Nursultan Nazarbayev has always taken pride in the privately-run pension system he introduced in the late 1990s that set Kazakhstan apart in the former Soviet Union as a pioneer of financial reform.
However, in a policy U-turn this week that has set investors worrying, the Kazakh president (pictured) has decided to nationalise the pension system and transfer the approximate $20bn of funds accumulated into the trusty hands of the central bank. While the details were not immediately clear, the move has triggered concerns among fund managers and their clients. Continue reading »
Christmas has come early – for Chile’s Enersis.
Shareholders in the energy company have approved Chile’s biggest capital increase — a whopping sum of nearly $6bn (if you think that´s a lot, remember they were originally planning to seek $8bn).
It was not an easy path — Enersis battled pension funds, which are key investors in Chile, over the amount and minority shareholders baulked at the valuation of some of the assets that Spanish energy company Endesa said it would use to subscribe its share of the fundraising. Endesa, by the way, is owned by Enel of Italy. Continue reading »
Intercorp, one of Peru’s largest lenders and retailers, is on a roll.
After a successful IPO launched in September for its retail wing, the company owned by Peru’s tycoon Carlos Rodríguez-Pastor has now received the green light from the Andean country’s regulator to create a private pension fund, AFP Interactiva. Continue reading »
Spain’s BBVA has agreed to sell its Mexican pension fund to local buyers for $1.6bn, the latest in a line of local asset sale by retreating Europeans.
Grupo Financiero Banorte, the only major bank that is Mexican-owned and Mexico’s Social Security Institute, known as IMSS, will share the cost for Afore Bancomer – as the pension fund unit is called – equally. Continue reading »
Chile pioneered privatised pension funds in Latin America and the fund managers, known as AFPs, are now the country’s biggest institutional investors, with a juicy $159bn under management at the end of September, up 9.6 per cent on a year ago.
So perhaps it’s no surprise that the pension funds in Latin America’s best-managed economy are increasingly being seen as investment targets in themselves.
Chile’s fourth-biggest AFP, Cuprum, with some $32bn in assets under management, is the latest to catch the eye of a suitor. Principal Financial Group, a US insurer and asset manager which is expanding its footprint in Latin America, has agreed to buy Cuprum for $1.5bn. Continue reading »
Colombia is not a country that figures high on the radar screen of most global firms when it comes to the asset management business. The country’s pension funds, with $66bn in assets under management, are tiny compared to the $311bn in the regional powerhouse that is Brazil.
But small can be beautiful. Just ask BlackRock. The world’s biggest money manager by assets is setting up shop in Colombia following the unexpected – but significant – success of a local exchange traded fund (ETF) it launched last year. Continue reading »
It’s not a licence to print money, exactly. But Argentina’s habit of shuffling dollars around the public sector to meet its financing needs certainly comes in handy for a government that has few ouside funding options.
Take this week, for example. While the nationalisation of Spanish-controlled oil company YPF was still hogging headlines, Argentina’s economy ministry tapped $3.1bn from the central bank and pensions agency, bringing to some $4.3bn the amount it has borrowed from state bodies so far this year, according to this report. Continue reading »
Easier said than done. That is how investors view a pledge by South Korea’s state-run pension fund to raise its voice as the country’s biggest institutional investor, after it waved through the appointment of a convicted fraudster as chairman and co-chief executive of chip maker Hynix Semiconductor, in which the fund holds a 9.15 per cent stake. Continue reading »