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Showing posts from October, 2014

BoJ's Halloween Surprise?

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Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto of Reuters report, Japan's central bank shocks markets with more easing as inflation slows:
The Bank of Japan shocked global financial markets on Friday by expanding its massive stimulus spending in a stark admission that economic growth and inflation have not picked up as much as expected after a sales tax hike in April.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda portrayed the board's tightly-split decision to buy more assets as a preemptive strike to keep policy on track, rather than an admission that his plan to reflate the long moribund-economy had derailed.

But some economists wondered if pushing even more money into the financial system would be effective as long as consumer confidence continues to worsen and demand remains weak.

"It's clearly a big surprise given Kuroda's repeated insistence that policy was on track and assorted politicians have been warning about the negative side of a weak yen currency," said Sean Callow, a curr…

Oversized Hedge Fund Egos?

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Alexandra Stevenson and Julie Creswell of the New York Times report, Bill Ackman and His Hedge Fund, Betting Big:
William A. Ackman, the silver-haired, silver-tongued hedge fund mogul, gestured out the window of a 42nd-floor conference room at Pershing Square Capital Management in Midtown Manhattan. The view was spectacular, but Mr. Ackman’s arm extended not downward, toward the vibrant fall foliage of Central Park, but skyward toward the top of a glittering glass building just around the corner on 57th Street.

He was pointing toward One57, a new 90-story, lavish hotel and condominium building described by one critic as “a luxury object for people who see the city as their private snow globe.” Specifically, Mr. Ackman was referring to the penthouse apartment. Named the Winter Garden, for a curved glass atrium that opens to the sky, it is a 13,500-square-foot duplex with an eagle’s-eye view of the park.

And it will belong to Mr. Ackman. When the sale closes, the reported $90 million pr…

CPPIB's Risky Bet on Brazil?

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Guillermo Parra-Bernal of Reuters reports, Canada's CPPIB to invest $396 mln in Brazil real estate:
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) plans to invest about 1 billion reais ($396 million) in commercial property in Brazil, a few months after the Toronto-based pension fund opened an office in São Paulo.

In a statement released late on Monday, CPPIB said the investments include the purchase of warehouses, land and stakes in development projects in the logistics and retailing industries, adding to the fund's portfolio of more than 100 properties in Latin America's largest economy.

The move brings CPPIB's real estate commitments in Brazil to over $1.8 billion. Since 2009, CPPIB has bought real estate in Brazil to profit from rising demand for corporate and distribution facilities.

The Canadian giant, one of the world's biggest pension funds with more than $212 billion in assets under management, opened an office in Brazil in February to gain on-the-ground presen…

The United States of Pension Poverty?

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Ted Kedmey of TIME reports, This Is the Scariest Number Facing the Middle Class (h/t, @HOOPPDB):
The average middle class American has only $20,000 in retirement savings, according to a new survey that shows large swathes of the public are aware of those shortfalls and feeling anxious about their golden years.

Wells Fargo surveyed more than 1,000 middle class Americans about the state of their savings plans. Roughly two-thirds of respondents said saving for retirement was “harder” than they had anticipated. A full one-third of Americans said they won’t have sufficient funds to “survive,” a glum assessment that flared out among the older respondents. Nearly half of Americans in their 50s shared that concern.

But perhaps the most startling response came from the 22% of Americans who said they would prefer to suffer an “early death” than retire without enough funds to support a comfortable standard of living. Let's take a closer look at the Wells Fargo survey which finds saving for r…

Surge in Confidence Among Global Funds?

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Digital Journal reports, Pyramis survey reveals surge in confidence among world's largest institutional:
Confidence has returned among institutional investors worldwide, according to a new survey by Pyramis Global Advisors.

Nine in ten (91%) pension plans and other institutional investors believe they can achieve target returns in five years, significantly higher than the 65 percent reported in 2012, according to the 2014 Pyramis Global Institutional Investor Survey, which includes 811 respondents in 22 countries representing more than USD$9 trillion in assets.

"After years of strong equity returns and below average volatility, institutional investors want to keep their winning streak going," said Pam Holding, chief investment officer, Pyramis. "Our global survey shows that while the outlook on volatility varies greatly by region, institutions worldwide largely agree that they can continue to grow their portfolios and improve funded status."

Significant Regio…