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Goldman dumps Indian asset management unit
Asset Management
<p>It's a quiet breakup, but Goldman Sachs is dumping its Indian fund management unit and Reliance Capital Asset Management is picking it up.</p> <p>Goldman's $37.5 million cash deal is the sixth exit of an asset management from India since 2013, reports the International Business Times. Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, PineBridge, ING, and Daiwa Capital Markets have left the Indian mutual fund sector as the cost of acquiring assets has gone up, cutting into profits.</p> <p>Goldman employees in the ETF business will be offered employment opportunities at Reliance Capital. The deal makes Reliance Capital the sole provider for the government's central public sector enterprises ETFs, reports Live Mint. Goldman's existing ETFs will be rebranded as Reliance Capital's. Goldman says it will remain invested in Indian securities through regional and global funds.</p> <p>Goldman managed about $1.1 billion in India at the end of September. Reliance Capital had about $23.5 billion in assets under management at the same time, and ranks as the third largest fund house in India. The Indian mutual fund industry is worth about $202 billion.<br /> Photo: Kirill Tropin<br /> &nbsp;</p>
GM: Flat earnings or record profits? You decide
Capital Markets
<p>If you happen to conduct a Google search for GM earnings, here's what you will come up with:</p> <p>The stock market gives the nod to record earnings and robust sales of trucks and SUVs. The stock is now up 6.18% to $35.55. GM zoomed past expectations, posting $1.50/share vs the analyst bet on $1.18. Offsetting the gains: $1.5 billion in legal and recall costs.</p> <p>Photo: jm3</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Snapchat execs are disappearing
Venture Capital
<p>Blink and they're gone. Snapchat's executives are disappearing like their photos, with eight upper-level execs leaving in the last year.</p> <p>It's not unusual to see leadership shuffles in startups as competition is high for talented staff, reports Business Insider. But it may be a bit concerning that Snapchat can't keep execs on board. Only one of the eight now-departed leaders lasted longer than eight months.</p> <p>Is the super-young CEO Evan Spiegel to blame, or is this just the tech world we live in?<br /> Photo: AdamPrzezdziek</p>
Gangster describes heist in court
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>No, not Bernie Madoff. Gaspare Valenti, one of the gangsters behind the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist, put on a theatrical performance in court Tuesday, describing the "Goodfellas" crime in detail, writes the New York Times.</p> <p>The more than $6.25 million theft went unsolved for decades. "It's amazing; a robbery that big and nothing was ever discussed about where to go afterword," Valenti said in court. "Vinny [Asaro] yelled out, 'Bring it to my cousin's house!' And that's where we went, to my house." As his wife, mother, children, and sister slept, Valenti and the crew went through the goods. "I was separating gold chains and watches, the diamonds and the emeralds and rubies, just looking in the drawers, seeing how much there was," he said.<br /> Photo: petcor80</p>
Nailed It: This leveraged ETF is on fire
Asset Management
<p>Homebuilder stocks and exchange traded funds have recently been buoyed by a spate of encouraging data. Data out Monday show the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index jump three points to 64, its highest reading in a decade.</p> <p>On Tuesday, it was revealed that September housing starts surged 6.5 percent, well ahead of the 1.4 percent increase expected by economists. Predictably, those data points and other are boosting homebuilder stocks and ETFs. For example, the $2.1 billion iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (NYSE: ITB) is up 7.7 percent this year and resides at its highest levels in over eight years.</p> <p>Gains for homebuilders and stocks would be even more impressive if not for a slump that started in August and lasted well into September, but the aforementioned data points ...</p> <p>Full story available on Benzinga.com</p> <p>Photo: istock/PhilAugustavo</p>
Hedge funds post largest asset declines since ‘08
Hedge Funds
<p>Investors may have kind been to hedge funds during the third quarter, but apparently, the market was just too much for them:<br /> “Total global hedge fund capital posted the largest decline since the Financial Crisis in the third quarter, as global financial market volatility surged on uncertainty over US interest rates, China and M&amp;A transactions. Estimated hedge fund capital declined by $95 billion across all strategy areas to end the quarter at $2.87 trillion, as new investor capital inflows only partially offset performance-based declines.”<br /> The quarterly asset decline is supposedly the first since the second quarter of 2012 and the largest since fourth quarter of 2008, according to HFR. Inflows remained strong though, with three of the four main hedge fund strategies boasting net capital inflows for the quarter. Event-driven funds for example saw $5.4 billion in inflows while relative value funds punched in $2.9 billion. Macro funds however experienced $5.1 billion in outflows, largely due to the Fed cooking the emerging markets and China's slowdown hurting commodities.<br /> Photo: Lucas Stanley</p>
Watch out Silicon Valley, Asia’s VC space has you in its sights
Venture Capital
<p>Silicon Valley may have Apple, Google, and Facebook but as far as venture capital investments are concerned, Asia’s beginning to give it a serious run for its money.<br /> “The venture capital industry in Asia has seen strong growth over the past year, and in Q3 the aggregate value of deals was comparable to the total value of deals in North America. India and China, the largest part of the Asian industry, marked 709 financings in the quarter, worth a combined $16.9bn. There were 932 venture capital deals in North America in the same period, worth an aggregate $17.5bn.”<br /> Preqin adds that total Q1 to Q3 venture capital investments in China and India have surged to $36.2 billion – an over 180% climb from 2014’s $19.9 billion total – bringing Asian VC investments just $17 billion shy of North America’s $53.5 billion for the same time period.</p> <p>Nine of the ten largest venture capital deals in the third quarter were based in Asia as well, with Didi Kuaidi’s two recent rounds bagging the top two spots.</p> <p>However, North America may still have a chance to stretch their lead. While deal numbers in the west has fallen, deal sizes continue to climb with some late stage and debt financing deals reaching “record levels.”</p> <p>Deal numbers in Asia are still climbing though, as Preqin’s Christopher Elvin notes:<br /> “The venture capital industry is developing in two different directions between emerging and mature markets. In emerging markets, particularly in Asia, rapidly developing economies like China and India are providing increasing numbers of opportunities for investors and fund managers. While average deal size is increasing slightly, the key driver of growth is the increasing number of deals.”<br /> Photo: brefoto</p>
Sweden is looking to be the world's first cashless country
FinTech
<p>As the world’s financial hubs scramble to get ahead in the fintech game, researchers think it’s Sweden that will win the crown (pun intended) of the world’s first fully cashless society.</p> <p>The nordic nation already has a reputation for being the world’s most cash free country but a recent report by Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology reckon’s the Swedes are poised to rid themselves their loose change forever.</p> <p>Niklas Arvidsson, a researcher in industrial economics and management at KTH, boasts that the rapid expanding adoption of mobile payments means that his country simply has no need for your primitive paper notes. He says:<br /> "Cash is still an important means of payment in many countries' markets, but that no longer applies here in Sweden. Our use of cash is small, and it's decreasing rapidly."<br /> The report goes on to say that  there are less than 80 billion Swedish crowns ($9.6 billion) now in circulation, down from 106 billion six years ago. What’s more, of that amount only around 40-60% is actually in regular circulation, with the being stored away or traded in an underground economy.</p> <p>However, Arvidsson stops short of giving a date for when we can expect to see the final end of the cash crown. There are still plenty of reasons why paper and coins will persist. An article by the Guardian last year, for example, cited Sweden’s technology-resistant senior citizens, and the need to cater to cash-obsessed foreigners visiting the country, as just two reasons why the 100% cashless dream maybe some way off yet.<br /> Photo: Margo Akermark</p>
Bridgewater’s All-Weather Fund down 6% for the year
Hedge Funds
<p>Guess it couldn’t weather this stormy 2015.<br /> “The $70 billion Bridgewater All Weather Fund, managed by hedge fund titan Ray Dalio, was down 1.9 percent in September and is down 6 percent through the first nine months of the year, three people familiar with the fund's performance said on Tuesday.</p> <p>The All Weather Fund is one of two big portfolios managed by Bridgewater Associates and uses a so-called ‘risk parity’ strategy that is supposed to make money for investors if bonds or stocks sell off, though not simultaneously.”<br /> Reuters does add that it’s up 3.7% for October, though unfortunately for them, spoos has climbed 5.8% in the same time period. As for Dalio’s Pure Alpha II Fund, it did slightly better with a 3.9% year to date return.<br /> Photo: Fadil Basymeleh</p>
Rothman: No hard landing for China
Asset Management
<p>While half of the world debates the veracity of China’s GDP growth data, Matthews Asia’s strategist Andy Rothman would rather that people focus on something much more important – the nation’s apparent shift from exports to consumption:<br /> “The figure is just a tad below the 7% pace of GDP growth for the first two quarters of this year, and is 0.3 percentage points slower than the 3Q14 pace of 7.2%—which was 0.6 percentage points slower than the 7.9% rate in 3Q13. This is the inevitable deceleration of China’s growth due to changes in demographics, slower growth in construction activity and the base effect. The financial media will likely be able to write headlines about the slowest GDP growth rates since the Tang Dynasty for many quarters to come. But is that really the most important part of the story?</p> <p>We are pleased to see that the rebalancing of China’s economy toward consumption and away from exports and investments continues to make significant progress. This rebalancing is key to our investment strategy. For the first time ever, services and consumption (the tertiary* part of the economy) accounted for more than half of China’s GDP, at 51.4%, up from 41.4% a decade ago. This mitigates weakness in manufacturing and construction (the secondary* part), and, if this rebalancing continues, it should mean that macro deceleration will be gradual.”<br /> That would be great, but unfortunately, his argument does have a few holes in it. For one thing, there was just no way services put on a good show in the third quarter. As the always astute Christopher Balding pointed out following the GDP release:<br /> “Service growth was boosted enormously in Q2 by the enormous increase in financial services from the stock market bubble. Given the collapse in the Chinese stock market in Q3, by almost any measure such as price level, margin lending, or trading volume, it seems shall we say puzzling that service growth remained so robust.”<br /> Consumer data meanwhile seems to be a little murky. Clothing and electronic outputs have not been great, which doesn’t seem simpatico with the supposed 10.9% climb in retail sales.</p> <p>Nevertheless, given how Matthews’ funds are doing – the Matthews China Dividend Fund returned 8.45% YTD compared to the MSCI China’s negative 3.44% – chances are these guys know a thing or two about what they're doing. Stay tuned.<br /> Photo: Jim Winstead</p>