Aviva Investors, the global asset management unit of Aviva PLC, has reduced its overweight position in emerging market equities to neutral, part of a series of adjustments as US economic and political developments shape the outlook for global markets and the economy. The Federal Reserve is likely to raise rates another six times by the end of 2019, the firm said in its third-quarter outlook, with strong economic growth in the US likely to drive global GDP growth towards four per cent this year, the fastest pace of increase since 2011. Growth expectations are less advanced elsewhere, with the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan unlikely to move rates before the middle of next year. Protectionist policies are the biggest threat to global markets. There is the threat of a "trade war" between the US and China which would mean growth expectations would fall sharply for large exporters – including China, Japan, Emerging Asia and the Eurozone.
Offshore law firm, Mourant Ozannes, has advised Highland Europe on the establishment of Highland Europe Technology Growth III Limited Partnership as a Jersey expert fund. Highland Europe is a growth stage technology investor in Europe, and Highland Europe Technology Growth III is the third fund they've launched in six years, raising EUR 463 million to boost funding for globally ambitious European software and internet-enabled businesses. The fund was significantly oversubscribed and reached its hard cap in just 12 weeks, bringing Highland Europe’s assets under management to EUR 1.1 billion, the firm stated. The fund’s limited partners include a broad range of global institutional investors. The team was led by investment funds partner Ben Robins, senior associate Matt Satchell and associate Rachel McGinness, working alongside onshore counsel Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has cut the fees on five of its fixed income funds run by Aberdeen Asset Management. The annual management charge (AMC) on the Aberdeen Sterling Government Bond, Sterling Short Term Government Bond, Sterling Index-linked Bond, Sterling Long Dated Government Bond and the Sterling Money Market funds have all been reduced following a review of their pricing. The AMC has been cut by 20bps to 80bps for A shares and 30bps for I shares on the £101 million Aberdeen Sterling Short Term Government Bond fund. It has also dropped by 10bps on class A and class I shares of the £118 million Aberdeen Sterling Government Bond, as well as the £87 million Sterling Index-Linked Bond and the £29 million Sterling Long Dated Government Bond funds to 90bps and 40bps, respectively. The I shares of the £292 million Sterling Money Market fund have also been cut by 5bps.
Holdings in global gold-backed ETFs and similar products fell by 49.3t to 2,434t in June, pushing assets under management (AUM) in US dollars down by 2.1 percent relative to May. Investors seemed to shrug off poor equity market performance and escalating global trade tensions, pushing the gold price down by 4.2 percent in June. ETF outflows were dominated by North American funds, losing $1.9 billion in the face of US dollar strength and a declining gold price, while funds listed in Asia and other regions lost $149 million and US$89 million respectively. Europe saw marginal inflows during the month, with gold holdings increasing fractionally by $52 million. Additionally, Funds listed in Asia decreased by 3.5t ($149 million, 3.8 percent), while other regions also saw a reduction in holdings of 2.0t ($89 million, 6.2 percent).