Thursday 26th March 2015
NEWS TICKER, THURSDAY MARCH 26th 2015: Moody's says that The Link Real Estate Investment Trust's (A2 stable) acquisition of the mid-end positioned EC Mall in Beijing is credit negative, but has no immediate impact on its ratings. The acquisition, while immediate EBITDA and cash flow accretive, will reduce liquidity and increase debt leverage, as measured by gross debt to EBITDA. This is Link's first venture into the Chinese retail market. Yesterday, Link announced that it will acquire EC Mall for a total consideration of RMB2.5bn. The transaction will close on April 1st - The outcomes of the March 19th-20th spring European Council will be debated with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at 15.00 today. Agenda items at the Council include Energy Union, the EU’s economic situation, its eastern partnership, and the situation in Libya - -- The sharp fall in oil prices will have a positive, yet limited credit impact for most European asset-backed securities (ABS) collateralised by loans granted to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), says Moody's Investors Service in a sector comment published today. "If we balance both direct and indirect exposures to the oil and gas sectors, which affect performance the most, the net effect is slightly positive," says Monica Curti, a Moody's Vice President and author of the report. The rating agency observes that securitised portfolios have very low direct exposure to the oil and gas industries, for which lower prices are credit negative. For pools where borrowers are indirectly exposed to these sectors, Moody’s says the oil price decline will be slightly positive in terms of credit performance due to its strong positive effect on sectors such as airlines, shipping and packaged food, which represent up to 12% of some European ABS SME portfolios. However, for over 60% of the ABS SME transactions that Moody's studied, the net effect of oil price exposures is negligible. In addition, the general positive effect of the oil price decline on economic growth will be mild. "While sustained lower oil prices would significantly boost economic growth in principle, their positive effect will be mild for European SMEs because of the euro area's low dependency on oil and the fact that oil prices have fallen in a subdued economy," says Ariel Weil, a Moody's vice president and co-author of the report - The Straits Times Index (STI) ended +5.76 points higher or +0.17% to 3419.02, taking the year-to-date performance to +1.60%. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained +0.38% while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index gained +0.48%. The top active stocks were SingTel (+0.70%), UOB (+0.61%), DBS (-0.05%), Keppel Corp (+1.13%) and OCBC Bank (+0.29%). Outperforming sectors today were represented by the FTSE ST Utilities Index (+3.48%). The two biggest stocks of the FTSE ST Utilities Index are United Envirotech (+0.31%) and Hyflux (+1.14%). The underperforming sector was the FTSE ST Real Estate Holding and Development Index, which declined -0.33% with Hongkong Land Holdings’ share price declining -0.94% and Global Logistic Properties’ share price gaining +0.78%. – Reuters reports that Chicago-based CME Group had planned to debut an EU wheat-futures contract by the end of next month, but it has yet to reach agreements with local companies to guarantee sufficient deliverable capacity. Eric Hasham, senior director, CME Group is quoted as saying: "If for whatever reasons the parties that we are speaking to decide not to move forward ... we would not be making the contract available.” - Nigeria and Ivory Coast are looking to emulate Senegal's successful move into the market for Islamic bonds or sukuk, the head of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) has said. Earlier this month the ICD, which is the private sector arm of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank Group, signed an agreement with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to cooperate in the development of the private sector in ICD member countries in Africa - Turkey received foreign direct investment worth $1.8bn in January, according to Turkey’s Economy Ministry. The energy sector was the largest recipient of international capital during the month with $735m worth of inflows. Foreign investment to the county increased by 44% in the first month of 2015 compared with the same month in the previous year, said the statement. Around a quarter of the investment came from European countries, a significant decrease (-76%) compared with January 2014. More than $420m in investments came from Asian countries, such as China and Malaysia. There were 175 new, foreign-funded companies established in the first month of the year, down from 410 in the same month of 2014. A total of 41,699 companies were operating in Turkey with international capital as of January 2015, with 24,612 of them operating in Turkey’s largest province, Istanbul, the ministry said. The report also said that of the total number of foreign-funded companies in Turkey, 6,054 were German-funded and 2,774 were financed by the United Kingdom. Turkey received a total of $12.4bn in foreign direct investment in 2014, down 1.7% compared with 2013.

Sovereign wealth funds move to real estate investments

Monday, 11 March 2013
Sovereign wealth funds move to real estate investments Sovereign wealth funds around the world are moving to diversify their portfolios, according to TheCityUK’s Sovereign Wealth Funds 2013 report, with deal transaction sizes getting smaller and emerging markets accounting for a growing share of investments.  http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Sovereign wealth funds around the world are moving to diversify their portfolios, according to TheCityUK’s Sovereign Wealth Funds 2013 report, with deal transaction sizes getting smaller and emerging markets accounting for a growing share of investments. 

The trend towards diversification has resulted in a 30% increase in investment into real estate globally by SWFs over the past twelve months, with information technology and consumer goods also seeing rises in allocation. The allocation increase is largely down to low bond yields in some developed countries and the volatility in equity markets.

The UK, particularly London, has benefited from SWFs’ increased allocation to real estate. Recent transactions include China Investment Corporation’s £245m purchase of Winchester House, the London headquarters of Deutsche Bank.  Gingko Tree Investment, part of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, has also invested more than $1.6bn in at least four deals including water utility, student housing, and office buildings in London and Manchester.



Other funds which have made real-estate investments in London during 2012 include The Korea Investment Corporation, the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global.

TheCityUK’s report also found that overall direct investments by SWFs dropped to a six-year low of $57bn globally in 2012. This was down more than a third on 2011 and 46% below the peak level of activity three years earlier, as SWFs focused more on their domestic markets. However, investments picked up in the fourth quarter of the year.

Chris Cummings, chief executive of TheCityUK, says the increased investment in property by SWFs is a blessing for London, which is a prime real estate location and seen as a safe haven market for investors.

“The UK is a leading destination for SWF investments, accounting for one sixth of global investments since 2005, second only to the US, and attracting more capital than France, Germany and Spain combined,” explains Cummings. “These investments bring numerous benefits to the UK economy, including new jobs and capital for vital infrastructure projects.

“But the UK is also an important centre for the SWF industry as a clearing house for transactions and a location from where funds are managed. Our strong position stems from the structural strengths associated with the cluster of financial and related professional services firms, broad skills base, open market and pivotal international position of English law.”

TheCityUK’s report revealed that global SWF assets under management increased for the fourth year running in 2012, hitting a record $5.2tn, due to growth in existing assets as well as the launch of a number of new funds during the year. TheCityUK’s projections are for total global SWF assets to grow to $5.6tn by the end of 2013.

There was an additional $7.7tn held in other sovereign investment vehicles, such as pension reserve funds, development funds and state-owned corporations' funds, and $8.4tn in other official foreign exchange reserves.

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