OSLO - Norges Bank, Norway's central bank, has hired ABN AMRO Asset Management (UK), London, and Goldman Sachs Asset Management, New York, to manage portions of its foreign exchange reserves.
ABN AMRO will manage a 150 million deutsche mark fixed-income portfolio that can be invested in instruments denominated in marks, French francs, sterling, guilders, Belgian francs, Danish krone, Swedish krona and ECUs.
Goldman Sachs is charged with investing a $100 million fixed-income portfolio in U.S.- and Canadian-dollar instruments.
The central bank outsourced the money to provide a comparison with its own internal management and to establish closer ties with the international managers.
Norges Bank also hired Bankers Trust Co. to provide custody and performance analysis for the two portfolios.
Leif Eide, executive director of the bank's monetary policy unit, said the bank will assess the managers after some months and will either increase their allocations or hire additional managers. The current thinking is to increase the number of external managers used by the bank, he said.
Hong Kong hospitals pick
currency overlay firms
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Hospital Authority hired Bankers Trust and Pareto Partners to handle currency overlay for the entire equity portfolio of its U.S.$900 million pension fund.
Jimmy Pun, chief manager for financial services, said each manager will handle currency overlay for about $250 million. Towers Perrin assisted in the hiring.
Pension Fund Association boosts equity holdings
TOKYO - The Pension Fund Association, Tokyo, which sponsors 2.8 Yen trillion ($24 billion) in pension assets, recently shifted to a higher equity weighting.
The PFA now has 30% of its assets in Japanese equities, 14% in foreign equities, 43% in Japanese bonds and general accounts, 5% in Japanese convertible bonds, 6% in foreign bonds and 2% in real estate.
As part of the changes, the PFA hired two additional trust banks, State Street Bank and Trust and Swiss Union Trust, the Japanese unit of Union Bank of Switzerland.
Both of the banks have been hired to manage foreign equity portfolios of an undisclosed size. In addition, the PFA hired Capital International to run a foreign stock portfolio of an undisclosed size.
Indosuez Asset Management was terminated; the firm also managed foreign equities, said Naohito Takahashi, general manager of PFA's investment research department; he declined to reveal the size of the portfolio.
Prior to the changes, PFA's asset mix was 21.17% Japanese stocks, 10.41% foreign stocks, 46.75% Japanese bonds and general accounts, 5.1% in Japanese convertible bonds, 2.31% in real estate and 2.58% in life insurance company separate accounts.
Peregrine opens office in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO - Peregrine Asset Management, Hong Kong, opened an office in San Francisco for U.S. clients. The unit, Peregrine Asset Management (USA) has $300 million under management; it offers the Peregrine Asia Pacific Growth Fund, a no-load Asian equity ex-Japan mutual fund, and has subadvisory assignments for the Van Eck Worldwide Emerging Markets portfolio for variable insurance products and the Van Eck Emerging Markets Growth Fund offered by Van Eck Global. PAM (USA) is headed by William Hortz, who joined the firm recently as president; he was previously regional director for institutional services of Neuberger & Berman Management.
Morgan Stanley sees
Hang Seng topping 16,500
HONG KONG - Morgan Stanley predicts the Hang Seng index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange can reach 16,500 by the end of 1997.
And the market gains are likely to be sustainable well beyond 1997. Peter Churchouse, a Morgan Stanley managing director in Hong Kong, predicted the Hong Kong market index could hit 28,000 by mid-1999. That forecast reflects "a multiple similar to that recorded at the tops of previous cycles and an acceleration in the earnings growth of the major companies to around 20% from (1995's) level of 15%," Mr. Churchouse has written. The Hang Seng closed Jan. 23 at 13610.33.
Morgan Stanley now recommends its single largest weighting - 35% - to Hong Kong in Asia-excluding-Japan portfolios. For 1997, Morgan Stanley sees Hong Kong posting a 28.7% total return - second in such portfolios only to Thailand's market, in which the firm expects a total gain of 48%.
Western makes Euro bid, opens London office
LONDON - Western Asset Management opened a London office to pursue money management opportunities in Europe.
Rudolph Otter, formerly head of global fixed-income sales at Credit Commercial de France, will head the London unit.
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