BRICS+ will benefit from opening way to free movement of workers
The BRICS group's decision to expand its membership by admitting six more countries is based on a vision of advancing the interests of the Global South. The creation of an 11-member BRICS+ sends a message to the world that change is constant and indicates a recognition of the need for inclusive and peaceful economic growth and development resilient in the face of geopolitical upheaval. These countries are finding they have great technological knowledge that they can share with one another to facilitate closer economic integration.
Hargreaves Lansdown makes £270m after failing to pass on savings rates in full
Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK's largest stockbroker, earned £268.7m ($371m) from customers' cash deposits in 2022-23, up from £50m the previous year, according to accounts published by the firm. The bank generated almost as much revenue from cash as it did from platform fees. The Bank of England raised interest rates seven times during the 12-month period. Critics argue that investment platforms should pass on the full Bank Rate to customers, currently 5.25%, while others say they should pay a competitive rate in the savings market, with the average rate on an easy-access account currently at 3.08%.
China’s central bank reassures likes of HSBC, Tesla amid investment exodus
South China Morning Post
China's central bank, the People's Bank of China (PBOC), has held a meeting with foreign banks and multinational firms to discuss policy support in the aftermath of the recent sell-off in the A-share market. The meeting, which included representatives from JPMorgan, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Tesla, and Schneider, aimed to address investor concerns and pledge support from the central bank. However, despite efforts to attract foreign investment, China has seen a decline in foreign direct investment (FDI), with a 5.1% decrease in the January-August period. Concerns over national security regulation, decoupling risks between the US and China, and distress in the property market have contributed to this decline. As a result, overseas investors are diversifying their portfolios and turning to Southeast Asian economies for investment opportunities.
Exclusive Terry interested in buying Chelsea stake
Former Chelsea captain John Terry is part of a group exploring the possibility of buying a 10% stake in the club. The online technology platform PrimaryBid, whose CEO is a Chelsea season-ticket holder, would be used to incorporate fan investment. Terry was also part of a consortium that attempted to buy Chelsea in 2021. Current co-controlling owner Todd Boehly is open to new investment but it remains to be seen whether Terry's group can raise sufficient funds. Other potential investors include US-based Ares Management.
Meet the world’s new arms dealers
South Korea and Turkey are emerging as major players in the global arms market, benefiting from shifting geopolitics and the woes of their main competitors. South Korea has risen to ninth place in a ranking of arms-sellers, with the government aspiring to become the world's fourth-largest arms exporter by 2027. South Korea's success is due to competitive costs, high-quality weaponry, swift delivery, and the country's close ties to the US. The country has seen significant success in selling arms to Poland, including tanks, self-propelled howitzers, and fighter jets. It aims to renew Canada's aged submarine fleet in a $45 billion deal.
US SEC charges investment firm linked to Russian billionaire
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Concord Management and its owner, Michael Matlin, with failing to register as investment advisers while managing over $7 billion of assets for an unidentified billionaire former Russian official. Concord Management and Matlin were operating as unregistered investment advisers to a single client with connections to the Russian Federation. The SEC's lawsuit was filed in the southern district of New York. No immediate comment has been made by Concord or Matlin's lawyer, and Reuters could not immediately verify whether the client was Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan chief investment officer to depart at the end of December
The Globe and Mail
Ziad Hindo, the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, is set to leave the pension fund manager at the end of the year after five years in the role. Hindo will be replaced by Stephen McLennan, an executive managing director in charge of the total fund management arm. Hindo took over as CIO in June 2018 and oversaw the fund's net returns of 7% over five years, with assets increasing from $190bn to $247bn. He also increased the fund's exposure to alternative assets such as infrastructure, real estate and private credit.
Disney pouring $60 billion into theme parks, cruises over the next 10 years
The Walt Disney Co. plans to invest around $60bn in its theme parks and cruise lines over the next decade, almost double what it spent in the past 10 years, according to a regulatory filing. The Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment has grown well for the company, with revenue up 13% in the third quarter, offsetting a 1% dip in its Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution unit. The company said it had plenty of room to expand, with more than 1,000 acres of land available. Disney has previously announced it will add two ships in 2025 and another in 2026.
SEC Charges Investment Adviser Linked to Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich
New York-based investment adviser Concord Management and its owner, Michael Matlin, are facing charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for operating as an unregistered investment adviser to a single client, believed to be Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. Concord allegedly invested billions of dollars on behalf of Abramovich without registering with the SEC, which has accused the firm of skirting crucial rules that help to prevent market abuse. The charges mark the SEC's involvement in the sanctions and export control regime that was imposed on Russia following its 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
Welcome to a new era of Asian commerce
The "Factory Asia" model of the late 20th century, in which Asian countries produced goods for Western consumers, is being reshaped as regional trade within Asia increases. In 1990, only 46% of Asian trade took place within the continent, but by 2021 that figure had risen to 58%. The growth of supply chains centered on Japan and China led to an increase in the movement of intermediate goods across borders, followed by an increase in foreign direct investment from Asia. Cross-border banking also became more Asian after the global financial crisis, with local banks accounting for more than half of the region's overseas lending. Western governments have diminished in influence, with China's Belt and Road Initiative attracting attention, along with government-facilitated investment from Japan and South Korea. The need to establish new supply chains due to deteriorating US-China relations is likely to accelerate these trends. Asian savings and demography are also speeding up economic integration, with wealthier and older Asian countries investing in the younger and poorer economies. Asian consumption is increasing, making local economies more attractive as markets. These regional trading patterns will bring political ramifications, with Asian economies becoming more focused on their neighbors rather than Western countries.
‘Greenwashing’ crackdown sinks green investing claims
The Sydney Morning Herald
Investment managers and superannuation funds in Australia are becoming cautious about making claims about investing responsibly due to regulatory crackdown on "greenwashing," according to the annual Responsible Investment Benchmark Report by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). The report revealed that the domestic responsible investment market was worth AUD1.3tn ($1tn) at the end of 2022, a 16% decrease on the previous year. This decline can be attributed to the poor performance of sustainable funds in 2022, as well as the tightening of definitions of responsible investment by some large international investment managers.
Prince William, billionaires Gates and Bloomberg say innovation provides climate hope
The Toronto Star
Prince William, Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg have announced the finalists for the Earthshot Prize, which will award five prizes of £1m ($1.2m) each to groups that develop innovative ways to save the planet. Among the 15 finalists are projects to reduce London’s air pollution, reduce livestock methane emissions using seaweed feedstock and develop DNA technology for sustainable textile dyes. William said that despite the need for realism about the climate crisis, he hoped his prize could provide hope that people could make a difference.
Ex-Deutsche Bank investment banker pleads guilty to crypto fraud
A former Deutsche Bank investment banker, Rashawn Russell, has pleaded guilty to charges of misappropriating funds from investors he promised big returns from cryptocurrency trading. Russell faces up to 30 years in prison and will be required to pay over $1.5 million in restitution. He allegedly solicited investments by claiming to run a cryptocurrency fund and used the funds for personal expenses and gambling. Prosecutors and regulators are increasingly cracking down on fraud involving digital assets. Deutsche Bank has not commented on the case.
Canada-India dispute the latest blow to strained economic ties
The Globe and Mail
Canada's worsening diplomatic feud with India over allegations of Indian involvement in the murder of a Canadian citizen could have significant economic consequences. While India is Canada's eighth-largest trading partner, accounting for less than 19% of Canada's exports to China, the dispute could lead to the imposition of arbitrary phytosanitary measures on Canadian agricultural products, as happened in the past. Moreover, India accounted for 7.5% of Teck Resources' revenue, and is a major customer of Canpotex, an export organization owned by Nutrien and Mosaic. Furthermore, Canadian pension funds have significant investments in India, as a way of diversifying their exposure to Asia as tensions with China rose. However, Canada will not be able to rely on the support of its Western allies, which see India as a critical force to contain China's global influence. The dispute has already led to the cancellation of Canada's trade mission to India in October, as well as the suspension of talks toward a much-delayed trade agreement.
China factories with Asean aspirations are lining up for a look at Vietnam
South China Morning Post
Chinese manufacturers are increasingly looking to move their factories to Vietnam, according to sales executives at the China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Expo. The Vietnam-based Deep C Industrial Zones said it had seen a surge in interest from Chinese businesses, particularly since the start of the pandemic. While Vietnam has long been a favoured destination for manufacturers looking to avoid US tariffs, competition in the region is expected to increase.
Britain is tossing aside its last green trump card
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering deferring targets for electric vehicles and eco-friendly houses, which could harm the country's progress towards net-zero emissions. The move comes as the government's lackadaisical approach to the environment has already led to a slowing of the green transition. Weaker targets would likely deter investment in new car and battery plants and discourage consumers from purchasing green vehicles. Furthermore, the delay in reducing emissions from transport and housing, which account for 40% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions, could be difficult to offset without radical action elsewhere.
Asia Healthcare Holdings acquires kidney care hospital chain AINU
Asia Healthcare Holdings has acquired a majority stake in kidney-care hospital chain Asian Institute of Nephrology and Urology (AINU) through a $72m investment. The deal makes Asia Healthcare Holdings the largest and only single-specialty healthcare delivery platform in India and the wider Asian subcontinent. AINU was founded in 2013 and has since completed over 1,000 robotic urology surgeries, 200,000 dialysis procedures and 300 kidney transplants. Asia Healthcare Holdings was incubated by TPG Growth last year and is backed by Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC.
Saudi’s $700 bln PIF is odd sort of sovereign fund
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has a unique investment style that sets it apart from other sovereign wealth funds. The PIF was revamped in 2015 under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's control and given a mandate to help achieve his Vision 2030 plan to diversify the kingdom's oil-dependent economy. The fund's investment strategy is more aggressive and volatile than its peers, with a mix of domestic and international assets. It also has a high exposure to domestic companies and controls a significant stake in Saudi Aramco. The PIF's investments have had mixed results, with some high-profile failures and successes. The fund's goal of reaching $2 trillion in assets under management by 2030 may be challenging to achieve without significant borrowing or transfers from the state. The success of the PIF's investments will be crucial for the kingdom's efforts to diversify its economy away from oil. However, the fund's unusual investment style and hyper-ambitious mandate make its future performance uncertain.
SoftBank’s finance chief slams S&P Global for not upgrading group’s credit rating
SoftBank's finance chief, Yoshimitsu Goto, has criticised rating agency S&P Global for not upgrading the company's credit rating after the IPO of UK chip designer Arm. Goto said he was "deeply disappointed" with S&P's decision to raise the credit outlook from stable to positive but stop short of an upgrade. He questioned why SoftBank's strong cash position was considered a credit negative. S&P warned that SoftBank's loan-to-value ratio would likely remain at the current level or slightly worsen, and that its investment gains and losses would remain potentially volatile.
Money managers divided on timeline of China’s economic recovery
The Globe and Mail
China's economic slowdown is a chance to buy into the world's second-largest economy at cheaper valuations, according to Arup Datta, senior vice president and head of global quantitative equity at Mackenzie Investments in Boston. While foreign investors are wary of China's struggling property sector and weak global demand for its manufactured goods, Datta describes the country's government as "pragmatic" and believes it is taking steps to boost its economy. In contrast, David Wallin, portfolio manager at Harbourfront Wealth Management in Vancouver, has exited investments in China in favour of Japan and India.