SOUTH KOREA - South Korea's National Pension Fund has moved away from US Treasuries because of low yields, according to reports.
Kwag Dae-hwan, head of global investments at the NPS, was reported as saying: "It is difficult to buy more US Treasuries because the portion of our Treasury investment is already too big and Treasury yields have fallen a lot.
"We need to diversify our portfolio away from US Treasuries and we find asset-backed securities and corporate debt more attractive because of wider credit spreads."
Meanwhile, independent Asian equity specialist Atlantis Investment Management reported that anticipation of a US downturn had led to sell-offs across Asian markets.
However, it believed Korea's new pro-business government had the ability to stimulate the economy.
Kyueun Jeong, fund adviser to the Atlantis Korea Opportunities Fund, said the outlook for corporate investment in Korea was good given the recent inauguration of president MB Lee, former chairman of Hyundai Construction.
Lee intends to abolish regulatory measures on business, curtail the power of the labour unions, and aggressively slim down government.
Jeong said this could help counter a trend of the past five years in which an increasing number of businesses had opted not to build operational facilities on the Korean peninsula because of obstructive Government policies, such as refusing permission to build plants in metropolitan areas.
Jeong said: "The new government's key agenda item is reviving the economy. The government is likely to reduce corporate taxes gradually over the next several years and will also abolish the cross-shareholding limit of conglomerates to stimulate their facility investments. It is widely agreed that this move will spur mergers and acquisitions."
The Brunel Pension Partnership has become the fourth local authority pool to receive the green light from the regulator.
Defined benefit (DB) schemes are to be offered a new consolidator as the former chief of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) launches 'The Pension SuperFund'.
Martin Freeman has been hired as head of technology product and development at Smart Pension, to support the 'growing' technology product side of the business.
Tim Sharp says the government has missed some big opportunities to help workers in the DB white paper.