March 3, 2014 / 2:21 AM / in 4 years

Asia Fund Weekly News, March 3, 2014

HONG KONG, March 3 (Reuters) - News and developments in the Asian funds industry in the last week.

MARCH 3

Dagmar Baeuerle, a director of prime finance business advisory services for Asia-Pacific at the prime brokerage unit of Citigroup, has quit, sources familiar with the matter said. Baeuerle, who was responsible for consultancy services to hedge funds, had joined the bank in 2010 from U.S. money manager Crown Advisors International. A Citigroup spokesman declined comment. Baeuerle could not be reached for comment.

James Chen, former head of programme trading and Delta One in Asia ex-Japan at Barclays Plc, started as head of the Asia desk for equities last week at BlueCrest Capital, said a spokesman for BlueCrest, which is one of the world’s biggest hedge fund firms and manages $32 billion. Chen is based in Singapore and reports to London-based Christian Dalban, who is heading BlueCrest’s efforts to expand into equities. BlueCrest has hired at least 25 portfolio managers for the equity business which is seeded with its partners capital. It employs 580 people globally.

FEBRUARY 28

Norway’s $840 billion sovereign fund, the world’s biggest equity investor, has cut its investments in gold and coal miners due to environmental concerns and will review the entire mining sector this year, it said on Friday.

The world’s top investors cut exposure to emerging European equities to a five-month low in February as they fretted over a spillover from tensions in Ukraine and Russia, Reuters polls showed on Friday.

Japan’s public pension fund, the world’s largest, reported a 4.73 percent return on investments in the October-December quarter, thanks to gains in Japanese stocks and an increase in the value of its foreign assets due to a weaker yen.

China granted nearly $3 billion in fresh quotas to licensed overseas institutional investors in February, data released on Friday by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) showed.

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world’s largest pension fund, said on Friday it has joined Canada’s Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) and Development Bank of Japan in investing in infrastructure projects.

China fund managers suggested raising bond allocations to the highest in five months, while cutting back on equities to a 10-month low as a slowing economy stokes fears of credit defaults, according to a monthly Reuters poll.

Japanese fund managers raised the assets in their model portfolio allocated to stocks to a 2-1/2-year high in February, favouring U.S. shares as they chalked up recent softness in U.S. data to extreme weather, a Reuters poll showed.

FEBRUARY 27

China’s latest step to overhaul its pension system to even out payments between urban and rural residents is a move experts say is more symbolic than sweeping.

China has released details of a pension scheme reform that seeks to decrease urban-rural economic divisions before 2020, state media reported on Wednesday, part of an overhaul that encourages labour mobility but does not address deeper problems in the system.

FEBRUARY 26

Luxembourg is talking to China about allowing mutual recognition of investment funds based in the two countries, a senior Luxembourg official said on Wednesday.

Seth Fischer, one of Asia’s best-known hedge fund managers, has written to Nintendo Co Ltd urging the Japanese console maker to develop and sell games for mobile platforms run by Apple Inc and Google Inc.

FEBRUARY 25

Singapore’s state investment agency’s fund management arm, Fullerton, is to open an office in London to build up its business with European investors, Britain’s finance ministry said on Tuesday.

Hedge funds launched in Asia in 2013 raised a fifth less than a year before as more managers launched funds with smaller sizes, according to a survey.

FEBRUARY 24

Large Indian investors are challenging a plan by Maruti Suzuki to source cars from an Indian plant to be built by its parent, Suzuki Motor Co, saying minority shareholders would be better off if Maruti made the cars itself.

Azerbaijan’s state oil fund plans to spend about $1 billion on real estate abroad, mainly in Asia and Australia, the fund’s deputy CEO said, as it further diversifies a broad portfolio of foreign assets.

Singapore-based asset manager Dymon Asia Capital has partnered former SAC Capital portfolio manager Carl Vine to raise a $500 million global hedge fund to invest in stocks, as investor interest in equity-focused funds makes a strong comeback. (Compiled by Nishant Kumar; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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