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Greenspan Says Hong Kong’s Yam Was Right to Buy Stocks in 1998

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Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who in 1998 criticized Hong Kong’s central bank for purchasing $15 billion in stocks during the Asian financial crisis, now calls it a savvy move. “It turned out that his timing was exquisite,” Greenspan said, referring to Joseph Yam, who plans to retire Oct. 1 after 16 years as chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

“It was a risky action, but he pulled it off,” as share prices rose for several years, the former Fed chief said in a telephone interview today. “I wouldn’t recommend that as a general rule for central banks.” Yam, 60, bought the shares 11 years ago in a successful effort to defend Hong Kong’s dollar. Greenspan told the House Banking Committee in September 1998 that the strategy would fail and erode “some of the extraordinary credibility” of the HKMA.

read more: Bloomberg

GIC Sells Arizona Biltmore to Blackstone

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Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, part of the Blackstone Group, acquired the 740-room Arizona Biltmore hotel, located in Phoenix, for US$ 403.4 million. The deal closed on April 20, 2018.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Mubadala Acquires Stake in Growing Hedge Fund Phoenician Capital

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Mubadala Investment Company, through its unit Mubadala Capital, purchased a minority stake Phoenician Capital, LLC. Although terms and size of the deal were not disclosed, the agreement grants Mubadala Capital rights to invest in a fund managed by the New York-based firm, which generated respective returns of 40.8% and 33.0% in 2016 and 2017, against benchmarks of 12.0% and 21.8% for the S&P 500. The hedge fund runs the Phoenician Offshore Fund Ltd.

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Large Asset Managers Continue to Move Operations Out of California

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In the 2010s, Fisher Investments, an investment firm run by Ken Fisher, moved a large number of employees from the Woodside and San Mateo campuses to a town called Camas in Washington, near Portland. Vanguard has a large operational presence in Arizona, while Charles Schwab Corporation has expanded its technology operations and client services in places like Denver, Dallas, Austin and Phoenix. Dimensional Fund Advisors moved its headquarters in 2008 from Santa Monica, California to Austin.

While asset managers reap profits and try to lower employee head count costs, looking to fly-over country seems appealing.

The Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), part of the Allianz family, selected Austin, Texas as its new office to hire more client services and technology talent. The PIMCO Austin office will open later in 2018. PIMCO is headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with an office in New York City.

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