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MORE STIMULATION: ECB Contemplates Purchasing Corporate Bonds

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ecbThe European Central Bank (ECB) is contemplating on whether to purchase corporate bonds on the secondary market. On Tuesday, Reuters broke the story on the ECB’s consideration of corporate bond purchases. The central bank will most likely decide on the measure in December and if approved, bond purchases may begin in the first quarter of 2015. This move would augment the central bank’s private sector asset-purchasing initiative in a bid to pump up economic activity in the eurozone. Taking a page on quantitative easing (QE) measures from the U.S. and Japan, the ECB is attempting to raise the supply of money in the European economy. Last week, ECB executive board member Yves Mersch, former Governor of the Central Bank of Luxembourg, commented that large asset purchases by the ECB would expand the gap between rich and poor.

Boosting Europe

On October 20, the ECB began purchasing covered bonds and is targeted to be buying asset-backed securities later this year. Covered bonds are backed by a pool of loans such as mortgages. There is no targeted amount for the covered bond purchases. The central bank has been purchasing short-dated covered bonds from a swath of countries.

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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