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Rio Tinto Group Scraps Chinalco Deal

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NY Times reports, “the Chinese government’s largest investment ever in a Western company, a proposed $19.5 billion stake in the Australian-British mining giant Rio Tinto Group, collapsed early Friday, dealing a blow both to China’s global corporate ambitions and to its efforts to gain clout in the natural resources market.

The board of Rio Tinto announced the decision after meeting in London on Thursday, saying the company had ended the deal it struck in February to sell the stake to China’s state-owned Aluminum Corporation of China, also known as Chinalco.

The board said in a statement early Friday that it had ended the deal with Chinalco and would raise about $20 billion by issuing new stock and forming a joint venture with its longtime rival, the Australian mining giant BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company.”

read more: NY Times

Should Pension Giants Still Back Low-Vol Strategies?

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As occidental central banks cautiously signal a retreat from loose monetary policy, will there be greater bouts of volatility in the near future? The low-volatility trade has worked like magic – post the global financial crisis.

The early February sell-off rankled the feathers of U.S. pension trustees, sending plausible-sounding studies in low-vol strategies to the toilet. CBOE’s Volatility Index, or VIX, closed high during the period of market mayhem. For CIOs, should the selling of volatility continue, or should the trade be nixed?

Selling risk or volatility has been profitable for a cadre of U.S. pensions as they sought yield in a low interest rate world of quantitative easing. The falling of interest rates to near zero, zero and even negative in some countries, forced asset owners to rethink yield strategies to help pay for liabilities such as pensions, insurance claims or college expenditures. Public pension funds in the United States and even in Europe have augmented investment proportions in real estate, credit and private equity at the expense of lower-yielding bond instruments over the past 20 years. Investment giants like CPPIB and the Abu Dhabi Investment Council have participated in selling off risk via investments in the reinsurance industry, while smaller pensions have utilized option strategies.

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Temasek Invests in Shaver Company Harry’s

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Harry’s, the subscription shaving company that is taking on companies such as Gillette, which is owned by the multi-national corporation Procter & Gamble, has raised US$ 112 million in a new round of financing.

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New CEO at Dubai Holding

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In early February, Dubai Holding LLC, an entity that once oversaw an aggressive Dubai International L.L.C. buyout player, hired a new chief executive officer. Dubai Holding hired Amit Kaushal as CEO, who replaces Edris Alrafi.

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