HSBC and Allianz Global Investors (Allianz GI) have partnered to launch a fund that would give institutional investors access to the trade finance market. In a statement, the two organisations said the Allianz Working Capital Fund would buy and offer to clients notes into which trade finance assets originated by HSBC had been wrapped.The assets could include traditional products such as trade loans or structured solutions like supply chain finance, with the initial focus to be on using European corporate trade finance assets before including other markets. Deborah Zurkow, global head of alternatives at Allianz GI, said: “Trade finance is a rapidly evolving opportunity for institutional investors. [This] launch helps unlock a whole new asset class for our institutional clients, providing unique, short-dated, uncorrelated cash flows.” According to the statement, banks collectively provide almost $10trn (€9trn) of trade finance to importing and exporting companies annually, with the secondary market for these assets estimated at around $300bn, and mainly comprising bilateral trading between banks.Trade finance contracts were not standardised and therefore could be hard for investors to price, it said. Surath Sengupta, global head of trade portfolio management and distribution at HSBC, said: “We’re aiming for nothing less than a major reform of the trade finance market that will benefit exporters, importers and investors keen to buy into real economy transactions.“Given that global demand for trade finance already outstrips supply by about $1.5trn a year, we see huge potential for a thriving secondary market to stimulate trade in goods and services – the lifeblood of the global economy.”APG to close gender pay gapAPG, the €500bn Dutch asset manager and pensions provider, has announced a plan to close the pay gap between its male and female staff.It said a survey had shown that women received 2.2% less in salary on average than their male colleagues.To address this, APG said it would raise the remuneration of more than 125 female employees who received less, despite working in similar positions and having similar experience and years of service.According to the company, the pay increase would be achieved within its existing budget.It added that, for the remaining female workers, there was no difference in pay with male colleagues in a comparable position.APG employs approximately 3,000 staff, 960 of whom are women.Soros buys into GAMRenowned investor George Soros has acquired a 3% stake in GAM, the Swiss asset management firm that came under pressure last year after a manager was suspended.According to a Swiss stock exchange statement, the stake is held by SFM UK Management, a subsidiary of Soros Fund Management, which Soros chairs. In July 2018 GAM suspended Tim Haywood, lead manager of its absolute return and unconstrained fixed income funds, which led to a wave of investor redemptions. It is still in the process of liquidating the funds, although GAM has paid out roughly 90% of the assets in the affected funds as of 1 May.In February the listed Swiss asset manager reported assets under management of CHF56.1bn (€49.9bn) as at year-end 2018, down from CHF84.4bn a year before, with a reduction of CHF11bn related to the unconstrained/absolute return bond funds.
Image source: USACEThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, has just posted this amazing image from 1962 of the drag arm of their dredging vessel Goethals, which operated from 1937 to 1982. From a distance, the Corps’ hopper dredger looks like most any other vessel. Thing that makes it different is the ‘lobster claw’, duplicated on other side, which acts just like a vacuum cleaner.Dredge sucks up debris which goes into tanks (hoppers) which make up most of hull. When hoppers are full, cargo is dumped at sea.According to the Corps, pictured here is Raymond Wohl (69 Dept.) during the ‘feeler’ inspection work.
NoonThe CIF Southern Section suggests starting times for its playoff games, but they are not written in stone. Coaches are allowed to change the game time if both coaches from teams involved agree, and submit the change to the CIF office for confirmation. The suggested time for boys and girls basketball games is 7:30 p.m., for boys and girls soccer games 3 p.m., and for girls water polo 3:15 p.m. Fans are encouraged to continue to check with the schools involved and/or with their local newspapers. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Google recently released a report that provides insight into the Android’s security, revealing that it was able to cut the overall rate of potentially harmful application installs by 50% in 2014.“That’s why we built Android the way we did—with multiple layers of security in the platform itself and in the services Google provides,” wrote Adrian Ludwig, lead engineer for Android security, in a blog post.According to the Android Security State of the Union 2014 report, less than 1% of Android devices had a potentially dangerous app installed in 2014. In addition, less than .015% of devices that installed apps specifically from Google Play had a vulnerable app installed.To continue to protect its operating system, Google said it also conducts 200 million security device scans per day, and has increased its efforts to protect devices outside of Google Play. “We also use data to improve security in near real time through a combination of reliable products and trusted services, like Google Play and Verify Apps,” Ludwig wrote. “And, because we are an open platform, third-party research and reports help make us stronger and users safer.”Google also revealed that it was taking more proactive steps to provide better application protection. The company announced a new app process to review apps before they are published to the app store.“We want to ensure that Android is a safe place, and this report has helped us take a look at how we did in the past year, and what we can still improve on,” Ludwig said.Additional findings included that more than 25,000 Google Play apps were updated to increase security, and Android responded to 79 external security issues in 2014.The full report can be found here.