Energy dominated the sovereign wealth fund news.
Norway’s $870 billion state-owned fund is
coping with the fallout from a parliamentary vote on June
5, which saw the country’s lawmakers ban the
fund from holding shares in coal-related businesses.
Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the arm of the
central bank that manages the Government Pension Fund Global
be forced to sell its holdings in companies that derive 30
percent or more of their revenue from coal mining or the
burning of coal for energy generation.
NBIM may consequently look to shift more of its assets into
cleaner energy sources, as two of its peers did this week.
Masdar, the alternative energy subsidiary of Abu Dhabi's
$61 billion Mubadala Development Co.
reportedly forming a joint venture with German utilities
group RWE to invest in renewables.
RWE, Germany's second largest utility, is looking to
reduce its exposure to conventional energy sources. Masdar,
on the other hand, aims to build up its European presence:
It already holds stakes in two wind farms in the U.K.
Australia’s $89 billion Future Fund has reportedly led a $40
million funding round for Delhi-based off-grid solar energy
service provider Applied Solar Technologies (AST). Other
participants include existing AST shareholders, venture
capital firms Bessemer Venture Partners and Capricorn
Investment Group, both with headquarters in New York, and
International Finance Corp. (IFC), the Washington,
D.C.-based private equity arm of the World Bank
...And Dirty Too
While some funds are keen to promote the development of
low-carbon energy sources, others take a different view.
This week Qatar Holding, the direct investment arm of the
Qatar Investment Authority (QIA),
which has an estimated $304.4 billion in assets, bought a
19.9 percent stake in HK Electric Investments (HKEI), a
Hong Kong-based power generation group that forms part of
the conglomerate owned by Chinese billionaire Li
While HKEI is developing a wind farm in Hong Kong, most of
its energy is generated by coal-fired power
Asian Property Heats Up
Asian property continues to draw sovereign fund
interest. Singapore’s GIC, which Sovereign Wealth Center
estimates to have about $343 billion in assets, for
instance, looks set to increase its stake in Hong
Kong-based real estate developer Franshion Properties.
According to media reports, the fund will invest around
HK$1.2 billion ($149.6 million) when Franshion issues
shares this month, increasing its stake to 6.5 percent from
GIC is building on its existing Asian real estate
portfolio, which comprises prime Tokyo properties. The fund
paid ¥170 billion ($1.6 billion) for the Pacific
Century Place office building in central Tokyo last August.
Now Norway is now following GIC’s lead
— NBIM is reportedly ready to open a new office in
the Japanese capital as it seeks to invest in the
country’s real estate for the first
Singapore’s $177.2 billion state investor Temasek Holdings is reportedly
considering teaming up with a private equity firm to buy
Seoul-based Homeplus, which owns a chain of retail outlets.
Struggling U.K.-based retailer Tesco, which currently owns
the South Korean chain, has invited private equity firms,
including Washington, D.C.-based Carlyle Group and KKR
& Co., of New York, to bid for the unit, which is
valued at about $6 billion.
Those two firms, and others, are believed to be sounding
out Temasek to provide financial backing. It’s
likely that the investors are attracted to
Homeplus’ extensive portfolio of South Korean
real estate as well as its retail business.