British consumers have got used to seeing traffic light colour coding on packaged food in the shops. A green spot is supposed to entice customers by indicating the food has less fat, sugar or salt, while a red one is meant to warn you away from the most delectable junk foods. It may work on the pages of behavioral economics textbooks but it’s been a lot less effective for gluttonous shoppers in the real world.
Nevertheless, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has decided to apply the same concept to mutual funds. Read more
South African investors have been cautious about dipping into exchange traded products (ETPs), which hit the scene just over 10 years ago. Reservations about the passive nature of such products have been an issue for some. But attitudes are changing and the figures are ticking upwards. Read more
Household investments in mutual funds can tell you a lot about a country. They should be a proxy for economic development, as more cash to spare means more to invest. But they can also reflect things like the state of the welfare system and cultural attitudes towards investment. Generali PPF Asset Management has analysed data from the past eight years on this subject for central and eastern Europe and the results make interesting reading. Read more
The Argentine government has come up with another rule designed to clamp down on dollar holdings: mutual funds are now being obliged to value their foreign investments at the official exchange rate.
Is this another example of Argentina shooting itself in the foot? Read more
The fund management industry in China is a little dysfunctional, as we reported last week, but few claim they can see how to fix it. Which is why an item in Monday’s FTfm makes such interesting reading.
Robert Pozen, senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School, and Theresa Hamacher, president of the National Investment Company Service Association (NICSA), recently returned from the Beijing launch of their book The Fund Industry: How Your Money is Managed, which has been translated into Mandarin. Read more
Fidelity Worldwide Investments, one of the world’s biggest mutual fund managers, has bailed out of the Indian market after making a loss every year since it went there in 2004.
It sold its India mutual funds business to the financial services arm of Larsen & Toubro, an $11.7bn Indian engineering and construction company, the companies said on Tuesday. Read more
Developed world regulators anxious to clamp down on greedy excesses in the financial industry might do well to consider recent developments in India. There appear to be real problems developing in India’s mutual funds industry and it seems the country’s markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, is at least partly to blame, as a report explains in Monday’s FTfm. Read more