Top Ten International Shipping Centres of Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index in 2014-2020

Xinhua Silk Road: Shanghai ranks among top 3 international shipping centres

SHANGHAI, July 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Shanghai ranks as one of the top three international shipping centres with world-top container throughput, optimizing collecting and distribution system as well as improving business environment, Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index has shown.

With container throughput of Shanghai Port ranking world’s first for ten consecutive years, Shanghai, among other Asia-Pacific shipping hubs, is gaining ground in terms of global shipping resource allocation, according to the index report released in North Bund of Shanghai Saturday.

By evaluating development level of international shipping centre cities based on port conditions, shipping services and general environment, the index presents this year’s top ten international shipping centres are Singapore, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Athens, New YorkNew Jersey and Tokyo.

Top Ten International Shipping Centres of Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index in 2014-2020
Top Ten International Shipping Centres of Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index in 2014-2020

Rankings over the years show that Singapore continued its crown followed by London, with Shanghai rising to the third through strengthening shipping hardware and software constructions and Athens climbing to the eighth driven by Belt and Road developments.

The world is seeing centre of economic gravity and international shipping moving east, with 11 Asian cities, 61.11 percent of Asian rated samples, rising in rankings this year compared to 2019.

In particular, Shanghai has seen improving port hardware facilities along with “soft power” breakthroughs of supply chain nodes and high-end shipping service integration. Meanwhile, the number of maritime law firm partners in Shanghai reached 629 in 2019, ranking the fourth in the world, while nearly half of the world’s top 100 container enterprises set up branches in the metropolis. In the meantime, Shanghai’s shipping insurance business scale surpassed traditional insurance center Hong Kong for the first time.

Against the spread of COVID-19, the index report charted shipping heatmap which showed harder hit on container shipments by the pandemic than crude ships and bulk carriers.

Container transportation is recovering in Asia especially East Asia, the report pointed out.

The pandemic has forced digital transformation in processes and data exchanges at ports which would improve dock optimization and trade promotion in the future, predicted International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).

Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index was first launched in 2014 by China Economic Information Service (CEIS) of Xinhua News Agency and the Baltic Exchange, and has been gaining international influence since inception.

Original link: https://en.imsilkroad.com/p/314779.html

Photo – https://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20200713/2855436-1?lang=0

Top Ten International Shipping Centres of Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index in 2014-2020

Xinhua Silk Road: Shanghai ranks among top 3 international shipping centres

SHANGHAI, July 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Shanghai ranks as one of the top three international shipping centres with world-top container throughput, optimizing collecting and distribution system as well as improving business environment, Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index has shown.

With container throughput of Shanghai Port ranking world’s first for ten consecutive years, Shanghai, among other Asia-Pacific shipping hubs, is gaining ground in terms of global shipping resource allocation, according to the index report released in North Bund of Shanghai Saturday.

By evaluating development level of international shipping centre cities based on port conditions, shipping services and general environment, the index presents this year’s top ten international shipping centres are Singapore, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Athens, New YorkNew Jersey and Tokyo.

Top Ten International Shipping Centres of Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index in 2014-2020
Top Ten International Shipping Centres of Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index in 2014-2020

Rankings over the years show that Singapore continued its crown followed by London, with Shanghai rising to the third through strengthening shipping hardware and software constructions and Athens climbing to the eighth driven by Belt and Road developments.

The world is seeing centre of economic gravity and international shipping moving east, with 11 Asian cities, 61.11 percent of Asian rated samples, rising in rankings this year compared to 2019.

In particular, Shanghai has seen improving port hardware facilities along with “soft power” breakthroughs of supply chain nodes and high-end shipping service integration. Meanwhile, the number of maritime law firm partners in Shanghai reached 629 in 2019, ranking the fourth in the world, while nearly half of the world’s top 100 container enterprises set up branches in the metropolis. In the meantime, Shanghai’s shipping insurance business scale surpassed traditional insurance center Hong Kong for the first time.

Against the spread of COVID-19, the index report charted shipping heatmap which showed harder hit on container shipments by the pandemic than crude ships and bulk carriers.

Container transportation is recovering in Asia especially East Asia, the report pointed out.

The pandemic has forced digital transformation in processes and data exchanges at ports which would improve dock optimization and trade promotion in the future, predicted International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).

Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index was first launched in 2014 by China Economic Information Service (CEIS) of Xinhua News Agency and the Baltic Exchange, and has been gaining international influence since inception.

Original link: https://en.imsilkroad.com/p/314779.html

Mercurity Fintech Holding Inc. Announced Changes to Board Composition

BEIJING, July 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Mercurity Fintech Holding Inc. (the “Company” or “MFH”) (Nasdaq: MFH) today announced that Mr. Samuel Y. Shen has been appointed as independent director to the Company’s board of directors (the “Board”) and a member of the compensation committee of the Board. Concurrently, Mr. Min Zhou has resigned from the Board, the audit committee of the Board and the compensation committee of the Board for personal reasons. These changes were effective on July 9, 2020.

Mr. Samuel Y. Shen has been in the internet and technology industries for more than 20 years. He currently serves as executive chairman for new retail business group at 21Vianet Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: VNET), a leading carrier- and cloud-neutral Internet data center services provider in China. In 2020, he also co-founded Apurimac Partners Inc., a private investment firm with focus on digital real estate and edge computing industries, and serves as its founding partner. Prior to that, Mr. Shen was president for JD Cloud, a full blown public cloud provider in China and a wholly owned subsidiary of JD.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: JD) from 2017 to 2020. Mr. Shen also had a 23-year career at Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) taking various leadership roles, during which he worked at the head quarter and international subsidiaries from 1993 to 2017. His most recent position at Microsoft was chief operating officer and managing director for the Cloud & Enterprise Group of Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research & Development Group. Mr. Shen received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from National Tsing Hua University in 1986 and his Master of Science degree in computer science from University of California, Santa Barbara in 1991. From 2001 to 2002, he also attended executive class program at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.

Ms. Hua Zhou, Chairperson of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Mr. Min Zhou for his contribution to the Company and wish him every success in the future. At the same time, we are pleased to welcome Mr. Samuel Y. Shen as our new Board member. His extensive leadership experience and corporate governance expertise in the internet and technology industry will provide us with valuable guidance as we continue to grow our business.”

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are made under the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “aim,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “hope,” “going forward,” “intend, ” “ought to, ” “plan, ” “project,” “potential,” “seek,” “may,” “might,” “can,” “could,” “will,” “would,” “shall,” “should,” “is likely to” and the negative form of these words and other similar expressions. Among other things, statements that are not historical facts, including statements about the Company’s beliefs and expectations are or contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. All information provided in this press release is as of the date of this press release and is based on assumptions that the Company believes to be reasonable as of this date, and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.

Contact:
Xingyan Gao
Mercurity Fintech Holding Inc.
ir@mercurity.com
Tel: +86 (10) 5360-6428

Related Links :

http://ir.ccjmu.com/

Ocumension Therapeutics Launches Initial Public Offering on Hong Kong Stock Exchange

SHANGHAI, July 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ocumension Therapeutics (“Ocumension”), a China-based ophthalmic pharmaceutical platform company, has today launched its Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the company’s stock on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEX). Ocumension plans to offer 105,930,000 shares priced at HK$14.66 each and will trade under the stock code “1477.HK”. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and UBS are acting as joint global coordinators, bookrunners, and lead managers.

The initial Offer Shares under the Hong Kong Public Offering have been significantly over-subscribed. A total of 356,899 valid applications have been received for 20,081,747,000 Offer Shares, which represents approximately 1,895.76 times of the total shares initially available for subscription. Offer Shares in the International Offering were also significantly over-subscribed and there has been an over-allocation of 15,889,500 Offer Shares. The final number of Offer Shares have been reallocated with 52,965,000 Offer Shares in the Hong Kong Public Offering and 52,965,000 Offer Shares in the International Offering.

“Ocumension’s IPO marks a significant milestone in our journey to become China’s leading ophthalmology platform. We will use these funds to continue expanding our portfolio with innovative new drug assets, whilst developing our manufacturing capabilities and strengthening our commercialization through sales and marketing,” said Ye Liu, Chief Executive Officer of Ocumension Therapeutics.

Established in 2017 by 6 Dimensions Capital, Ocumension was founded with the vision to develop a leading, independent ophthalmology platform. In less than three years, the company has expanded its operations with the R&D team having some of the best ophthalmology talent in China, and offices based in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Suzhou. In 2019, Ocumension completed its successful Series A funding round of US $20 million in February and followed this with a successful Series B funding round of US $180 million in June.

Since 2017, Ocumension has established an innovative, comprehensive, and validated portfolio covering all major front- and back-of-eye diseases, making it one of only a few pharmaceutical companies in China with complete coverage. To date, its portfolio contains 16 drug assets, including three that are in or near the commercial stage, and five candidates in preclinical stage in China.

In addition to research and development, Ocumension has positioned itself as the “go to” China partner for global ophthalmic pharmaceutical companies and has a successful track record in licensing innovative drugs from partners such as Eyepoint in the U.S., Nicox in France, and Sanbio and Senju in Japan. The company is also in the process of establishing its own commercialization plan and manufacturing capabilities to ensure ongoing sustainability of the business, including the construction of a new facility in Suzhou, which is expected to be the largest specialized ophthalmic manufacturing facility in China by capacity once completed.

Looking ahead, Ocumension is well-placed to harness the untapped commercial potential of China’s ophthalmology market. Eye diseases are common in the country yet treatment rates are low, and the industry is expected to expand from RMB 19.4 billion in 2019 to RMB 40.8 billion in 2024 according to Frost & Sullivan. By building a platform integrating specialized capabilities in each major functionality involved in an ophthalmic drug’s development cycle, Ocumension Therapeutics is set to become the leader of China ophthalmology, with a first-mover advantage over future competition.

About Ocumension Therapeutics

Ocumension Therapeutics is a China-based ophthalmic pharmaceutical platform company dedicated to identifying, developing and commercializing first- or best-in-class ophthalmic therapies. The company vision is to provide a world-class pharmaceutical total solution to address significant unmet ophthalmic medical needs in China. Since the inception, Ocumension Therapeutics has focused on building a platform integrating specialized capabilities in each major functionality involved in an ophthalmic drug’s development cycle, from research and development, manufacturing to commercialization. Ocumension Therapeutics believes its platform positions it well to achieve leadership in China ophthalmology, with a first-mover advantage over future competitors.

China Rapid Finance Announces Change of its NYSE Ticker Symbol to “SOS” to Highlight Emergency Rescue Services Business

SHANGHAI, July 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — China Rapid Finance Limited (NYSE: XRF) (the “Company“) today announced that the Company’s ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange will change from “XRF” to “SOS,” effective at the start of trading on July 20, 2020.

Mr. Yandai Wang, CEO of the Company, said, “We are excited to be able to align our NYSE ticker symbol with the ‘SOS’ brand in recognition of our ongoing transition out of the fin-tech business and into the emergency rescue services business. This change will provide for better alignment between the core business operations of the company and its stock symbol which we believe will lead to better investor understanding. It also makes it clearer what the business focus and its primary source of earnings will be going forward.”

There is also a proposed change in the Company’s name from “China Rapid Finance Limited” to “SOS Limited,” which is pending approval at the Company’s annual general meeting of shareholders to be held on July 17, 2020. If approved at the meeting, the effective date of the name change shall also be July 20, 2020. In conjunction with the name change, the Company’s CUSIP will change from “16953Q204” to “83587W106.”

Holders of existing American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”) would be required to surrender their existing ADRs in exchange for new ADRs that reflect the new corporate name and CUSIP and should contact the Company’s depositary bank, Citibank, N.A.

About China Rapid Finance Limited

China Rapid Finance Limited (NYSE: XRF) is a holding company operating primarily in the emergency rescue services business. The Company provides a wide range of emergency rescue services to its corporate and individual members in China through its operating subsidiary, SOS Information Technology Co., Ltd. (“SOS“). SOS also provides various types of membership cards to individual members in large corporations as part of employee benefits. Its products include SOS Medical Rescue Card, SOS Auto Rescue Card, SOS Financial Rescue Card, and SOS Life Rescue Card. SOS utilizes cloud and other cutting-edge technologies to provide emergency rescue services in a new fashion, including its app based mobile platform, cloud call centers and large data centers. SOS has contractual service agreements with major banks, insurance companies, internet companies, and telecom providers in China.  

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements made herein are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “expect,” “estimate,” “plan,” “outlook,” and “project” and other similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. Such forward-looking statements include timing of the proposed transaction; the business plans, objectives, expectations and intentions of the parties once the transaction is complete, and XRF’s estimated and future results of operations, business strategies, competitive position, industry environment and potential growth opportunities. These forward-looking statements reflect the current analysis of existing information and are subject to various risks and uncertainties. As a result, caution must be exercised in relying on forward-looking statements. Due to known and unknown risks, our actual results may differ materially from our expectations or projections. All forward-looking statements attributable to the Company or persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these factors. Other than as required under the securities laws, the Company does not assume a duty to update these forward-looking statements.

Additional information concerning these and other factors that may impact our expectations and projections can be found in our periodic filings with the SEC, including our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019. XRF’s SEC filings are available publicly on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. XRF disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Related Links :

http://www.crfchina.com

CFLD Named in World’s Top 10 Most Valuable Real Estate Brands by Brand Finance

BEIJING, July 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — China Fortune Land Development (CFLD) has been valued as one of the World’s Top 10 Most Valuable Real Estate Brands in Brand Finance’s 2020 report. Chinese brands took 20 of the 25 places, with Evergrande, Country Garden and Vanke dominating the top spots.

Brand Finance has included CFLD in the list with an “A+” rating for three consecutive years, raising its ranking from 11th in 2019 to 10th in 2020. Brand Finance’s latest report also now estimates the developer’s brand value to be worth $4.953 billion, a remarkable 10.4 percent increase since 2019.

Brand Finance is a leading global independent brand valuation consultancy, based in London, England. Its research is regarded as a reliable predictor of brand strength and stock market performance. It revealed that investing in highly branded companies can result in a return that is almost double the average return of all S&P 500 companies.

“The real estate sector is one of the few sectors that should suffer limited impact as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” remarks Richard Haigh, Managing Director of Brand Finance. He remains positive about the top 25 most valuable real estate brands increasing their financial advantages.

This also holds true for CFLD’s market performance. As China’s renowned New Industry Cities developer and operator, CFLD has maintained steady growth over the years. According to its 2019 Annual Report, the company’s operating revenue climbed to 105.21 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 25.6 percent. The net profit attributable to the listed company’s shareholders reached 14.61 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 24.4 percent.

CFLD has been committed to developing core metropolitan areas and industry-city integration, a strategy proving to be stable and reliable. Thanks to its unique Developmental PPP model, the company possesses key advantages in operating New Industry Cities. Moreover, CFLD has rapidly advanced into the fields of retail property, office buildings and other commercial real estate, and explored new real estate avenues such as healthcare facilities, public housing, and communities for scientists.

In addition to being recognized by Brand Finance, CFLD also ranked 473rd on Forbes’s “GLOBAL 2000 – The World’s Largest Public Companies” list for 2020.

 

OKChain Testnet Updates to v0.10.9, Spot Leverage Trading and OpenDEX-Desktop Go Live

VALLETTA, Malta, July 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — OKChain testnet, the commercial public chain developed by OKEx (www.okex.com), a world-leading cryptocurrency spot and derivatives exchange, has recently updated to v0.10.9. At the same time, the OpenDEX-Desktop and UI have gone open-source while the spot leverage trading function has reached 100% completion and OKChainSWAP’s model design has also been completed.

In addition, according to OKChain’s latest Monthly Report — June 2020, OKChain-Wasm single-node testnet — running on the WebAssembly, or Wasm, virtual machine — completed deployment of a single-node network. The CosmWasm-simulate tool was also completed, a tool developed for Cosmos’ Wasm-based smart contracting platform, CosmWasm.

“As one of the most important infrastructures in the blockchain world, the development of OKChain has been advancing steadily,” said Jay Hao, CEO of OKEx, continuing:

“With more and more code going open-source, we are happy to see many excellent nodes and developers join the OKChain ecosystem, adding vitality to blockchain technology and OKChain. Recently, the stability test was completed. OKEx will continue to collaborate with the global community to roll out the OKChain mainnet soon.”

One of the most eye-catching updates is the spot leverage trading function. As of now, the demo version has been live and the UT (unit test) coverage rate, an indicator to measure the adequacy of the test, is higher than 95%. Besides, OpenDEX-Desktop, the first desktop program of OKChain, is open-source and has released Version 0.0.1. Users now can experience the transaction and wallet functions provided by the okex.com, and issue tokens and trading pairs on the testnet through the desktop.

Besides, the OKChain-wasm single-node testnet has completed mirror compilation, deployment and the test of a single-node network. At the same time, the development of the CosmWasm-simulate tool has been completed and has been uploaded to the CosmWasm community.

With the open-source code and continuous improvement of functions, more and more applications are on the way. During the Hackathon campaign, as of June 30, 23 teams and two independent developers have participated and 16 entries have been received.

According to on-chain data, the block height on OKChain is 7,410,206 (as of June). 10,974,688 transactions have been processed and each block contains 10–20 transactions, showing a high degree of stability.

About OKEx

A world-leading cryptocurrency spot and derivatives exchange, OKEx offers the most diverse marketplace where global crypto traders, miners and institutional investors come to manage crypto assets, enhance investment opportunities and hedge risks. We provide spot and derivatives trading — including futures, perpetual swap and options — of major cryptocurrencies, offering investors flexibility in formulating their strategies to maximize gains and mitigate risks.

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Career Star Group Reach Milestone to Shake Up the Outplacement Industry

Career Star Group announce ownership of innovative global outplacement platform via the asset deal of CareerArc by Gi Group.

LONDON, July 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Gi Group, one of the world’s leading companies providing services for global staffing needs, announced this week their acquisition of the CareerArc career transition arm. Gi Group is a historical member for Career Star Group, present in Italy and the UK with the dedicated outplacement brand Intoo, and Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bulgaria with Gi Group directly. The strategic partnership has been in place since the establishment of Career Star Group in 2012. The acquisition marks the success of long-term strategy securing ownership of the worlds’ most innovative and dynamic career transition platform within Career Star Group.

Career Star Group is the world’s largest outplacement and redeployment organisation, present in 102 countries. The digital global career transition platform provides instant access to localised resources, interactive support and training as well as an on-demand coaching feature with career transition specialists. The platform is currently available in English, Spanish, German and Italian with French available from August 2020.

”We are extremely excited to take the centre stage with our new global platform. We are taking outplacement to the next level with innovative solutions fit for the new normal and beyond. Having ownership of the platform allows us to innovate further and to continue developing our services for our customers and clients in the ever-changing world,” said Cetti Galante, Chair of Career Star Group board and Managing Director of Intoo Italy.

”Our strategic partnership with Career Star Group has furthered our mission to democratise outplacement globally via technology by increasing access to our state of the art digital platform across multiple countries. Being part of Gi Group and Career Star Group together is the next stage in our expansion strategy and we couldn’t be happier to be part of the family,” said Yair Riemer, President Career Transition Services at CareerArc.

Career Star Group is a global organisation uniting the world’s leading career transition and outplacement providers. Present in 102 countries, Career Star Group provides multinational companies with access to the best career transition providers regardless of where workforce changes occur.

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www.careerstargroup.com

Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee hosted a virtual signing ceremony to launch its partnership with Thousand Cities Strategic Algorithms Cloud Technology Ltd. as the core member of its Sovereign Currency Technology for central banks globally.

The Era of Precision Currency Has Arrived: Thousand Cities Strategic Algorithms Cloud Technology (TCSA) Forms Partnership with RBWC

  • With its Sovereign Asset Currency AI System, TCSA will change how a country measures the true value of money.

PARIS and SHENZHEN, China, July 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee (RBWC) hosted a virtual signing ceremony to launch its partnership with Thousand Cities Strategic Algorithms Cloud Technology Ltd. (TCSA) as the core member of its Sovereign Currency Technology for central banks globally. Mr. Marc Uzan, Executive Director of RBWC, and Mr. Adkins Zheng, Chief Algorithm Officer of TCSA attended the event.

Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee hosted a virtual signing ceremony to launch its partnership with Thousand Cities Strategic Algorithms Cloud Technology Ltd. as the core member of its Sovereign Currency Technology for central banks globally.
Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee hosted a virtual signing ceremony to launch its partnership with Thousand Cities Strategic Algorithms Cloud Technology Ltd. as the core member of its Sovereign Currency Technology for central banks globally.

“Every country around the world is facing the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is precisely the moment when a new economic vision and a powerful governance tool are most needed,” said Zheng. “TCSA is leading the second data revolution through our construction of a nucleus for the data world – ‘algorithmic units’, which upgrade traditional data traffic logic to a new level of causal AI logic. As a result of this transformation, data will finally support human civilizations at the deepest levels of social interaction through the measurement of real-time monetary demand and supply, as well as the innovation of national policies, social systems and governance mechanisms. Each national government will have a customized algorithmic AI engine with superb financial and economic monitoring capability, which enables precise resource allocation at every level within the country.”

TCSA’s innovative “Sovereign Asset Currency” will fundamentally transform the current “Sovereign Credit Currency” system. Based on new economic and monetary theories, the Sovereign Asset Currency AI system will mitigate the shortcomings of traditional Sovereign Credit Currency’s long-term financial risks.

Even prior to launching this exciting partnership, TCSA already received tremendous support from academics and government officials worldwide. RBWC, who shares the same vision, has also been an influential international non-profit organization committed to helping central banks redefine their global financial architecture and currency system.

The partnership between TCSA and RBWC comes amidst the fundamental shift taking place across the world, as more countries realize the urgent need for AI currency systems that can yield transparent and sustainable social economic development results. Moving forward, both RBWC and TCSA will jointly roll out webinars on “The Foundation of Digital Currency: Creating a Sovereign Asset Currency System.” Further solutions will be launched during the annual Dialogue of Continents conference for central bankers in October 2020.

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PSP Investments Posts 8.5% 10-year Annualized Rate of Return for Fiscal Year 2020

Focus on long-term horizon and diversification safeguards pensions of contributors and beneficiaries who dedicate their professional lives to public service. 

Highlights:

  • Ten-year net annualized return of 8.5%–above the return objective of 5.7%–generated $32.9 billion of cumulative excess net investment gains.
  • Over the last 10 years, PSP Investments’ performance exceeded the performance of the Reference Portfolio by 1.3% per year without incurring more pension funding risk.
  • Five-year net annualized return of 5.8% exceeded the policy portfolio benchmark of 5.1%.

MONTREAL, July 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) ended its fiscal year March 31, 2020, with a five-year net annualized return of 5.8% and a 10-year net annualized return of 8.5% on its investments. During the same period, PSP Investments generated $32.9 billion of cumulative net investment gains above the return objective over the past 10 years.  

The one-year total portfolio net return was -0.6%, reflecting severe market declines due to the global COVID-19 pandemic in the weeks preceding the March 31, 2020 year-end. Nonetheless, this result exceeded the reference portfolio’s1 one-year return of -2.2%.

The pension investment manager reported $169.8 billion in net assets under management, compared to $168.0 billion the previous fiscal year, an increase of 1.1%.

“I want to thank the PSP Investments team for their work safeguarding the investments made on behalf of the public sector pension plans, many of whose members are among the frontline heroes actively supporting Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Neil Cunningham, President and Chief Executive Officer at PSP Investments.  

“Despite the decline in equity markets before the year-end, we were able to exceed the reference portfolio for the fiscal year and maintain a long-term return of 8.5%, which outperformed both the 10-year reference portfolio return of 7.2% and the 5.7% long-term return objective,” Mr. Cunningham added. “Strong returns over the past years have helped bring the pension plans into a favourable funding position.”

“Our focus on the long-term horizon has served us well during the global pandemic and has become more important than ever,” said Eduard van Gelderen, Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at PSP Investments. “Before the pandemic, we were preparing for an eventual market downturn after many years of sustained growth in order to be able to respond quickly if a crisis occurred. Our strategies have proven their effectiveness in maintaining our portfolio’s stability and liquidity during tumultuous times.”

__________________________________

1

PSP’s Reference Portfolio is a simple portfolio composed of publicly traded securities that could be passively managed at minimal cost. The Reference Portfolio is designed in such a way that, based on our long-term capital market assumptions, it is expected to deliver the Return Objective over the long-term with minimum investment risk.

ASSET CLASS

NET ASSETS UNDER MANAGEMENT*

(billion $)

ONE-YEAR RETURN

FIVE-YEAR RETURN

% OF TOTAL NET ASSETS

PMARS**

$81.1B

(3.0)%

4.3%

47.8%

Private Equity

$24.0B

5.2%

7.2%

14.2%

Credit Investments

$13.3B

4.3%

11.8%***

7.8%

Real Estate

$23.8B

(4.4)%

8.3%

14.0%

Infrastructure

$18.3B

8.7%

12.1%

10.8%

Natural Resources

$7.6B

(5.2)%

6.6%

4.5%

*This table excludes Cash and Cash equivalents and the Complementary Portfolio.

**Public Markets and Absolute Return Strategies.

***Annualized return since inception (4.3 years).

As at March 31, 2020:

PMARS, which is composed of Public Market Equities (excluding cash and cash equivalents) and Fixed Income, ended the fiscal year with $81.1 billion of net assets under management, an increase of $0.3 billion from fiscal year 2019. Overall, the group incurred a performance loss of $2.4 billion, for a one-year return of -3.0%. PMARS generated a five-year annualized return of 4.3%. Public Market Equities faced a volatile and challenging environment through the weeks ending the fiscal year: in fewer than five weeks, many of the indices lost approximately 30% of their value, experiencing one of the fastest and most significant stock market declines ever recorded. Fixed Income’s assets under management ended the year at $32.7 billion, up from $29.8 billion in 2019.

Private Equity ended the fiscal year with net assets under management of $24.0 billion, $0.5 billion more than in fiscal year 2019, and achieved a one-year return of 5.2%. Performance income reached $1.1 billion despite significant unrealized valuation losses across the portfolio due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fiscal year 2020 was marked by continued strong deployment across the U.S. and Europe, largely offset with another record year of dispositions resulting from active monetization of significant direct investments. New co-investments totaling $3.4 billion were made primarily in the health care, financials and technology sectors including, among others, the acquisition of significant interests in Convex, a de novo specialty property and casualty insurance company; Galderma, a leading global provider of skin health products, headquartered in Switzerland; Lytx, a US-based leading provider of video telematics solutions for commercial and public-sector fleets; and Ceva Sante Animale, a French global veterinary health company well positioned to tackle issues related to feeding a growing population.

Credit Investments ended the fiscal year with net assets under management of $13.3 billion, an increase of $2.8 billion from the prior fiscal year, and generated performance income of $488 million, resulting in a 4.3% one-year return that exceeded the benchmark return of -3.7%. The group made $7.2 billion in acquisitions, which were partially offset by $3.9 billion in dispositions driven by the higher churn of its maturing portfolio and opportunistic selling prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and net valuation losses of $1.4 billion. The portfolio is well diversified across asset types, geographies, industries and equity sponsors. Benefitting from strong credit selection, the group has been able to deliver interest income that exceeds that of the benchmark since inception.

Real Estate ended the fiscal year with $23.8 billion in net assets under management, up by $0.3 billion from the previous fiscal year, and incurred a performance loss of $1.0 billion, resulting in a -4.4% one-year return. The 8.3% five-year annualized return exceeded the 6.1% benchmark return. Performance for the current year was affected by COVID-19, which generally had a negative effect on the overall portfolio. The pandemic significantly impacted the value of the global retail portfolio and more specifically the malls in the U.S. The Alberta office portfolio was particularly impacted by the pandemic and the drop in oil prices that exacerbated the negative sentiment on the Alberta economy. The impact on our global industrial assets was more subdued as the sector produced a positive return. Real Estate maintained its focus on building a world-class portfolio of assets in major international cities and deploying into high-conviction sectors. Acquisitions included a large multi-family portfolio in seven U.S. cities in partnership with Berkshire Group, a large industrial portfolio in Mexico with Advance Real Estate and a multi-family portfolio with Starlight Investments in Canada. The group also made strategic disposals of core assets that had attained their objectives in the office sector.

Infrastructure ended the fiscal year with $18.3 billion in net assets under management, a $1.5 billion increase from the prior fiscal year, and generated $1.4 billion of performance income, leading to an 8.7% one-year return exceeding the benchmark of -3.2%. Infrastructure deployment was mostly across North America and Australia and included new direct and co-investments totalling $2.3 billion. Key investments included the take-private of AltaGas Canada, a large Canadian company with natural gas distribution utilities and renewable power generation assets. The group also acquired an interest in AirTrunk, the largest independent operator of hyperscale datacentres in the Asia Pacific region.

Natural Resources ended the fiscal year with net assets under management of $7.6 billion, an increase of $0.8 billion from the previous fiscal year, and incurred a performance loss of $0.4 billion, for a one-year return of -5.2%, exceeding the -5.8% benchmark return. The five-year return for the group was 6.6%, exceeding its benchmark of 1.9%. Since-inception return also remains positive and the group has consistently exceeded its annual benchmark. Performance for the current year was dampened by COVID-19, which significantly impacted the carrying value of the group’s non-core oil and gas assets. The crisis did not have a significant impact on our core agriculture and timberland investments. The year was marked by continued strong deployment of $3.2 billion, mainly in agriculture in both Australia and North America. Notable agriculture investments included the board-supported take-private of one of Australia’s leading agribusinesses, and a buy-and-lease transaction on ~ 11,500 hectares of mature almond orchards and associated water entitlements located in Victoria, Australia. On the timber front, the group increased its exposure to Canadian timberlands in a high-quality asset with a trusted and proven management team.

Total Costs

Over the past five years, PSP Investments has been building the organization and ramping up capabilities to achieve our Vision 2021 Strategic Plan. The business units, strategies and portfolio have undergone significant transformations.  We have also continued to pursue internal active management where we have increased the allocation of the portfolio toward more private market asset classes.  Finally, we have opened international offices to build local presence in London, New York and Hong Kong.  All such efforts have already started to yield benefits indicating that associated costs will pay off. 

Expressed in bps of AUM, our total cost ratio is slightly above that of fiscal year 2019.  Similarly, the operating costs ratio, a component of our total costs, remained almost at the same level as that of fiscal 2019.  Worth noting is that, absent the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on AUM, both, the total cost ratio as well as the operating costs ratio would have been more favourable.  In fact, the operating costs ratio would have been lower in fiscal year 2020 than in fiscal year 2019.

Corporate Highlights

  • Our risk management and monitoring system prompted PSP Investments to assemble a COVID-19 Task Force in mid-January. This contributed to PSP Investments being one of the early movers in response measures and created a seamless shift to working from home starting March 2020. Some of the actions taken to support management’s cost-saving measures included suspending an increase in Directors’ compensation and temporarily freezing external hiring and annual salary increases. Moreover, PSP Investments established a special COVID-19 Emergency Relief Initiative, which raised over $700,000 for charity, of which the executive team and the Board Directors contributed $300,000. The funds will help the Red Cross, United Way, Community Foundations of Canada and HealthPartners. In addition, PSP Investments’ CEO, Neil Cunningham, donated 50% of his FY20 salary to COVID-19-related charities.
  • In fiscal year 2020, we advanced our total fund investment approach as part of our One PSP vision and five-year Vision 2021 strategic plan. Our Chief Investment Office launched several initiatives to enhance our ability to apply a total fund perspective when crafting investment strategies, making business decisions and managing risk, leverage and liquidity. Our Total Fund approach continued to evolve as we shifted to anchoring our performance and programs to our Reference Portfolio, which will be operationalized in fiscal year 2021.
  • We continued to deliver on our optimization program and seamlessly transitioned to a new custodian bank to support our global expansion in a cost-efficient manner. We also advanced our digital strategy to be more effective and scaled and secured technology to gain better portfolio insights and enable robust analytics and data-driven investing. We further ingrained innovation within the organization, with new investment strategies being incubated in all asset classes that leverage long-term market trends and disruptive technologies.
  • We ramped up operations in our Asian hub, with our team there successfully deploying our Asian strategy and establishing solid relationships with local partners. We expanded our presence locally with additions to our local Private Equity and Infrastructure teams.
  • We continued to develop our talent and enhance the employee experience. As part of our suite of development programs called The PSP Way, we created a new curriculum for first-time managers and launched the Leadership Journey program for senior leaders. We continued to prioritize inclusion and diversity through our eight affinity groups whose initiatives included a one-week forum offering 18 sessions with over 600 employees participating. Our employee engagement consistently scored well above industry norms.
  • We continued to embed environmental, social and governance considerations into every aspect of the investment process, across all asset classes. Accomplishments included significant progress on assessing the investment portfolio’s exposure to climate change risks and opportunities to ensure the resilience of PSP Investments long-term asset allocation. Our fourth annual Responsible Investment Report can be consulted here.

“In these difficult times, we want to reassure contributors and beneficiaries about our solid long-term financial performance that sustains the pensions of those who have served our country,” said Neil Cunningham, President and Chief Executive Officer at PSP Investments. “We built our investment portfolio and organization to be resilient and diversified. This approach has made a difference during the health crisis the world is currently experiencing.”

“Looking to the future, fiscal year 2021 marks the last year of our Vision 2021 strategic plan,” added Mr. Cunningham. “We will now work to consolidate the foundation we’ve built to support our future growth, resilience and stability in an increasingly changing investment environment. As we start to develop the next iteration of PSP Investments’ strategy, I would like to express my thanks to our team around the world for rising to each new challenge and continuing to spot opportunities that emerge.”

For more information on PSP Investments’ fiscal year 2020 performance, visit www.investpsp.com or download the annual report here.

About PSP Investments
The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) is one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers with $169.8 billion of net assets under management as of March 31, 2020. It manages a diversified global portfolio composed of investments in public financial markets, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources and credit investments. Established in 1999, PSP Investments manages net contributions to the pension funds of the federal Public Service, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Reserve Force. Headquartered in Ottawa, PSP Investments has its principal business office in Montreal and offices in New York, London and Hong Kong. For more information, visit www.investpsp.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Media Contacts, Maria Constantinescu, PSP Investments, Canada: 514-218-3795, Toll free: 1-844-525-3795, Email: media@investpsp.ca

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