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Russia’s NWF to Provide Capital to VTB Bank and Rosselkhozbank

Western sanctions have negatively affected Russia’s financial system. By denying Russian banks access to Western capital markets, Russia’s large banks and companies have had to pursue other avenues for capital needs. The Russian government has approved injecting 239 billion roubles (US$ 6.6 billion) in two state-owned banks.

Both banks will issue preferred shares to Russia’s National Welfare Fund (NWF). VTB Bank will receive 214 billion roubles, while Rosselkhozbank (Russian Agricultural Bank) will get 25 billion roubles. The VTB transaction is a bit different. The NWF will convert a 200 billion rouble sub-ordinated loan repaid by VTB into preferred shares.

The Russian government has 60.9% ownership of VTB and 100% ownership in Rosselkhozbank.

In addition, the Russian government is seeking whether to create a state-owned reinsurance company to lighten its dependence on foreign firms.

CIC Sells 10% Logicor Stake to Blackstone Fund

The China Investment Corporation (CIC) is selling a 10% stake of in European warehouse firm Logicor Ltd to a real estate fund managed by The Blackstone Group. Furthermore, CIC also hired Blackstone to oversee and manage Logicor’s warehouses and logistic properties portfolio.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Fintech Affirm Raises $200 Million in Series E Led By Singapore’s GIC

Affirm Inc., a financial technology firm which provides instant loans to consumers as an alternative to credit cards for their online shopping, has raised US$ 200 million in a Series E round lead by Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, with participation from Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Caffeinated Capital, and Ribbit Capital. The new infusion of capital brings the San Francisco-based company’s total funding to US$ 450 million and a reported valuation of US$ 2 billion.

The company is founded by Max Levchin, a co-founder of PayPal (part of the PayPal mafia, dubbed by the tech press). Max Levchin is also an advisory board member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFSB) in the United States.

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CHANGE: Saudi Arabia to Re-Open Movie Theaters, PIF Inks MoU with AMC

The Saudi Arabian government is ending its 35-year ban on cinemas. Next year, the government will allow cinemas to open. This watershed moment provides opportunities for entertainment companies to invest in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region.

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