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UK Osborne Keen on Shale Gas-Backed Sovereign Wealth Fund

George Osborne, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, commented on BBC Radio 4 that shale gas extraction revenues could be held in a sovereign wealth fund. The UK is looking at ways to lower its dependence on oil imports, while creating a savings vehicle from taxable earnings, like its northern neighbor Norway.

Osborne said, “That’s a way of making sure this money is not squandered on day-to-day spending but invested in the long-term economic health of the north of England to create jobs and investment.”

The proposal is going to be argued in the UK House of Lords. In late October, Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, a Tory peer, proposed an amendment to the UK infrastructure bill.

According to the British Geological Survey, there are estimates of 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas across the north of England. However, according to the 2013 “The Carboniferous Bowland Shale Gas Study”, the “assessment of shale gas resources in the UK is in its infancy.”

Updated News – DECC – November 10th

In addition, on November 10th, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) had announced plans to draft up a sovereign wealth fund with future revenues from the extraction of shale gas. This decision is in support of Her Majesty’s Treasury.

In a press release, UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey summarized, “The sovereign wealth fund is about storing the financial benefits of shale production and putting it towards a low-carbon energy future. This is part of a broader strategy to strengthen the UK’s security of supply in a cost-effective way for future generations.”

UNICEF and NBIM to Host Meetings on Children’s Human Rights

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), a United Nations programme headquartered in New York City, has partnered with Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) to facilitate a series of meetings between companies to discuss issues surrounding children’s human rights.

According to the news release, “the network will facilitate dialogue between leading brands and retailers in the garment and footwear industry to strengthen children’s rights.”

NBIM is invested in many listed companies and have invited them to join a network to tackle these issues. Over the next two years, the organizations plan to hold three workshops as well as quarterly meetings surrounding these issues.

“Over time, we hope and expect that the network will contribute to improved market practices among companies and greater respect for children’s rights,” says Carine Smith Ihenacho, Global Head of Ownership Strategies, in a NBIM press release.

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SouthGobi’s CEO Arrested, CIC Struggles with Investment

The China Investment Corporation (CIC) has long struggled with its investments in coal assets, specifically in globally-listed coal miner SouthGobi Resources Ltd, which operates its flagship coal mine in Mongolia. In November 2009, CIC and SouthGobi Resources inked a convertible debenture deal. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Qatar Central Bank Deals with MSCI

MSCI, a stock index company whose benchmarks influence investor behavior, has tremendous indirect power impacting the stock markets of smaller economies. In 1988, MSCI released its emerging markets index, a now-widely-used benchmark for many institutional investors wanting access to growth markets. China and South Korea make up the majority of the benchmark, but smaller economies such as Poland, Chile and even Qatar make up other pieces of it.

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

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