After a difficult month, Qatar Investment Authority
prepares to reshuffle its portfolio. Temasek Holdings and China
Investment Corp. agree to make new commitments to private
equity funds. London attracts yet more SWF capital.
QIA Eyes Glencore Assets, Sells Vinci Stake
It’s been a turbulent few weeks for the $334
billion Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). The
fund’s portfolio has been hit by plunging share
prices in two firms in which it owns big stakes: Swiss
conglomerate Glencore, which is struggling amid falling
commodities prices, and German car maker Volkswagen, which is
at the center of a scandal focused on emissions-testing
falsification in the U.S.
Ever the active investor, QIA is taking steps to reshuffle its
portfolio as its stock holdings shed billions in value. The
fund is reportedly interested in buying a minority stake in
Glencore's agriculture business, which the firm is selling to
raise capital and reduce its debts. Singapore’s
$343 billion GIC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment
Board are also vying for the shares.
QIA is also preparing to sell its 1.1 percent stake in
Paris-based construction giant Vinci for approximately
€380 million ($426 million), according to reports in the
French media. QIA's subsidiary Qatari Diar acquired a 5 percent
stake in Vinci in 2010 and has partnered with the firm on
several infrastructure joint ventures in Qatar. After the sale,
QIA will still own 3.9 percent of Vinci.
Singapore's $194 billion state investor Temasek Holdings is backing its venture
capital firm, Vertex Venture Holdings, with $600 million in a
bid to expand its global operations. Since its inception in
1988, Vertex has supported more than 350 start-ups, mainly in
the Pacific Rim, but it will now look further afield for
opportunities. Vertex's CEO Chua Kee Lock has identified
healthcare as a sector of particular interest.
The $746 billion China Investment Corp. is reportedly a
limited partner in the inaugural fund raised by Munich-based
private equity firm Asia-Germany Industrial Promotion Capital.
Henry Cai, the main promoter of the fund and a former banker
with Deutsche Bank China, said the firm raised $550 million in
its first fund closing, which it will use to invest in small-
and medium-sized German industrial companies that want to build
their presence in China.
London has attracted billions in investment from government
funds over the past few years — and the torrent of
cash flowing into the U.K. capital shows no sign of
New York-based private equity firm Global Infrastructure
Partners and Los Angeles-based distressed-debt specialist
OakTree Capital have invited bids of approximately £2
billion for London's City Airport, which business travellers
use to access the British capital's financial districts. Gingko
Tree Investments, the real estate and infrastructure arm of
China's $600 billion State Administration of Foreign Exchange
(SAFE), is reportedly joining forces with Australian
infrastructure giant Macquarie Group to submit an offer. A
rival bid is expected from a consortium including the $592
billion Kuwait Investment Authority, the $117
billion Ontario Teachers’ Pension
Plan and Hermes Infrastructure Management, the
infrastructure unit of London-based fund manager Hermes.
Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the arm of the
central bank that manages Norway’s $830 billion Government Pension Fund Global, announced
this week that it had bought the top two floors of Queensberry
House at 33 Savile Row, the building that also houses its
London office. NBIM now owns the entire £235 million
($355 million) property, which comprises a mixture of
residential and office space.
Two more funds have published their annual reports. The New Zealand Superannuation Fund disclosed
a return on investment of 14.64 percent over the
2014-’5 fiscal year, which ended on June 30,
bringing its overall assets to NZ$29.54 billion ($20 billion).
NZ Super separately published more recent performance figures
that revealed its investment portfolio lost 4.3 percent in
August. The fund’s assets stood at NZ$28.79
billion as of August 31.
The Fondo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) announced
that it managed $4.88 billion as of December 31, 2014. FSDEA
currently holds most of its portfolio (56 percent) in
fixed-income instruments but wants to build its allocation to
alternative assets, including private equity, real estate and