Saturday 17 March 2018

Fund windfall on back of Abe policy

Shinzo Abe's election as prime minister of Japan is creating a windfall for Michael Steinhardt, the former hedge-fund manager turned exchange-traded fund executive.

WisdomTree Investments, the firm where Steinhardt is both chairman and largest shareholder, has seen assets in its Japan Hedged Equity Fund triple to $3.59bn since the start of 2013 as Abe's pledge to revive the economy sent investors searching for a way to benefit from the country's stock-market rally. The fund took in more money than all but one US ETF this year, helping to drive a 48pc rally in WisdomTree's stock.

Fidelity sees 29pc drop in its profits

Fidelity Investments yesterday said profit in its financial services business dropped 29pc in 2012 as customers pulled $24.4bn (€18.3bn) from the company's actively managed stock funds.

But Fidelity said it also splurged on new strategic investments, including build-out of an exchange-traded fund business that is getting a late start against BlackRock's iShares division and Vanguard Group. Fidelity said operating expenses surged 9pc to $10.3bn in 2012.

Yen falls as Japan withstands G20

The yen fell after three days of gains against the US dollar and euro yesterday as a draft statement from the Group of 20 nations failed to single out Japan for using monetary and fiscal policies to weaken its currency.

That was a signal for investors to keep selling the yen as the Japanese government undertakes measures to end deflation.

Slump will miss Poland – minister

Poland will dodge the recession weighing on swathes of Europe, the country's finance minister said, noting there was plenty of scope for the Polish central bank to cut interest rates further to support growth.

"We don't see the slowdown as being particularly threatening," Jacek Rostowski said.

Argentina figures show less growth

Argentina's economic activity expanded 1.9pc in 2012 from the previous year, the national statistics institute said in Buenos Aires. Activity rose 1.1pc in December from a year earlier and 0.4pc from November.

South America's second-biggest economy probably grew 1.9pc last year, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said, down from 8.9pc in 2011.

Irish Independent

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