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GIC Seeds Singapore-based Nuvest Capital

Aje Saigal, a consultant at sovereign wealth fund Government of Singapore Investment Corp., is setting up Nuvest Capital, a fund that will target capital growth of 4 to 5 percent per year above inflation, a fund document seen by Reuters shows. GIC is seeding Nuvest Capital, which will manage the global multi-asset Nuvest Global Fund with an emphasis on emerging markets, Reuters wrote. The Singapore-based fund will be launched in early July, sources told Reuters.

(Reuters) – Aje Saigal, a consultant at sovereign wealth fund Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC) [GIC.UL], is setting up Nuvest Capital that targets capital growth of 4 to 5 percent per year above inflation, a fund document seen by Reuters shows.

GIC is seeding Nuvest Capital which will manage the global multi-asset Nuvest Global Fund with an emphasis on emerging markets, the document showed.

The Singapore-based fund will be launched in early July, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Nuvest’s Chief Investment Officer Saigal, who has spent his entire investment career at GIC since its inception 30 years ago, is supported by investment executives, including one from an Australian superannuation fund and the other from a Chicago-based multi-strategy global hedge fund.

The firm has hired former Barclays Global Investors and Vanguard executive Lee Yuit Chieng as chief operating officer, the document which did not mention the fund size showed.

The sources declined to disclose the start-up capital, but said the fund by Saigal, who was earlier a director of economics and investment strategy at the sovereign wealth fund, could scale up to $1 billion or more.

A GIC spokeswoman declined comment. Saigal could not immediately be reached for comment. The sources declined to be identified as the plan was private.

GIC, estimated by industry analysts as managing about $250 billion to $300 billion, is ranked the world’s eighth-biggest sovereign wealth fund by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, a U.S.-based research organisation.

GIC has backed funds in the past such as $300 million committed to a U.S. hedge fund for investing in real estate securities, and some managers have also moved out over the years to set up their own funds.

For example, Singapore-based quantitative investment firm Octagon Capital is majority owned by Nelson Chia and Lam Poh Min, both of whom previously worked for the GIC.

Saigal joined GIC in 1981 as an equities portfolio manager and became chief investment officer of global equities in 1990. Since 2003, he had been serving as director of investment policy and strategy, a position he left earlier this year in preparation to launch the fund.

GIC invests in external funds such as real estate, private equity, bond, index and hedge funds and also hands out mandates to external fund managers.

Absolute return strategies made up about 3 percent of its assets at the end of March 2011, according to its 2010/11 portfolio report.

(Reporting by Nishant Kumar in HONG KONG and Saeed Azhar in SINGAPORE; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

((nishant.kumar@thomsonreuters.com)(+852 2847 4064)(Reuters Messaging: nishant.kumar.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GIC/FUND

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