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Wall Street Journal (November 16)

2021/ 11/ 17 by jd in Global News

Royal Dutch Shell will abandon its complicated dual British/Dutch structure, moving its headquarters to London. The move is being made to “help facilitate returns to shareholders and make it simpler to change up its portfolio of assets” as it transitions to low-carbon energy. The move should also improve the company’s “flexibility to buy back shares.”

 

Financial Times (February 13)

2021/ 02/ 14 by jd in Global News

“Investors poured a record $58bn into stock funds this week while slashing their cash holdings, in the latest sign of the fervor sweeping global financial markets…. Historically low interest rates and expectations for a big rebound this year in global economic growth have whet investors’ appetite for riskier assets,” but this is creating unease among some that “asset prices have become overextended.”

 

Institutional Investor (August 14)

2020/ 08/ 16 by jd in Global News

“There are about 5,300 public pension funds in the U.S. today, overseeing some $4 trillion in assets. The 25 largest account for more than half the total. The rest of the market is highly fragmented, with thousands of public pension portfolios managed independently and locally. Fragmentation results in less efficient portfolios and higher operating costs…. There must be a better way.”

 

Reuters (November 29)

2019/ 12/ 01 by jd in Global News

“European investors managing assets worth more than 1 trillion pounds ($1.28 trillion) are pressing top auditors to take urgent action on climate-related risks, warning that failure to do so could do more damage than the financial crisis.” The investors assert that the Big Four audit firms “are not giving enough weight to a potentially rapid transition towards a low-carbon future as governments implement the 2015 Paris Agreement to curb climate change.”

 

Institutional Investors (October 16)

2018/ 10/ 16 by jd in Global News

Increasingly philanthropic foundations are being designed to expire rather than continue in perpetuity. “50 years ago, spend-down strategies accounted for 5 percent of the total assets of America’s 50 largest foundations, compared with 24 percent in 2010. As the number of ultrawealthy people in the world grows, the number of spend-down foundations is expected to rise.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is one such foundation as it’s designed to “spend out 50 years after the founders die.”

 

Bloomberg (February 23)

2018/ 02/ 24 by jd in Global News

“Beijing’s interventions in the economy don’t always merit applause, but the government’s unprecedented seizure of Anbang Insurance Group Co. deserves a round. Anbang was a toxic threat to China’s financial system.” With total assets estimated to be “a staggering 3.4 percent of China’s GDP,” Anbang had the potential to deliver a shock “comparable to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. or American International Group Inc. in the U.S.” Chinese authorities have “nipped a potential disaster in the bud.”

 

The Economist (September 17)

2017/ 09/ 18 by jd in Global News

“Investors outside China have about $1trn invested in firms that use” variable interest entities (VIEs). These include Alibaba and Tencent. Yet, it remains “unclear if VIEs are even legal in China,” exposing investors to two risks. “First, the VIEs could be ruled illegal, potentially forcing the firms to wind up or sell vital licences and intellectual property in China. The second danger is that VIE owners seek to grab the profits or assets held within. If they refuse to co-operate, die, or fall out of political favour, it is far from clear that firms can enforce VIE contracts in Chinese courts.”

 

Reuters (July 27)

2017/ 07/ 28 by jd in Global News

“British-based investment firms’ long-standing ability to manage billions of euros of assets elsewhere in Europe could be threatened by Brexit.” Newly issued EU guidance suggests regulators will crack down on “delegation” with the aim of preventing investment firms from “setting up ‘empty shell’ subsidiaries in an EU country, to allow them to continue serving European clients, but leaving the bulk of their management staff and operations in London.”

 

Reuters (July 11)

2017/ 07/ 12 by jd in Global News

As its first family fights publicly in an unprecedented and ugly manner, the “shrinking returns” of its sovereign wealth fund, GIC, “are adding gloom to Singapore. The sovereign wealth fund, which manages an estimated $343 billion of assets, has delivered its worst annual performance since 2001 barring the financial crisis.” Moreover, the “outlook is depressing too” as GIC prepares for “a protracted period of low returns.”

 

Institutional Investor (June 16)

2016/ 06/ 17 by jd in Global News

“Short-termism, often driven by activists, can have grave implications for corporations, for our economy and sometimes for society overall. Innovation, discovery and hiring are curtailed when R&D projects are put on hold or cancelled because of short-term pressures…. Short-termism also leads to mispricing, misallocation of assets and a lack of reliable information about long-term prospects.”

 

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