Investment Management, Islamic Finance Correspondent
Cecilia's Feed
Apr 19, 2010

Alliance Trust prepares first bond fund

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) – Investment firm Alliance Trust
<ATST.L> will launch its first fixed income product later this
year and diversify equity exposure towards Asia while western
growth appears fragile, its chief executive said on Monday.

Katherine Garrett-Cox told Reuters the FTSE 100 company will
capitalise from investors’ appetite for income products by
launching a mainly UK-focused corporate bond fund in the next
two to three months after hiring a team of four bond managers
from Scottish Widows last year [ID:nLR513996].

Apr 16, 2010
via Funds Hub

Pensions, mergers and the Spanish (and otherwise) Inquisition

Spare a thought for the UK Pensions Regulator:  is losing its CEO next month (to a new agency set up to educate the UK public on money and financial matters) right at the time when its actions will be scrutinised.

Iberia and BA are telling the markets they want to merge, but the 3.7 billion pound BA pension deficit is also telling one or two things to the shareholders and investor squad. That is why what the Pensions Regulator says to BA’s plans to face the pension black-hole is very important.

Apr 16, 2010
via Funds Hub

Pension Corp eyes property and hedge funds

LONDON (Reuters) – Pension Corp, the specialist insurer, is making a first foray into property and has upped its hedge funds exposure as part of a broad effort to diversify a largely fixed-income and cash-oriented strategy.

Rob Sewell, chief financial officer, told Reuters the group could invest up to 100 million pounds in its first allocation to property.

Apr 16, 2010
via Funds Hub

based Pension Corp eyes property, hedge funds

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) – Pension Corp, a specialist UK
insurer, is making a first foray into real estate and has upped
its hedge funds exposure as part of a broad effort to diversify
a largely fixed-income and cash-oriented strategy.

Rob Sewell, chief financial officer, told Reuters the group
could invest up to 100 million pounds ($155.2 million) in its
first allocation to property.

Apr 14, 2010
via Funds Hub

Iberia deal at stake, BA’s options on pension plan

LONDON, April 14 (Reuters) – British Airways’ <BAY.L>
$5.6-billion pension deficit could still be a deal breaker in
its merger with Spain’s Iberia <IBLA.MC> to create the world’s
third-largest airline.

Iberia has reserved the right to walk away if the UK
pensions regulator forces bigger costs on BA to sort out the
shortfall than the Spanish carrier thinks is affordable.

Apr 12, 2010

Henderson in talks to buy SunTrust fund assets

LONDON (Reuters) – Anglo-Australian asset manager Henderson <HGGH.L> said it is in talks to buy a number of fund boutiques owned by U.S. banking group SunTrust <STI.N> as it seeks to boost its exposure to American institutional investors.

The businesses under discussion are part of SunTrust unit RidgeWorth.

“Discussions with SunTrust regarding a possible transaction are ongoing and there is no certainty that any transaction in relation to RidgeWorth will proceed,” Henderson said in a statement.

Apr 9, 2010

VCH picks U.S. clean-tech companies

LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) – American green technology
companies which are producing innovative and competitively
priced products are edging out their German rivals, a specialist
fund manager said on Friday.

German companies, considered to be leaders in clean
technology, are losing out to their U.S. rivals who are fast
adjusting to a lower price environment, said Olaf Koester, fund
manager of the VCH New Energy Fund.

Apr 9, 2010
via Funds Hub

All pensions are equal, but some are more equal than others

Ever agreed with  George Orwell’s  sarcastic vision of equality? If you are nodding,  you will not be surprised to hear that the same wide range of equality degrees applies to pensions.

Take public pension employees; some say the fact they are entitled to a pension equivalent to a percentage of their wages, no matter what markets/economic cycles are up to, makes them “pension aristocracy”.  Some companies’ executives share the same exalted fate but most UK workers are today part of the pension plebs, enrolled in defined contribution pension schemes, which pay out only what the markets have delivered.

Apr 1, 2010

Equities reliance risky for pensions-consultant

LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) – The majority of pension schemes
at Britain’s top 100 firms are adopting a risky strategy by
allowing volatile global equities to dominate their cheaper
retirement funds, a leading pension consultant said.

Gary Smith, senior investment consultant at Towers Watson,
told Reuters that some 76 percent of defined contribution (DC)
pension funds – the most popular and cheapest corporate pension
vehicle – have no other investments beyond global equities.

Mar 30, 2010
via Funds Hub

No “Inshallah” for hedge funds

Islamic funds may well be “the most dynamic part of the Sharia-compliant sector”, supported by with increasing interest from  deep pocketed investors,  but if you are a hedge fund manager,  Banque Sarasin reckons you have no hope of getting a slice of this Sharia pie.

The Sarasin Islamic Wealth Management Report 2010 says many Islamic investors cannot be persuaded hedge funds are linked to the real economy (one of the tenets of Islamic finance), plus investors are discouraged by short selling which, strictly speaking, is also prohibited.

    • About Cecilia

      "In my professional capacity I canvass fund managers, consultants and pension schemes on investments issues and write analytical pieces on investment trends. I also consult investors on M&A matters. My brief includes Islamic finance, especially sukuk issuance and Islam-compliant asset management themes. I joined Reuters News in September 2008 from Thomson Financial News, where I was European pension correspondent."
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