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What is Going on at Anbang, as Former Chair is Prosecuted?

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Wu Xiaohui, former chairman of China’s now government-controlled Anbang Insurance Group Co., has pled guilty and requested leniency from Shanghai’s No.1 Intermediate People’s Court for allegedly defrauding investors of some US$ 10.3 billion using forged financial records and corporate data to mislead the country’s insurance regulators and oversell its products to the public, crimes he now says he regrets. Wu’s trial, which began and ended over the course of a single day, is his first appearance in public since his detainment by police last June.

The insurance tycoon’s plea, posted late March 28, 2018 on the court’s official Weibo account, is an about-face from proceedings earlier that same day, in which Wu suggested he would fight the charges. A date has not yet been set for his verdict. Should he be convicted – and those who find themselves facing prosecutors in China almost always are – Wu could face a lifetime in prison. On April 2, 2018, it was reported by various media that Chinese prosecutors believed Wu did not deserve leniency and that he threatened national financial security. What kind of impact that would have on his embattled company’s already precarious financial position remains to be seen.

The Anbang Insurance Portfolio

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Saudi and Other Gulf Country Bonds to Join JPMorgan Emerging Market Bond Index

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In a boost for Gulf-based debt, JPMorgan is adding their debt compositions to two influential emerging market bond indexes. These emerging market indexes are the most widely tracked among asset managers in the industry. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar are being added to the J.P. Morgan EMBI Global Diversified Index and the EMBI Global, starting January 31, 2019. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Central Bank of Nigeria Reveals Plan for New National Micro-Finance Bank

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced plans for a new national micro-finance bank. The proposed bank will promote small and medium enterprises.

CBN’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, noted that the bank will partner with the Bankers Committee, the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, and the Nigerian Postal Service. Emefiele laid out the vision for the bank in his remarks in Abuja: “The bank will serve as an efficient channel for the disbursement and monitoring of key intervention funds by the CBN.” Nigeria’s micro-finance bank will be focused on meeting financial inclusion targets, promoting financial stability within the country, and fostering widespread economic growth.

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Mergermarket Gets Ready to be Sold

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Private equity firm BC Partners hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to advise on the sales of Acuris. Acuris is a collection of financial news and data sites, which includes Mergermarket, Dealreporter, and Debtwire. In 2017, BC Partners sold around a 30% stake in GIC Private Limited.

Before the rebranding to Acuris, Mergermarket was part of The Financial Times Group until 2013 when it was sold off to BC Partners.

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