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Push for open SWFs risks investment shift

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According to the Reuters, “Leading sovereign funds formed the International Working Group of Sovereign Wealth Funds in 2008, announcing a set of 24 principles and best practices, known as the Santiago Principles, last October. The group — whose members include the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Singapore, China, Korea, Russia and Norway — meets once a year to exchange views on issues of common interest and the next gathering is due in October in Baku, Azerbaijan. Gary Smith, head of central bank, supranational and SWF business at BNP Paribas Investment Partners, warns that an excessive push for transparency, coupled with recent poor performance, could lower the risk appetite of SWFs and encourage them to favor safer instruments such as bonds.

‘Following the whole push toward transparency, funds opened themselves up for a monitoring process which did not exist,’ Smith said.

‘We have transparency problems for them. The consequences are that these guys are being marked to market on a daily basis by domestic constituents. It’s uncomfortable, particularly when the assets under management shrink.’

Sponsoring governments therefore need to spell out the mandate of their SWFs with a clearer investment horizon — thereby allowing them to ride out short-term portfolio fluctuations and protecting them from domestic criticism.

‘Obviously we believe transparency is a good thing. The problem of transparency is — daily performance, daily this, daily that — that we create an obsession which often detracts from what you are trying to achieve from a particular portfolio,’ said John Green, global head of business development at Investec.

‘There should be governance structures, transparency, disclosure but you don’t want to drive the investment strategies through public opinion,” said Green, whose clients include African official institutions.'”

read more: Reuters

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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