A key component of blockchain technology, a smart contract is a self-executing set of instructions. The partnership between the three organisations will enable index data to move instantly between index providers and market participants over one decentralised database, Vanguard said.“Using this platform, investment managers will be able to instantly distribute, receive, and process index data, resulting in better benchmark tracking and significant cost savings that potentially results in better returns for our clients,” said Warren Pennington, a principal in Vanguard’s investment management group.Currently, index data transmission, which is essential to many operations within the financial services industry, including portfolio construction and strategy execution, relied on multiple parties and distribution channels to reach investment professionals, Vanguard said in its statement. A spokesman for the fund manager told IPE it would use the platform early next year for products tracking CRSP indices. Vanguard manages 17 such funds in the US, including Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, which has $650bn (€551bn) in assets under management.“True to the spirit of blockchain’s decentralised system, this platform will be available to all buy-side institutions so that all investors, and not one single firm, can benefit from more efficient capital markets,” said the spokesman.He was unable to provide any figures on the estimated level of cost savings.FCA ‘alive’ to blockchain opportunities, risksMeanwhile, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has described the feedback it received on a discussion paper about distributed ledger technology (DLT). DLT is sometimes used as an alternative term for, or to describe, blockchain. Respondents to the regulator’s paper expressed particular support for the FCA maintaining a “technology-neutral” approach to regulation, the FCA said.The feedback also suggested that current FCA rules were flexible enough to accommodate the use of DLT by regulated firms and no changes to specific rules were proposed.Many respondents suggested that DLT solutions could deliver regulatory requirements more efficiently than current systems, substantially reducing costs for firms and regulators alike.The FCA said it would continue to monitor DLT-related market developments and keep its rules and guidance under review in the light of those developments. Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “The original paper opened a discussion about DLT and the volume and breadth of responses we received from the industry demonstrates the significance of this issue.“DLT has the potential to transform practices across a number of markets, sharpening competition and improving risk management. At the same time we have to be alive to the risks of certain applications of it.” Fund manager Vanguard is to use a platform based on blockchain technology to automate delivery of certain index data. It was encouraged to do so after successfully testing the data sharing process, a collaboration with the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) and Symbiont, a provider of platforms for institutional applications of blockchain technology. Under the pilot, CRSP had over the last several months distributed daily index data to Vanguard through Symbiont’s blockchain platform, Vanguard said in a statement.Delivering the data via a blockchain and automating workflows with smart contracts had expedited data delivery, eliminated the need for manual updates, and reduced risks, it added.
The campaign group argued that the funds, through their large holdings in coal, oil and gas companies, were acting against the Paris agreement on climate change as well as certain national laws and agreements. A Greenpeace banner outside AP3’s office last weekA spokeswoman for AP3 said: “Greenpeace haven’t had an honest intent and therefore the prerequisites for a dialogue do not exist.”AP1, AP2 and AP4 did not comment.The AP funds are well-known for their emphasis on environmental issues and sustainability within their investment activities, as well as taking a leading international role in ESG campaigns.Their mandate is currently in the process of being reformed, and includes new legal requirements for the funds to be managed in an “exemplary manner” with regard to responsible investment and responsible ownership.In February 2017, AP3 reported that it had doubled its holdings in green bonds in 2016 SEK9.5bn, and is one of the largest Nordic investors in the instruments.In March this year, AP3 and AP4 were among the backers of a $1.42bn green bond fund, which was said to be the largest such fund launch up to that point. AP2, AP3 and AP4 were also among 60 investors earlier this year to support an engagement project to push international food companies to use more non-meat-based proteins.AP1, AP2, AP3, AP4 and AP7 are all members of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, while all six funds in the AP system – including private equity specialist AP6 – have all signed up to the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment.Note: This story was updated to include a comment from AP3. One of Sweden’s state pension buffer funds was targeted by activists from campaign group Greenpeace last week in a protest which included the occupation of a meeting room.The Swedish branch of the environmental organisation is currently conducting a campaign aimed at persuading the four main AP funds to divest from their coal, oil and gas stocks.AP3’s central Stockholm offices were invaded by the activists early on Wednesday morning, who then locked themselves in a meeting room and hung up paintings “to remind the AP funds that they, as state authorities, must live up to the laws and objectives decided by the Swedish Parliament”, according to a Greenpeace press release.Meanwhile, other protestors from the group went onto the roof and hung a large banner on the front of the building with the slogans “lyd lagen” (obey the law), and ”flytta pengarna” (move the money).
Chairman of DIP Peter Falkenham said: “In 2018, both the spread of our investments and our risk profile were put to the test. In order to make our investment portfolio as robust as possible, we have composed it of a range of different assets, and in particular our real estate investments have helped to ensure good returns.”Falkenham said the real estate result was achieved partly through positive market conditions but was also the fund’s efforts to develop and optimise the management of its existing property portfolio.“At a time when global equity markets are challenged, the property market shows itself to be stable and over the next few years we expect to increase our real estate portfolio.” he said.Real assets accounted for 16.3% of DIP’s investment portfolio at the end of 2018, up from the 14.8% allocation to the asset class a year earlier.In January, DIP and the Lawyers’ and Economists’ Pension Fund (JØP) bought a stake in a Danish office complex from Sampension in what JØP said was the biggest commercial property deal ever done between pension funds in Denmark.DIP said it was continuing in its talks with JØP about their plans to merge, and had asked its members to vote on the consolidation on 29 April.The pension fund said the merger would place the resulting joint pension fund among Denmark’s top 10 largest funds and give it access to more lucrative investment opportunities. The Danish Pension Fund for Engineers (DIP) plans to grow its real estate portfolio further after the asset class generated a 12.8% return for 2018.The result helped cushion losses in other areas, resulting in a full-year loss of 1.7% on its investment portfolio, according to its annual report.DIP – which is one of two pension funds for engineers in Denmark – described 2018 as an eventful and challenging year for the pensions sector.While total assets remained broadly unchanged at the end of December 2018 from the year before, at DKK41bn (€4.4bn), DIP said that over the past five years they had risen from DKK33bn in 2013.
Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) has called for applications from asset managers for non-Japanese Bonds and has issued a request for information on fund-of-fund managers for emerging markets (EM) infrastructure.Under the fixed income mandate, the fund is looking for managers that undertake both active and passive investment in foreign bonds.For active investment, GPIF lists indices including Bloomberg Barclays Euro Aggregate Bond Index and the JP Morgan GBI-EM Global Diversified Index as investment benchmarks.It said it would also accept “any other benchmark (unhedged in Japanese yen terms) in accordance with investment product proposals”. For passive Investment, GPIF would assign the benchmark.Passive investment managers are being asked to provide either the track record of FTSE World Government Bond Index (ex-JPY Unhedged/in JPY terms) or another non-Japanese Bond benchmark.GPIF did not set a deadline for the offering. “We will review applications as needed,” it said.“Upon consideration of diversifying passive fund benchmarks, we will start reviewing passive fund managers on 22 May 2020.“We seek asset managers with broad expertise and access to various benchmarks, such as corporate high yield indices, EM-related indices (and) aggregate indices.”At the beginning fo the month, the fund increase its allocation to foreign fixed income by 10% as it planned to cut back on its exposure to domestic government bonds for the next five years.For EM infrastructure, the ¥158trn (€1.35trn) pension fund said it is considering appointing a specialist fund-of-funds manager as part of its global infrastructure strategy.GPIF said it “expects to receive useful information from managers in the relevant market in order to develop an idea of potential investment in the emerging markets going forward”.It added: “GPIF maintains the key strategy to invest mainly in core infrastructure, which will yield stable income”.GPIF is looking for a fund-of-funds arrangement but it said it “will also accept information” on other investment schemes.More than two years ago, GPIF appointed StepStone Infrastructure & Real Assets as its global fund-of-funds manager. Earlier this year, it invested in Brussels Airport through the mandate.
Inside the luxurious home.He said the property attracted strong interest because of its location.Brisbane buyers snapped it up to use as a holiday home.But Mr O’Connor isn’t leaving the area either. This house at 15 Webb Rd, Sunshine Beach, has sold for $5m.The dual international and former Australian Sevens coach bought the land for just $310,000 back in 1993 and built the five-bedroom, three-bathroom house on it.It has only been partially renovated it since. THE BACHELOR’S NEWEST CRASH PAD Michael O’Connor in action during a rugby union match between Queensland and France in 1981. Photo supplied. This house at 15 Webb Rd, Sunshine Beach, has sold.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours ago The kitchen in the house at 15 Webb Rd, Sunshine Beach.Designed by award-winning architect Stephen Kidd, the resort-style home’s high ceilings and big glass windows make the most of the incredible views of the ocean. INFAMOUS BIKIE’S UNIT SELLS Former dual international and Australian Sevens rugby coach, Michael O’Connor.He played for the Wallabies in 13 Tests from 1979 to 1982 and the Kangaroos in 17 Tests from 1985 to 1990.He also played club football for the St George Dragons and the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, as well playing for NSW in State of Origin, until his retirement in 1992. Former footy star Michael O’Connor has sold this house.He’s purchased another home for his family in nearby Peregian Beach — a more modern house with ocean views.Mr Hay said the prestige market in the Noosa shire was continuing to attract strong interest.Mr O’Connor represented Australia in both rugby union and rugby league. Michael O’Connor, pictured when he was appointed the Australian Rugby Sevens coach in 2008.FORMER footy star Michael O’Connor has sold his luxurious home in Sunshine Beach for $5 million.The ex-rugby league and rugby union player had owned the property at 15 Webb Rd, Sunshine Beach, for the past 25 years. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE One of the bathrooms in the house.Selling agent Mike Hay of Century 21 Conolly Hay Group said it was “a great result” for a property without direct beach access.“It’s in one of the most premium streets in the Noosa area,” Mr Hay said. SHIPPING CONTAINERS TRANSFORM COTTAGE The house is in one of the most exclusive streets in the Noosa shire.
More Chinese buyers are predicted to invest in Brisbane this year because of the US trade war and the appeal to study here.CASHED-UP Chinese buyers are set to bombard the Brisbane property market this year on the back of a trade war with the US and an influx of Asian students.Foreign families have been flocking to buy homes — predominantly in the city’s west and south — to accommodate the unprecedented number of children studying in Queensland on international student visas.Ahead of the Chinese New Year officially starting next week, buyers have been in the market for big homes close to good schools in suburbs like Indooroopilly and South Brisbane. The US trade war with China could deter Chinese investment in the country. Photo: Fred Dufour/AFP.Ms Law said Chinese buying in Brisbane was partly driven by families whose children were studying in the city and wanted to house them in a property they themselves owned. “Many of the buyers we work with hope to defray or actually make a profit on their student housing costs,” she said.“They buy a residence and rent out an extra bedroom to another student as a roommate. “If the combination of that income and possible capital gains is high enough, the student could complete his or her studies having paid a net of zero for their housing.“This year, we expect Chinese buyers to continue to focus their demand on new apartments and house and land packages. “Compared to Sydney, Brisbane is more affordable and its foreign buyer stamp duty is one point lower, at 7 per cent versus 8 per cent.”A Chinese buyer recently set a building record by paying $4.5 million for a second-hand apartment in the luxury Abian development in Brisbane’s CBD.“This is just one of many examples that show Chinese buyers are still important,” Ms Law said. US President Donald Trump, left, and China’s President Xi Jinping. Photo: AP/Saul Loeb.New figures from Chinese property portal Juwai.com reveal more than 33,000 mainland Chinese and Hong Kong students were studying in Queensland in 2018 — up from about 21,000 in 2015. That’s a 57 per cent increase in just four years. Real estate agents have revealed so-called tiger parents from Asia are willing to spend big for homes near the best schools and universities to ensure the success of their child — up to $100,000 more in some cases.The most popular Queensland suburbs among Chinese buyers in 2018 were St Lucia, Indooroopilly, South Brisbane and Sunnybank, according to realestate.com.au.Juwai.com chief executive Carrie Law said Chinese buying in Brisbane this year would be supported by strong growth in Chinese wealth, the appeal of Brisbane’s solid market, a lack of other investment opportunities and a possible shift in investment from the US due to the trade war. And the number of Chinese buyers looking to the sunshine state is set to grow as investors become increasingly nervous about buying real estate in America. Chinese couple Sonia Zhuang and Pedro Tan have just purchased their first home in Calamvale. Picture: AAP/David.The young couple from China have lived in Brisbane for nine years, but this is the first home they have bought together.“The first time we went to the house, we didn’t think we could have it because we thought it was worth a lot more than what we actually paid because the house is so well kept,” Mr Tan said. “The owner apparently had some very expensive taste.” Mr Tan said they wanted to live in Calamvale because it was “quiet and peaceful” and “relatively convenient and affordable compared to Sunnybank and those areas”.“Our parents are overseas, but are probably going to come and visit once or twice a year, so it’s also going to be a comfy home for them to come visit.”Selling agent Simon Au of RE/MAX Masters said properties in the suburbs of Calamvale, Parkinson and Sunnybank Hills were popular among Chinese buyers as they had lots of family-sized, brick and tile homes.“The Chinese market is a huge market, and Chinese buyers like to purchase and keep multiple properties — many of them will buy and keep for years and not sell them,” Mr Au said. “I believe there will be more and more Chinese buyers in the future, as the Chinese see great potential in the Brisbane market, especially the southside areas in and around Sunnybank.”TOP BRISBANE SUBURBS FOR CHINESE BUYERS1. St Lucia2. Indooroopilly3. South Brisbane4. Sunnybank5. Cairns6. Benowa7. Carindale8. Toowong9. Southport10. Calamvale(Source: Realestate.com.au, based on online property searches in 2018)WHAT CHINESE BUYERS WANT*Convenient location*Low maintenance*Small yard*New house*Close to schools Juwai.com chief executive Carrie Law.Ms Law said the trade war was making some Chinese investors increasingly nervous about buying real estate in the US.“Some of those investors may turn to Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and other parts of Queensland as a natural alternative,” Ms Law said.“Chinese students who turn away from US schools and universities may choose Queensland instead. “Since a lot of the Chinese real estate buying in Queensland is related to housing students, that would have big spill-over effects on local real estate investment. “The trade war could mean more Chinese investment for Brisbane.” The view from apartment 3501/140 Alice St, Brisbane City, which sold for $4.5m. Picture supplied.Simon Caulfield of Place Estate Agents – Kangaroo Point, who negotiated the sale of the property at 3501/140 Alice Street, said the buyers had seen value in the Brisbane market, having purchased rural properties and a coastal asset as well as the apartment.“Because they travel a lot, they love the concierge and privacy (Abian offers),” Mr Caulfield said.“Everything is at their doorstep being in the CBD, including their son being able to get to school easily at Churchie.”Robin Yu, principal of RE/MAX Masters- Coopers Plains, said the percentage of local buyers who were born in China had increased in the past five years. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours ago“That’s as opposed to locally born Australians of Chinese descent,” Mr Yu said. “Today, more often than not, they are Chinese born.”Mr Yu said Chinese buyers purchasing for their children wanted property that met a certain criteria, including a convenient location, close to schools and close to the Asian community around Sunnybank. He said they tended to like new houses with small yards.“They have to travel a lot, so they want it to be easy to maintain,” he said. “They also don’t have much experience with gardens.”Pedro Tan, 30, and his fiancee, Sonia Zhuang, 29, have just bought a four-bedroom, brick and tile family home in Calamvale for $695,000.
The home at 19 Portwine St, Murarrie, is spread across three levels. Picture: supplied.WITH city views, plenty of space over three levels, a swimming pool and an elevator, this Murarrie home is sure to impress. Current owners Scot and Andrea Williams bought the six-bedroom property at 19 Portwine St, Murarrie with their three older children in mind.“We love the city views and the sheer size of the home,” Mr Williams said. “We have older teenage children and with the massive proportions of the home and the separation, they can have their own space. The home at 19 Portwine St, Murarrie, includes an inground swimming pool. Picture: Supplied.Mr Williams said the home was perfect for families of any size or age, as well as being great for those who like to entertain. “It’s in a very quiet neighbourhood,” he said. “It’s close to Cannon Hill Anglican College and we’re only a few hundred meters from the train station.” The property is on the market through Meagan Muir of Place Bulimba. The kitchen at 19 Portwine St, Murarrie. Picture: Supplied.The large living area flows out past a bar area to the large poolside entertaining space. The saltwater pool is solar heated and has a waterfall feature.The open-plan kitchen, dining and living area is on the top floor, with a terrace off the kitchen and a balcony off the living area. “I’ll probably miss sitting out on the balcony with that beautiful city view the most,” Mr Williams said. There is also a separate dining area while the master suite includes a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite. The view from the dining area 19 Portwine St, Murarrie“Our kids are at the car age so having room for four cars plus a horse float is also great.” On the ground floor of the tri-level home there is a four-car garage, a workshop, a bathroom and a carport with a 2.9m clearance — perfect for a motorhome or boat. There is also an elevator that services all three levels. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus12 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market12 hours agoOn the second floor there are five bedrooms, with an ensuite to one, a family bathroom, a media room and a storage space.
J.E. McAmis, a California based heavy-civil, marine and environmental contractor, has won the Mouth of the Columbia River (MCR) 2017 North Jetty Rehabilitation Project.In continuation of interim repairs completed also by McAmis in 2015, the basic repair template for the 2017 MCR North Jetty Rehabilitation effort includes more than 6,300 LF of rehabilitation or construction of a 30-ft crest width, 1V:1.5H side slopes, and a crest elevation of +25 ft (NAVD88).To complete the repairs, McAmis will utilize more than 120,000 tons of stone ranging up to 30 tons per stone.“The MCR jetties help support the economy of our region and the entire country. The Columbia Snake River System is the nation’s largest wheat export gateway. When combined with soybeans, corn, pulses and other grains, it is the third largest grain export gateway in the world. It is number one on the west coast for forest products and mineral bulk exports,” according to the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association (PNWA).Each year, approximately 44 million tons of cargo moves through the deep draft Lower Columbia River, valued at roughly $24 billion, PNWA said.
Australian energy company Santos has announced positive results of its two-well appraisal drilling program in the Barossa field, offshore Darwin, Australia. The project is operated by ConocoPhillips.The results has strengthened the field’s position as lead candidate to supply backfill gas to Darwin LNG plant, Santos said.According to Santos, well logs and pressure data from the Barossa-5 and Barossa-6 wells confirm that the primary Elang reservoir section is gas saturated and in pressure communication with previous wells drilled on the Barossa field, located in NT/RL5, Bonaparte Basin offshore Northern Territory.The successful outcome from the two appraisal wells justified further production testing in the field to confirm reservoir productivity and acquire critical dynamic data to support field development planning, Santos said.The Elang reservoir interval in Barossa-6 is similar to the high quality reservoir penetrated in the offset Barossa-3 well, drilled in 2014, some 4.3 kilometers to the east. Barossa-6 flowed gas and condensate from an interval between 4,103 meters to 4,144 meters at a maximum rate of 65 million standard cubic feet (mmscf) per day on a 68/64” choke. A condensate gas ratio of 7 barrels per mmscf was measured at surface with gas composition analysis indicating inerts were as expected. The well flow rate was constrained by test facilities. Multiple hydrocarbon samples were collected for further analysis.FEED decision in 2018 The two-well Barossa appraisal drilling program has now been successfully concluded with results significantly reducing resource uncertainty and further confirming the high deliverability potential of the primary Elang reservoir, Santos said. Subsurface data obtained from the appraisal program will now be integrated into subsurface models to support a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) entry decision in early 2018.The Barossa gas field, 300 kilometers north of Darwin, sits within Santos’ Northern Australia asset, one of the company’s five core assets.“Santos remains committed to working with its joint venture partners in Northern Australia to commercialize the company’s significant discovered resource base in the region through backfill and/or expansion of existing projects,” Santos said.Santos holds a 25% interest in the Barossa-Caldita joint venture along with partners ConocoPhillips (37.5% and operator) and SK E&S (37.5%). Santos is also a joint venture partner in Darwin LNG with an 11.5% interest.
Japan’s Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has entered into an agreement with three companies to participate in the owning and chartering business for a oil and gas floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit off the coast of Ghana.Together with its compatriots, Sumitomo Corporation, JGC Corporation and Development Bank of Japan, the shipping company agreed in principle on the FPSO, named John Agyekum Kufuor, which is run by the Malaysian offshore production services provider Yinson Holdings Berhad and its group of companies.With a crude oil production capacity of 58,000 barrels/day and a gas production capacity of 210 million square feet/day, the FPSO can hold up to 1.4 million barrels of crude.After commencement of the definitive agreement, the four partners will acquire, through a joint venture, 26% of the shares of Yinson Production (West Africa).Yinson Production recently entered into a has concluded a 15-year long-term FPSO chartering agreement with Eni Ghana Exploration & Production, an affiliate of the Italian oil company Eni SPA, and started oil production at Offshore Cape Three Point Block (OCTP) located some 60 kilometers south west of Ghana in May 2017.The partners informed that the domestic supply of natural gas from the FPSO is expected to commence in Ghana by mid-2018. Through the project, the four partners will contribute to stable oil and natural gas supplies in Ghana, thus solving natural gas and electricity shortages in the country.