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Institutional Investors Grow Nervous on Select EM Equity Allocations

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Institutional investors, such as sovereign funds and public pensions, are carefully tactically re-evaluating their large allocations toward emerging market equity funds, as some of these markets such as Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, and Indonesia, are under stressful economic times. Not all emerging market equity markets are losing interest from large public funds. India, China, and select sectors in Latin America continue to elicit capital from large public funds. According to the released September 2018 SWFI Global Asset Owner Survey, only 19.35% of respondents plan to overweight allocation into active emerging market equities in the next 12 months – giving a more bearish signal from the last survey. This is compared to the June 2018 survey which tallied 31.58% of respondents planning to overweight these markets.

Fund Managers Feeling the Heat

T. Rowe Price Group Inc. is closing the T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Stock Fund (PRMSX), and all related funds, as of Tuesday, September 4, 2018. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

China’s Central Bank Creates Macro-Prudential Management Bureau

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The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) created a new department to oversee and attempt to eliminate financial risks to the system. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Like its U.S. Peers, Legg Mason Seeks to Trim Costs

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Legg Mason Inc., a Baltimore-based asset manager, has announced a reduction in workforce as is prepares to streamline operations and save money. Legg Mason’s leadership commented that assets under management fell 5 % year-on-year. Legg Mason currently manages US$ 727.2 billion (as of December 31, 2018), which is down from the previous US$ 767.2 billion. CEO Joseph A. Sullivan noted that a global operating platform will centralize fund administration, IT, and other departments that work with affiliates. Sullivan did not discuss the number of layoffs expected, or specify which areas would be impacted. Legg Mason disclosed they planned to close a quarter of its exchange-traded funds in March 2019. These three ETFs include a U.S. strategy, emerging markets, and a developed markets strategy outside the U.S. However, these funds run around US$ 28 million in assets under management.

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

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Monetary Authority of Singapore Establishes Corporate Governance Advisory Committee

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On February 12, 2019, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revealed the creation of a Corporate Governance Advisory Committee (CGAC). CGAC was formed to advocate for good corporate governance practices among listed companies in Singapore. Bobby Chin, Director of Singapore Telecommunications Limited, will be the Chair of CGAC. According to a MAS press release, “CGAC will identify current and potential risks to the quality of corporate governance in Singapore.”

MAS formed the Corporate Governance Council (Council) in February 2017. The Council was dissolved after it pushed out a publication of its final recommendations on August 6, 2018.

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