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Sovereign Wealth Funds

Ontario First Nations groups form new sovereign wealth fund

One hundred twenty-nine First Nations native Canadian groups in Ontario have created a new joint sovereign wealth fund, said Bryan Hendry, spokesman for Chiefs of Ontario, which represents the First Nations groups.

The Ontario First Nations Sovereign Wealth Fund will be funded by C$29 million ($23 million) in seed capital from the Ontario government, Mr. Hendry said.

It will also hold the 14 million shares, or a 2.4% stake, in Ontario electric utility Hydro One that the 129 groups acquired from the provincial government for C$259 million in a deal that closed Tuesday, Mr. Hendry said.

Mr. Hendry said the First Nations groups over the next six months will be jointly working on an investment policy and asset allocation, as well as appointments of board members, a CEO and chief investment officer.

A headquarters for the new fund has not been determined, though Mr. Hendy said it most likely will be in Toronto.

The Hydro One deal was financed through a 25-year term loan from the province. The shares were pledged as security for the loan, according to a news release from the Ontario Energy Ministry. The deal was reached in an agreement-in-principle between the Ontario government and Chiefs of Ontario in July 2016, the news release said.