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CalPERS Risk-Factor Approach to Asset Returns

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peopleHistorically, investors have heavily relied on the equity risk premium to reach annual return targets. The confidence of this model has been tested. Mean-variance optimization models did not help out asset owners during times of catastrophe. Like many large institutional investors, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) is rethinking its approach to asset allocation and portfolio diversification. During the global financial crisis, both bonds and stocks dropped – the correlation between the two major asset classes turned positive. This paradigm shift from traditional asset classes to a risk-factor stance is still new territory. There is no industry standard or consensus on risk factors.

Economic Periods Length Prized Factors – Park Alpha
Decade of Lowered Inflation 1982-1991 Inflation
Rising Bull Market 1992-1999 Credit, Liquidity, Growth
Post-Tech Hangover 2000-2003 Real Interest Rates, Liquidity
Housing Boom 2004-2007 Growth, Political
Great Recession 2008-2011 Real Interest Rates
The Long Road to Recovery 2012-Present

 
Major events and crises force board members and investment staff to rethink their investment model. The theory of risk-factor allocation is that if a single risk factor harms a portfolio, the impact is confined within allocation to that risk factor. Investment consultants tend to look at average asset class returns. On the other hand, the risk-factor approach addresses the cause rather than effect. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

GIC Buys Large Stake in Nordic Aviation Capital

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Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, a yield-hungry sovereign investor, invested in Denmark-based Nordic Aviation Capital A/S, becoming a significant minority shareholder. Other shareholders in Nordic Aviation Capital include EQT VI Limited fund, KIRKBI Invest (wealth origins tied to Legos), and Martin Møller, the founder of Nordic Aviation Capital. EQT VI will remain the largest shareholder of Nordic Aviation Capital. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Trump Wants Pharma Companies to Disclose Drug Prices in Advertisements

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U.S. President Trump is progressing on plans to mandate pharmaceutical companies to reveal their prices in drug advertisements. “The drug industry remains resistant to providing real transparency around their prices, including the sky-high list prices that many patients pay,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “So while the pharmaceutical industry’s action today is a small step in the right direction, we will go further.”

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department would require pharmaceutical companies to include drugs’ sticker prices in their video advertisements. This would be similar to how drug companies disclose the laundry list of side effects.

Increasingly, sovereign funds like Temasek Holdings have backed mid-stage pharmaceutical companies and other therapies, while market investors like Norway’s GPFG have large holdings in listed pharmaceutical companies.

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Kazatomprom Treads Closer to IPO

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Kazatomprom is the world’s biggest uranium producer, accounting for around 20% of production market share. The company is moving forward on floating up to a 25% company stake for its planned initial public offering in London and Astana, Kazakhstan. Kazatomprom’s IPO plans are subject to market conditions. The global market price of uranium generated significant price gains year-to-date through almost three quarters. So far, during 2018, the uranium spot price has moved from US$ 20 per pound to US$ 27 per pound.

Kazatomprom’s sole shareholder is Samruk-Kazyna. Samruk-Kazyna would retain at least a 75% stake in the company.

Advisors

Credit Suisse and JPMorgan are joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the share offering. China International Capital Corporation, Halyk Finance, and Mizuho International plc were joint bookrunners.

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