Saturday 23rd May 2015
NEWS TICKER: FRIDAY, MAY 22ND: The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has named Beliz Chappuie as CalPERS' Chief Auditor, effective July 31, 2015 - Saudi Arabia's oil minister has said the country will switch its energy focus to solar power as the nation envisages an end to fossil fuels, possibly around 2040-2050, Reuters reports. "In Saudi Arabia, we recognise that eventually, one of these days, we are not going to need fossil fuels, I don't know when, in 2040, 2050... we have embarked on a program to develop solar energy," Ali Al-Naimi told a business and climate conference in Paris, the news service reports. "Hopefully, one of these days, instead of exporting fossil fuels, we will be exporting gigawatts, electric ones. Does that sound good?" The minster is also reported to say he still expects the world's energy mix to be dominated by fossil fuels in the near future - Barclays has appointed Steve Rickards as head of offshore funds. He will lead the creation and implementation of the bank’s offshore funds strategy and report directly to Paul Savery, managing director of personal and corporate banking in the Channel Islands. For the last four years Mr Rickards has been heading up the Guernsey Funds team providing debt solutions for private equity and working with locally based fund administrators. Savery says: “Barclays’ funds segment has seen some terrific cross functional success over the past year or so. Specifically, the offshore business has worked hand in hand with the funds team in London to bring the very best of Barclays to our clients, and Steve has been a real catalyst to driving this relationship from a Guernsey perspective.” - Moody's has downgraded Uzbekistan based Qishloq Qurilish Bank's (QQB’s) local-currency deposit rating to B2, and downgraded BCA to b3 and assigned a Counterparty Risk Assessment of B1(cr)/Not prime(cr) to the bank. The agency says the impact on QQB of the publication of Moody's revised bank methodology and QQB's weak asset quality and moderate loss-absorption capacity are the reasons for the downgrades. Concurrently, Moody's has confirmed QQB's long-term B2 foreign-currency deposit rating and assigned stable outlooks to all of the affected long-term ratings. The short-term deposit ratings of Not-prime were unaffected - Delinquencies of the Dutch residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) market fell during the three-month period ended March 2015, according to Moody's. The 60+ day delinquencies of Dutch RMBS, including Dutch mortgage loans benefitting from a Nationale Hypotheek Garantie, decreased to 0.85% in March 2015 from 0.92% in December 2014. The 90+ day delinquencies also decreased to 0.66% in March 2015 from 0.71% in December 2014.Nevertheless, cumulative defaults increased to 0.65% of the original balance, plus additions (in the case of master issuers) and replenishments, in March 2015 from 0.56% in December 2014. Cumulative losses increased slightly to 0.13% in March 2015 from 0.11% in December 2014 – Asset manager Jupiter has recruited fund manager Jason Pidcock to build Asian Income strategy at the firm. Pidcock J has built a strong reputation at Newton Investment Management for the management of income-orientated assets in Asian markets and, in particular the £4.4bn Newton Asian Income Fund, which he has managed since its launch in 2005. The fund has delivered a return of 64.0% over the past five years compared with 35.9% for the IA Asia Pacific Ex Japan sector average, placing it 4th in the sector. Since launch it has returned 191.4 against 154.1% for the sector average. Before joining Newton in 2004, Jason was responsible for stock selection and asset allocation in the Asia ex-Japan region for the BP Pension Fund.

Responsible investment products set for growth

Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Responsible investment products set for growth Over three quarters of 85 pension fund managers polled by ING Investment Management believe that being environmentally and socially responsible – as well as encouraging good global governance – is important to the future of investment. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Over three quarters of 85 pension fund managers polled by ING Investment Management believe that being environmentally and socially responsible – as well as encouraging good global governance – is important to the future of investment.

Findings from the new survey show that two third of investment professionals responsible for pension funds, already integrate Environmental Social Governance (ESG) factors and/or a Socially Responsible Investment style (SRI) into their investment processes. Nearly half of this (48%) say their appetite for ESG and SRI has increased over the past six months.

Hendrik-Jan Boer, senior portfolio manager for ING IM’s SRI funds: “In recent years there has been a shift within the industry towards more responsible investment products. This research underlines the importance – both professionally and personally – of ESG factors. With three quarters of investors believing that the sector is important for the future of the industry, we expect the demand for socially responsible investments to grow further in the coming years and to become even more commonplace in investors’ portfolios.”



A greater reliance on responsible investment criteria was expected to bear fruit in terms of investment return over the next five years. However, when it came to the reasons for incorporating this in their investment strategy, the majority of respondents (58%) did so due to “a sense of personal responsibility”. In addition, just over half (52%) stated that it was the companies procedure to apply such criteria to investments.

In terms of the most proactive practitioners of these principles, developed economies were perceived to be the most keen with Western Europe (86%) cited by the most respondents, followed by North America (36%) and Australasia (24%). Turning to actual asset owners, pension funds were viewed as the most willing group to incorporate ESG factors within their portfolios – cited by 73% of respondents – while charities (62%) were the second most willing.

“It is certainly positive to see that investors not only believe in the social and intrinsic value of ESG factors, but also believe in the effectiveness of applying such criteria to their investments,” adds Boer. “It is encouraging to note an anticipated shift in attitudes towards ESG from simply being a filter that investors feel they should implement in their portfolios to becoming a genuinely strong investment tool in its own right.”

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