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Swiss National Bank Keeps the Minimum Exchange Rate Unchanged

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The press release states, “the Swiss National Bank (SNB) will continue to enforce the minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.20 per euro with the utmost determination. It is prepared to buy foreign currency in unlimited quantities for this purpose. The target range for the three-month Libor will remain unchanged at 0.00–0.25%. The SNB will continue to maintain liquidity on the money market at an exceptionally high level.

Even at the current rate, the Swiss franc is still high. In the foreseeable future, there is no risk of inflation in Switzerland. Compared to December, the inflation forecast has even fallen further. If developments in the international economy are worse than foreseen, or if the Swiss franc does not weaken further, as expected, downside risks for price stability could re-emerge. The SNB stands ready to take further measures at any time if the economic outlook and the risk of deflation so require.”

Read more: SNB Press Release

GIC Sells Arizona Biltmore to Blackstone

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Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, part of the Blackstone Group, acquired the 740-room Arizona Biltmore hotel, located in Phoenix, for US$ 403.4 million. The deal closed on April 20, 2018.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Mubadala Acquires Stake in Growing Hedge Fund Phoenician Capital

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Mubadala Investment Company, through its unit Mubadala Capital, purchased a minority stake Phoenician Capital, LLC. Although terms and size of the deal were not disclosed, the agreement grants Mubadala Capital rights to invest in a fund managed by the New York-based firm, which generated respective returns of 40.8% and 33.0% in 2016 and 2017, against benchmarks of 12.0% and 21.8% for the S&P 500. The hedge fund runs the Phoenician Offshore Fund Ltd.

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

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Large Asset Managers Continue to Move Operations Out of California

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In the 2010s, Fisher Investments, an investment firm run by Ken Fisher, moved a large number of employees from the Woodside and San Mateo campuses to a town called Camas in Washington, near Portland. Vanguard has a large operational presence in Arizona, while Charles Schwab Corporation has expanded its technology operations and client services in places like Denver, Dallas, Austin and Phoenix. Dimensional Fund Advisors moved its headquarters in 2008 from Santa Monica, California to Austin.

While asset managers reap profits and try to lower employee head count costs, looking to fly-over country seems appealing.

The Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), part of the Allianz family, selected Austin, Texas as its new office to hire more client services and technology talent. The PIMCO Austin office will open later in 2018. PIMCO is headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with an office in New York City.

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