some sovereign investors, investments in master limited partnership in oil and gas have been strong driver of returns, or even in smaller fossil fuel listed companies. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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GIC Financially Backs Innovation Precinct Project in Melbourne

Singapore’s GIC Private Limited acquired a majority interest in a joint project located in Melbourne, Australia. The joint project is between Sydney-based Lendlease, Australia-based Urbanest and GIC. In 2014, the project was labeled Carlton Connect Initiative with the goal of being an innovation hub.

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