According to the AFP, “Agricultural Bank of China on Tuesday confirmed plans to raise a world-record 23.2 billion dollars in a dual initial public offering in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The last of China’s “big four” state banks to list said it would raise the money if the monster IPO is fully subscribed when it begins on Wednesday.
Major institutional investors including sovereign wealth funds have already expressed strong interest in the IPO, which is on course to surpass the previous record of 22 billion dollars set in 2006 by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). AgBank said Tuesday that it planned to raise 13.1 billion US dollars from its Hong Kong IPO, with a price range of 2.88-3.48 Hong Kong dollars (37-44 US cents) a share. Xiang Junbo, chairman of AgBank, said government efforts to boost growth in China’s depressed central and western regions would help the rural lender.
“The county area business will be one of our key profit drivers,” he told a press conference in Hong Kong on Tuesday. “(AgBank) is well positioned to capitalise on China’s next wave of growth.”
The bank, which has been criticised for the amount of bad loans on its books, has worked in recent years to chop that figure, Xiang said.
Agbank’s prospectus said its bad debt ratio dropped from 4.32 percent in 2008 to 2.91 percent in 2009.
“The bank has made substantial improvement in the last few years,” Xiang said, referring to its credit review procedures.
The newly released prospectus said AgBank booked a profit of 65 billion yuan (9.56 billion US dollars) in 2009, up from 51.45 billion yuan in 2008. It is forecasting a 2010 profit of 82.9 billion yuan. Xiang also said a stronger yuan — demanded by the United States and other trading nations which claim they have been hurt by an unfairly cheap Chinese currency — could be “positive” for AgBank.”
Read more: AFP
U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin revealed the United States is preparing more Turkey sanctions. This stems over the issues with an American pastor in Turkey. Turkey’s lira, has fallen to record lows recently.
The week before, U.S. President Trump announced the doubling of tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium to 50 and 20 percent, respectively. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called for a boycott of electronics products of the United States, which includes iPhones (a smartphone product of Apple).
Scott Keller returns to T. Rowe Price as head of global investment management services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa from January 1, 2019. Keller is currently at UBS Global Asset Management, working in the Asia Pacific region, heading efforts in the bank’s institutional and intermediary distribution. Keller joined UBS in 2014. Before UBS, Keller was at T. Rowe Price.
Scott Keller is replacing Peter Preisler at T. Rowe Price. Preisler exited T. Rowe Price in August 2017.
At UBS, Nick Trueman will replace Scott Keller.
Sovereign wealth funds are paying closer attention to the U.S. Federal Reserve as it enters fresh territory under Jay Powell. Powell’s decisions are impacting foreign exchange holdings globally, as central bankers adjust to a newer environment of policy normalization. The United States is not the only country raising interest rates. The Philippines, Argentina, Indonesia, India, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Pakistan are just some emerging market countries that have raise interest rates.
Global institutional investors like BlackRock are concerned that the U.S. dollar could grind higher. In times of increased geopolitical or financial tensions, the greenback is seen as a safe haven by many central banks, sovereign funds and foreign public funds. July marks the 110th month of expansion, a streak that is one year away from becoming the longest in U.S. history. Stronger economic data – with U.S. gross domestic product hitting 4.1% for the second quarter of 2018, rising interest rates, and bids to lower U.S. trade deficits, are making sovereign funds rethink asset allocation or at least shift more assets out of markets like Turkey, South Africa and Brazil. The Turkish lira fell further in August, prompting the country’s central bank to take drastic action. The fallen lira sent jitters across emerging markets and to banks in Southern Europe who have exposure to Turkey. What are sovereign wealth funds doing now?
On the fixed income front, sovereign funds are paying much closer attention to their government bond holdings, keeping a close eye on countries that rely heavily on external funding. Shorter duration bonds and inflation-linked debt can act as a safeguard against rising rates and inflation. Sovereign funds, like Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, are recognizing that global equity returns are less synchronized, thus there is a move to identify select countries and regions being conducted for strategic asset allocation for 2019 and beyond. A stronger greenback, positive U.S. corporate earnings, and rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China are becoming a boon for active equity managers and smart beta funds, as public funds are requesting enhanced levels of skills in navigating stock selection. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]
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