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Asset Owners Tepidly Embrace Emerging Market Debt Again

Is it scarier investing in a double-digit yielding government bond from an emerging market or a negative-yielding sovereign bond from the West?

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2016 has been the year of sinking government bond yields. Satisfying income-starved asset owners such as pensions has become a major obstacle for both internal fund management and external fund managers. For the asset manager, this experience of low or negative bond yields, has spelled out fund manager redemptions in some cases. Fixed income giants such as PIMCO and Loomis Sayles have encountered mandate redemptions from mega institutional investors such as sovereign funds and pensions. Not to mention, factor-based bond and buy-and-hold bond strategies have gained favor in the world of developed market fixed income investing.

Increased Demand

A cadre of fixed interest asset managers are receiving some grace. According to SWFI Compass, an RFP and opportunity tracking service of SWFI, there has been a higher occurrence of emerging market debt RFPs and opportunities in recent months. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

CIC Sells 10% Logicor Stake to Blackstone Fund

The China Investment Corporation (CIC) is selling a 10% stake of in European warehouse firm Logicor Ltd to a real estate fund managed by The Blackstone Group. Furthermore, CIC also hired Blackstone to oversee and manage Logicor’s warehouses and logistic properties portfolio.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Fintech Affirm Raises $200 Million in Series E Led By Singapore’s GIC

Affirm Inc., a financial technology firm which provides instant loans to consumers as an alternative to credit cards for their online shopping, has raised US$ 200 million in a Series E round lead by Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, with participation from Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Caffeinated Capital, and Ribbit Capital. The new infusion of capital brings the San Francisco-based company’s total funding to US$ 450 million and a reported valuation of US$ 2 billion.

The company is founded by Max Levchin, a co-founder of PayPal (part of the PayPal mafia, dubbed by the tech press). Max Levchin is also an advisory board member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFSB) in the United States.

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CHANGE: Saudi Arabia to Re-Open Movie Theaters, PIF Inks MoU with AMC

The Saudi Arabian government is ending its 35-year ban on cinemas. Next year, the government will allow cinemas to open. This watershed moment provides opportunities for entertainment companies to invest in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region.

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