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New opportunities for European businesses, affordable energy bills for consumers, increased energy security through a significant reduction of natural gas imports and a positive impact on the environment: these are some of the expected benefits of the energy efficiency target for 2030 put forward today by the European Commission in a Communication. The proposed target of 30 % builds on the achievements already reached: new buildings use half the energy they did in the 1980s and industry is about 19% less energy intensive than in 2001. The proposed target goes beyond the 25% energy savings target which would be required to achieve a 40% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030. At the same time the framework on energy efficiency put forward today aims to strike the right balance between benefits and costs - The California Pension Fund (CalPERS) has told the American press that it might cutting back on its investments into the hedge fund arena by as much as 40%. A CalPERS spokesman told papers that the investment staff will make a formal recommendation to the board in the fall. CalPERS reported a preliminary 18.4% return on investments for the 12 months that ended June 30th this year. CalPERS’ assets at the end of the fiscal year stood at more than $300bn - The number of funds notifying the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) of their intention to privately place into Europe under AIFMD rules broke through the 150 mark ahead of the end of the AIFMD transitional phase this week. The JFSC figures show that, as at 22 July, a total of 164 funds had opted to make use of Jersey’s private placement route into Europe, and that the UK was the top intended market for managers, followed by Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands - Vodafone Group’s debt rating was cut one level at Moody’s Investors Service after the carrier made multibillion-dollar acquisitions to expand in Spain and Germany. The second-largest wireless company’s senior unsecured debt was cut to Baa1, the third-lowest investment grade, from A3, says Moody. The outlook is stable. Newbury, England-based Vodafone reported net debt of £13.7bn ($23.3bn) for the quarter ended March 31st. It is the first time Moody’s has given Vodafone a rating lower than A3 since 2007. Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings rank Vodafone’s debt at A-, the fourth-lowest investment grade. Vodafone’s acquisition of cable operators in Europe and falling revenue in some of its biggest markets contributed to the cut, Moody’s said - In a separate report issued this week, Moody's says the stable outlook on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's Aaa rating reflects the bank's conservative capital and liquidity practices, which should support its solid financial performances despite the challenging operating environment. The rating agency's report is an update to the markets and does not constitute a rating action. Moody's also notes that the bank benefits from very high liquidity, owing to its prudent treasury management policies, favourable debt structure and strong market access.

AUM in Luxembourg at record high in April

Wednesday, 20 June 2012
AUM in Luxembourg at record high in April The Association of the Luxembourg Funds Industry (ALFI) today announced that the assets under management of Luxembourg-domiciled funds  reached a historic level at the end of April 2012, at €2,225bn under management. Luxembourg remains the largest European fund centre, followed by France and Germany. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

The Association of the Luxembourg Funds Industry (ALFI) today announced that the assets under management of Luxembourg-domiciled funds  reached a historic level at the end of April 2012, at €2,225bn under management. Luxembourg remains the largest European fund centre, followed by France and Germany.

“Following a year of political uncertainty which has led to turmoil in financial markets, we believe that this growth in assets under management in Luxembourg marks a return of confidence in investment funds. “ says Marc Saluzzi, Chairman of ALFI.

According to ALFI’s 2011 Annual Report, released today, 2011 was characterised by strong caution on the part of investors.  Despite net inflows of €5bn, Luxembourg funds finished the year €102bn down on the previous year, with €2,096bn under management.

However, 2011 was an "excellent year in terms of creation of new funds" says ALFI with 3845 funds domiciled in Luxembourg at the end of December 2011. "This growth confirms the extent to which specialised investment funds have become an essential part of the Luxembourg funds industry, accounting for 277 of the 459 new funds created under the Luxembourg domicile in 2011".

Commenting on the regulatory environment, Saluzzi says that “ALFI remains concerned by the regulatory pressure faced by the industry. The Financial Transaction Tax in particular could have a substantial negative impact on investors, and ALFI continues to work to ensure that policies are beneficial to the fund industry and its clients.”

 “It’s an interesting time in the fund management industry, and ALFI is particularly supportive of the growth of socially responsible investing, including the development of vehicles and benchmarks for so-called impact funds, microfinance funds and environmental funds. ALFI is also delighted at the opportunities the new European AIFM Directive offers to fund managers and institutional investors who are looking to develop alternative funds.,“ he

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