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UK Roads for Sovereign Wealth Funds

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UK Prime Minister David Cameron

Sovereign wealth funds have an appetite for British infrastructure assets, including airports and sewage. UK Prime Minister David Cameron is trying to figure out options to improve funding of roads. The United Kingdom like many debt-ridden European countries has limited resources in public financing besides issuing more debt. Prime Minister Cameron is paving the way for a multibillion pound semi-privatization of trunk roads and motorways. Funding would be provided by sovereign wealth funds, public funds and other institutional investors to lease roads. Recently, George Osborne visited to China to persuade leaders there to invest in British infrastructure.

Already SWFs have purchase UK utility assets such as the China Investment Corporation and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s investment in Kemble Water which owns Thames Water.

Other options such as tolling have been looked at, as well as selling off assets completely rather than leasing. Leasing seems like the most cost effective option rather than a full scale sell off of roads.

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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