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CIC’s Zhou Says U.S. Should Spend Much More on Infrastructure

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Bloomberg reports, “U.S. infrastructure-spending plans are “too little, too late” and should be increased in preference to quantitative easing, said Zhou Yuan, head of asset allocation at China’s $300 billion sovereign wealth fund. Proposed spending of about $500 billion over six years on infrastructure should be doubled, Zhou said in an interview on Oct. 30.

China Investment Corp. may invest, and wouldn’t expect to own completed projects, he said. “Infrastructure of this kind will serve to provide more jobs” than further quantitative easing, Zhou said in New York, while attending a conference hosted by the Chinese Finance Association. Low interest rates in the U.S. are his “top concern,” he said.

Congress has yet to approve the proposed $500 billion of spending on highways and transit. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Oct. 12 he hoped Congress would make the plan a priority next year. Beijing-based CIC was created in September 2007, funded by a $200 billion allocation backed by China’s foreign reserves. Zhou said the fund has depleted its cash to the point where it’s seeking more government money. About 8.6 percent of the portfolio was in cash as of June 9, according to Executive Vice President Jesse Wang. Cash and equivalents were 32 percent of holdings at the end of 2009, according to its annual report.

“We are expecting continued injections,” Zhou said. “The form, quantity and structure remain to be determined.””

Source: Bloomberg

RDIF and Aggreko Reveal Strategic Partnership on Microgrids

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The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Glasgow-based Aggreko plc, a listed company that provides power, heating and cooling, signed a deal to cooperate on the development of microgrids. The parties plan to invest in the construction of facilities that will provide uninterrupted power supply and temperature control to industrial enterprises and utilities in the Russian regions. Aggreko operates one of its 6 global hubs in Tyumen, Western Siberia, through an entity called Aggreko Evraziya, OOO. In 2017, Aggreko plc acquired Younicos, a company specialized in the development of modular batteries and Microgrids control solutions.

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China and Russia Buy Up More Physical Gold

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The worst fears of the Federal Reserve may be coming true. The barbarous relic is once again offering some resistance to Fed policy as it maintains its uptrend from mid-November, and is being snapped up from central banks worldwide. Former Fed chairman Paul Volcker shared the central bank view that “Gold was the enemy.” If so, the enemy is gaining ground. China’s gold reserves quietly grew from December 2018 to February 2019. The People’s Bank of China disclosed in February 2019 that it increased its gold reserves by 10 tonnes that month, following purchases of 11.8 tonnes in January 2019, and 9.95 tonnes in December 2018. Goldman Sachs has listed central bank purchasing as the reason for the uptrend. Goldman Sachs expects to see gold at US$ 1,400 over the next six months, which would lift it well above its long-held resistance at US$ 1,350. China’s gold holdings are now US$ 79.5 billion. China, which is emphasizing diversification from the U.S. dollar, has been a fan of precious metals for years, and it has been encouraging its citizens to purchase gold and silver for a decade, when previous controls on precious metals were done away with. Now anyone in China can trade gold internationally with the swipe of a card.

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AP1 Selects Approved Managers for Emerging Market Equities Mandate

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Sweden’s AP1 chose 14 external fund managers for its 45.3 billion SEK allocation to emerging market equities. These are approved managers for AP1, but not all of them will manage money for this mandate.

The managers selected are:
Aberdeen Standard Investments
BlackRock
First State Investments
Fisher Asset Management (Fisher Investments)
GMO
GQG Partners
JP Morgan Asset Management
KBI Global Investors
Legal & General Investment Management
RBC Global Asset Management (part of Royal Bank of Canada)
Robeco
TOBAM
UBS Asset Management
Wellington Management

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