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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.

HKMA Intervenes to Support Currency Peg for First Time Since May 2018

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The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) intervened to defend its peg to the U.S. dollar. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Genoa Motorway Bridge Collapses

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The 51-year-old Genoa bridge death total has risen to 35 people. On August 14, 2018, a highway bridge, known as the Morandi Bridge, in the center of Genoa had collapsed in torrential rains. The roadway, which was built of reinforced concrete, fell as much as 45 meters. The cause of the collapse was under investigation, according to Angelo Borrelli, chief of the Civil Protection Department. A good number of Italy’s viaducts, galleries and bridges were built during the 1950s and 1960s. Italy-based Autostrade is a motorway operator controlled by Atlantia S.p.A. Autostrade was conducting maintenance work on the bridge. Autostrade said it had been strengthening the road foundations of the bridge.

The Italian Benetton family founded the Benetton Group S.p.A. fashion company in 1965. Sintonia SA is the Luxembourg financial holding company controlled by the Benetton family, which has about a 30.25% stake in Atlantia. Singapore’s GIC Private Limited owns 8.14% of Atlantia as of March 31, 2018. BlackRock holds a 5.12% ownership stake in Atlantia during the same time period.

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Bill Gross Can’t Save Janus Henderson

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Speculation is swirling that legendary bond king Bill Gross could be ousted from the fund he oversees at Janus Henderson (JHG). However, Janus Henderson CEO Dick Weil is firm in his belief that Gross is fit for the position, though he also stated that Gross has been performing in a way that was “challenging and disappointing.” Bloomberg’s Francine Lacqua suggested that Gross could “taint” the overall picture at JHG.

After acknowledging that Gross was struggling, Weil was quick to defend him, pointing to his successful 40 year career in the industry. Weil expects Gross to recover from his current investment woes “in time.” He went on to underscore his unshakable confidence in Gross, “Bill’s a terrific investor, and a terrific, strong player.” Gross, for his part, is said to have admitted to making “bad bets,” according to Weil. Weil was only recently chosen over contender Andrew Formica, his Co-CEO, to serve as sole CEO of the company. Australian-born Formica was dismissed by JHG’s board of directors. JHG’s single largest shareholder is Japanese life company Dai-Ichi Life.

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

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