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TREND: More Direct Sovereign Wealth Money Pouring Into BRIC Countries

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Sovereign wealth funds are plowing more money into (Brazil, Russia, India and China) BRIC nations, despite economic and political headwinds in emerging markets. Proprietary data from the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute shows that more direct sovereign fund investment for 2014 is funneling into BRIC countries compared to similar quarters in 2013. According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database, for the first two quarters of 2013, about US$ 4.37 billion of direct sovereign wealth fund investment was allocated toward BRIC countries. For the first two quarters of 2014, BRIC countries received about US$ 4.62 billion. Furthermore, second quarter figures for 2014 are not fully counted for in the database. The 5.7% increase in BRIC direct sovereign wealth fund investment from those similar quarters indicates that sovereign funds remain tepidly optimistic in these dynamic growth markets. This is on the backstop of tightening economic sanctions from the West against Russia, bad loans on the books of Indian banks, real estate bubbles in China and growing economic disparity in Brazil. This is countered with optimism of India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Putin’s clearing of troops from Ukraine’s borders, increasing the possibility of easing economic tension.

In 2013, sovereign wealth funds directly invested US$ 18.5 billion in BRIC countries compared to US$ 11.3 billion in 2012.

Sovereign Wealth Fund Direct Transactions into BRIC Countries – Billions USD

Some recent trends for 2014 describe the onset of Chinese financial and consumer companies attracting sovereign wealth capital, especially from Singapore, the Gulf and Norway (each having an office in China). CITIC Pacific Limited’s capital raise attracted multiple sovereign wealth funds and large institutional investors. Temasek’s investment in India’s Star Agriwarehousing shows the attractiveness of public investor capital in select sectors of the country. In addition, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has been able to lure several sovereign wealth funds on some major deals such as the Ust-Luga LPG Terminal Port transaction.

Sovereign wealth funds have been advocating for increased foreign investor quotas in several emerging markets such as China and India. In May 2014, China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) gave the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) an additional US$ 500 million in QFII quota. In 2013, sovereign wealth funds directly invested US$ 18.5 billion in BRIC countries compared to US$ 11.3 billion in 2012.

Saudi Arabia Sends Second Installment of Aid to Pakistan

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On December 14, 2018, Pakistan received its second installment of the US$ 3 billion in aid promised from Saudi Arabia on October 23, 2018. The US$ 1 billion given on December 14th boosted the foreign reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan, which went from US$ 7.2 billion to US$ 8.2 billion. The first installment was given on November 23, 2018. The last installment is expected to occur in January 2019.

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White House Nominates Heath Tarbert for CFTC Chairman

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The White House announced Heath P. Tarbert will be nominated to serve as Commissioner and Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Tarbert currently serves as Assistant Secretary for International Markets at the U.S. Treasury Department. Before joining the U.S. Treasury, Tarbert was a Partner at law firm Allen & Overy. Tarbert was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for his current Treasury post at 87 (yes) to 8 (no).

Upon Senate confirmation, Tarbert’s CFTC term would start on April 14, 2019 and last for five years. Tarbert is taking over from J. Christopher Giancarlo whose term ends in April 2019. Tarbert will need a U.S. Senate confirmation to take the head CFTC post.

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KIA Could Sell Stake in North Sea Energy Business

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The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), through its unit Wren House Investment Management, is nearing a deal to sell a 40% stake in its North Sea energy business to JPMorgan Asset Management. In July 2018, KIA closed on a deal to acquire oil and gas pipeline firm North Sea Midstream Partners from ArcLight Capital.

More details to follow –

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