APELDOORN, the Netherlands - New Dutch funding standards that threaten to discourage equity investment will be published by Jan. 1.
The rules would require Dutch pension funds to maintain a 100% funding level, but wouldn't specify what level of market drop should be anticipated, said Rein van Dam, director of the Apeldoorn-based Verzekeringskamer, Holland's insurance chamber.
A draft standard is being circulated among actuaries and industry groups for comment. The issue has stirred controvery in the Dutch pension community.
U.K. joining EMU
WINDSOR, England - More than three-quarters of U.K. corporate treasurers believe Great Britain should join European Monetary Union, although only 37% believe the country should do so on EMU's formation, according to a survey by Record Treasury Management, Windsor.
While 53% of FTSE 250 companies believe Britain as a whole would benefit from joining EMU, only 30% believe their companies would gain. More than twice that percentage figured there would be no difference. Only 16% of treasurers figured they will personally gain from Britain's entrance into EMU.
New AXA fund to make
direct investments in China
PARIS - AXA Group is launching an institutional fund as its principal direct investment vehicle in China and the rest of Asia. The AXA National Mutual China Asian No. 1 Fund will be offered in conjunction with AXA's Hong Kong subsidiary, National Mutual Asia, and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, its U.S. investment banking subsidiary. AXA will provide $125 million in seed money; the fund is expected to reach $500 million.
The fund will target private equity investments primarily in China, as well as in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and selected Indochinese countries.
As much as 75% of the fund's capital may be directly invested in companies in China in high-growth industries.
Global cash management
BOSTON - Bank of Boston unveiled a network of banks to offer one-stop shopping for U.S. companies doing business in Europe.
Bank of Boston will provide cash management in the United Kingdom, Germany and France; Banque Bruxxels Lambert will cover Belgium; Allied Irish Banks PLC, will cover Ireland; MeesPierson, the Netherlands; and Banco Popular Espa?ol will cover Spain.
Robert J. Lyddon, director, global payments-Europe for Bank of Boston, said a link with an Italian bank is in the works.
Hong Kong market
seen as top performer
HONG KONG - Hong Kong's market will be the Asian region's best performer over the next 18 months to two years, Alan Liu, a director of GAM Institutional, Global Asset Management (H.K.) Ltd., said in an interview.
Mr. Liu attributed Hong Kong's expected outperformance to improving economic growth in China and in Hong Kong - including the current recovery in Hong Kong's important property market - and growing confidence about Hong Kong after its 1997 handover to China.