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OUTFLOWS: Ashmore Group Struggles in Current Environment

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London-based Ashmore Group plc, an asset manager with a heavy focus on emerging markets, has reported a 10.7% loss in assets under management (AUM) from September 30, 2014 to December 31, 2014. The asset manager took a loss amongst all themes, with their alternatives strategy taking the largest hit at 41% loss in assets under management. However, the loss in alternatives was significantly influenced by the disposal of Ashmore’s interest in a Chinese real estate joint venture. In June 2010, Ashmore acquired a 39% stake in Everbright ALAM (renamed to Everbright Ashmore), a business focused on investing in Chinese real estate, from China Everbright Limited.

The sell-off in emerging market stocks has perpetuated outflows for the fund manager.Ashmore CEO Mark Coombs commented on the recent outflows, “Weaker commodity prices, US dollar strength and increased price volatility impacted upon Emerging Markets during the quarter, although the diverse range of return opportunities in the asset class continued to show through.”

Ultimately, uncertainty over Federal Reserve rate increases have added to present anxiety among investors; however Coombs believes, “Emerging Markets’ fundamentals remain sound and previous uncertainties, such as election cycles, have abated.”

CIC Sells 10% Logicor Stake to Blackstone Fund

The China Investment Corporation (CIC) is selling a 10% stake of in European warehouse firm Logicor Ltd to a real estate fund managed by The Blackstone Group. Furthermore, CIC also hired Blackstone to oversee and manage Logicor’s warehouses and logistic properties portfolio.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Fintech Affirm Raises $200 Million in Series E Led By Singapore’s GIC

Affirm Inc., a financial technology firm which provides instant loans to consumers as an alternative to credit cards for their online shopping, has raised US$ 200 million in a Series E round lead by Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, with participation from Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Caffeinated Capital, and Ribbit Capital. The new infusion of capital brings the San Francisco-based company’s total funding to US$ 450 million and a reported valuation of US$ 2 billion.

The company is founded by Max Levchin, a co-founder of PayPal (part of the PayPal mafia, dubbed by the tech press). Max Levchin is also an advisory board member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFSB) in the United States.

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CHANGE: Saudi Arabia to Re-Open Movie Theaters, PIF Inks MoU with AMC

The Saudi Arabian government is ending its 35-year ban on cinemas. Next year, the government will allow cinemas to open. This watershed moment provides opportunities for entertainment companies to invest in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region.

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