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Showing posts from January, 2020

Fast-Spreading Coronavirus Slams Stocks

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Fred Imbert of CNBC reports the Dow plummets 600 points in worst day since August as coronavirus fears grow:
Stocks fell sharply on Friday, wiping out the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s gain for January, as investors grew increasingly worried about the potential economic impact of China’s fast-spreading coronavirus.

The Dow dropped 603.41 points, or 2.1%, to 28,256.03 in the 30-stock average’s worst day since August. The S&P 500 had its worst day since October, falling 1.8% to 3,225.52. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.6% to 9,150.94.


On Friday, the U.S. declared the coronavirus a public health emergency within the country. Delta, American and United suspended all flights between China and the U.S.
The virus, which was first discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has now spread to at least 18 other countries and has dampened sentiment over global economic growth. China’s National Health Commission confirmed on Friday that there have been 9,692 confirmed cases of the coronaviru…

CDPQ Appoints Charles Emond As Its New CEO

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Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has appointed CharlesEmond as President and Chief Executive Officer:
Following a thorough and rigorous selection process, the Board of Directors of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has appointed Charles Emond as President and Chief Executive Officer. In accordance with CDPQ’s incorporating act, the appointment was made by CDPQ’s Board of Directors and approved by the Government of Québec today. His appointment takes effect on February 1, 2020.

Charles Emond is currently Executive Vice-President, Québec, Private Equity and Strategic Planning at CDPQ, which he joined in February 2019 after nearly 20 years at Scotia Bank. In addition to leading the Québec investment strategy, he heads the Private Equity (Québec and International) teams, which include direct and indirect investments in nearly 800 companies. He also leads CDPQ’s annual strategic planning process.

When he left Scotia Bank, he was based in Toronto as Global Head, I…

Big Investors Bowing Out of Hedge Funds?

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Laurence Fletcher of the Financial Times reports on why some big investors have had enough of hedge funds:
Pension funds and endowments have been the backbone of the hedge fund industry for much of the past decade. But many of these institutional investors are now turning away from the $3tn-in-assets sector, dismayed by high fees and relatively lacklustre returns.

“We got out of most of the hedge fund portfolio,” said Scott Wilson, chief investment officer of the $8.9bn endowment fund at the Washington University in St Louis, Missouri. “We don’t want any investment just for the sake of having that investment.”

Since Mr Wilson’s appointment two years ago the fund has slashed its allocation to hedge funds from about 20 per cent of the portfolio to little over 10 per cent. He plans to rebuild that share to about 15 to 20 per cent over time, but will do so cautiously. “It’s not that all hedge funds are bad, but you have to be very careful in the selection process,” he said.

The reshuffle …

Threatening Managers Over Climate Risk?

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Owen Clark of the Financial Times reports that a large UK pension scheme is threatening managers over climate risk:
One of Britain’s largest pension schemes has given its 130 asset managers a two-year deadline to reduce their exposure to climate change or risk being fired.

Brunel Pension Partnership, which manages £30bn on behalf of 700,000 members and 10 government bodies, also threatened to vote against directors at the companies it invests in and divest if they do not demonstrate significant progress on managing climate risk by 2022.

“Climate change is a rapidly escalating investment issue,” said Mark Mansley, chief investment officer at Brunel, which manages the retirement schemes for nine local authorities and the government’s Environment Agency.

“We found that the finance sector is part of the problem, when it could and should be part of the solution for addressing climate change. How the sector prices assets, manages risk and benchmarks performance all need to be challenged.”

B…

OPTrust Acquires Two Spanish Solar Plants

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Bruc, OPTrust and Green Investment Group recently closed the acquisition of two solar plants from Solarpack in Alvarado, Spain:
Bruc Iberia Energy Investment Partners has acquired from Solarpack two solar photovoltaic power plants under construction in Spain with a combined capacity of 100 MW. The plants represent a total investment of 65 million euros and have a project finance in place from Banco Sabadell.

The two 50 MW plants are located in Alvarado-La Risca, a town in the municipality of Badajoz (Extremadura region). Both plants are currently under construction and anticipated to become fully operational in the third quarter of 2020. Together, they will avoid an estimated 53,000 tons of CO2e annually, and provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of almost 40,000 homes. The plants have been developed by Solarpack who will continue to manage the projects throughout construction and operations. The sale of the energy is secured by a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

This is t…