Sovereign Wealth Funds -- From Villains to White Knights?

Implications for Western Governments and Financial Institutions

London, UK - 8th April 2008, 11:58 GMT

Dear ATCA Colleagues

[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]

It was immensely valuable to participate in the recent Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF) summit jointly organised by the OECD and the City of London. The subject of SWFs is increasingly significant and includes several thorny issues. We are grateful to the distinguished ATCA contributor, John Willman, UK Business Editor, Financial Times, for his welcome submission to initiate this crucial Socratic dialogue.

In regard to the immediate re-capitalisation issues facing large financial institutions and the role of SWFs, John points out, "the first big rescue from SWFs came in November when Citigroup of the US raised USD 7.5bn from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. In December, Switzerland's UBS raised CHF 11bn from the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and CHF 2bn from a Saudi Arabian investor. It was followed by Morgan Stanley, which raised USD 5bn from China Investment Corporation. Just before Christmas, Singapore's Temasek agreed to invest USD 4.4bn in Merrill Lynch shares with an option to buy another USD 600m by the end of March. And as already mentioned, there was the USD 5bn invested in Citigroup and Merrill by the Kuwait Investment Authority."

Dear DK and Colleagues

Re: Sovereign Wealth Funds -- From Villains to White Knights? -- Implications for Western Governments and Financial Institutions

A quick check on the Factiva media database shows that the first mention of sovereign wealth funds in the business press was in late 2006. But it was less than a year ago that the funds really impinged on the public consciousness, with all but 11 of the 4,926 mentions revealed by my search coming after April 1, 2007.

[CONTINUES] [ATCA Membership]

John Willman

John Willman was appointed UK Business Editor of the Financial Times in April 2006, with responsibility for a 15-strong team of specialist industrial reporters and the FT's unique network of British regional correspondents. Joining the FT in 1991, he has held several positions, including chief leader-writer, banking editor, consumer industries editor, features editor and public policy editor. His first jobs in journalism were on Which? magazine and Assessment. Before that, he was an economics teacher. In the Business Journalist of the Year awards in March 2002, John was named the winner in the banking category. He was Financial Journalist of the Year at the 2001 British Press Awards and winner of the Norwich Union Healthcare/Medical Journalists' Association Awards in 1998. John has written and contributed to several books, including the annual Lloyds TSB Tax Guide, The Which? Guide to Planning and Conservation, The Major Effect and A Better State of Health. He has extensive broadcast experience and has appeared frequently on BBC TV and radio, Sky and CNN. Married and with three children, John graduated from Cambridge University in 1971 with a first-class degree in social and political sciences.


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