Along with such personal efforts, money management companies — big and small — have pledged donations to non-government organizations involved in relief efforts or offered to match contributions by their employees. Among them:
• State Street Corp., Boston, announced it would make a $300,000 grant to the American Red Cross International Response Fund and set aside another $100,000 to match donations by its employees.
• Northern Trust Corp., Chicago, announced it would make a $250,000 corporate contribution to the American Red Cross International Response Fund. It also set aside another $250,000 to match employee contributions.
• AMVESCAP, London, will donate $50,000 each to the International Red Cross/Red Crescent and UNICEF, while setting aside another $150,000 to match employee contributions.
• Mellon Financial Corp., Pittsburgh, will donate $25,000 and set aside $50,000 to match employee contributions.
• Loomis, Sayles & Co. LP, Boston, set aside $200,000 to match employee contributions.
• Putnam Investments, Boston, will donate $50,000 to the American Red Cross International.
• Research Affiliates LLC, Pasadena, Calif., will donate 10% of its 2004 profits to Doctors Without Borders.
Among pension funds, ABP and PGGM, two of the largest pension funds in the Netherlands, reportedly have set up a support fund for elderly people in Asia who lost children in the tsunami disaster, making contributions of €1 million each.
Despite the magnitude of the disaster, the tsunami hardly ruffled financial markets in the region.
The absence of market panic was "entirely rational," given the minimal impact on listed companies in Southeast Asia, said Paul Niven, head of strategy at F&C Asset Management PLC, London. Markets like Indonesia hit a new 52-week high in recent days, he noted.
The Jakarta Stock Exchange's composite index closed Jan. 7 at 1,032.53, up more than 4% from its pre-tsunami close; Thailand's SET index closed at 697.84, up more than 4%; while India's BSE 30 index closed at 6,420.46, down more than 1.2%.
"The tsunami was a human disaster," not an economic one, said Khiem Do, head of Asian equities with Baring Asset Management (Hong Kong). BAM expects the disaster to lower Thailand's economic growth this year by 0.6 percentage points and Indonesia's by 0.3 percentage points.