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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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GIC Buys Large Stake in Nordic Aviation Capital

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Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, a yield-hungry sovereign investor, invested in Denmark-based Nordic Aviation Capital A/S, becoming a significant minority shareholder. Other shareholders in Nordic Aviation Capital include EQT VI Limited fund, KIRKBI Invest (wealth origins tied to Legos), and Martin Møller, the founder of Nordic Aviation Capital. EQT VI will remain the largest shareholder of Nordic Aviation Capital. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Trump Wants Pharma Companies to Disclose Drug Prices in Advertisements

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U.S. President Trump is progressing on plans to mandate pharmaceutical companies to reveal their prices in drug advertisements. “The drug industry remains resistant to providing real transparency around their prices, including the sky-high list prices that many patients pay,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “So while the pharmaceutical industry’s action today is a small step in the right direction, we will go further.”

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department would require pharmaceutical companies to include drugs’ sticker prices in their video advertisements. This would be similar to how drug companies disclose the laundry list of side effects.

Increasingly, sovereign funds like Temasek Holdings have backed mid-stage pharmaceutical companies and other therapies, while market investors like Norway’s GPFG have large holdings in listed pharmaceutical companies.

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Kazatomprom Treads Closer to IPO

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Kazatomprom is the world’s biggest uranium producer, accounting for around 20% of production market share. The company is moving forward on floating up to a 25% company stake for its planned initial public offering in London and Astana, Kazakhstan. Kazatomprom’s IPO plans are subject to market conditions. The global market price of uranium generated significant price gains year-to-date through almost three quarters. So far, during 2018, the uranium spot price has moved from US$ 20 per pound to US$ 27 per pound.

Kazatomprom’s sole shareholder is Samruk-Kazyna. Samruk-Kazyna would retain at least a 75% stake in the company.

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Credit Suisse and JPMorgan are joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the share offering. China International Capital Corporation, Halyk Finance, and Mizuho International plc were joint bookrunners.

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