The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan says it is writing down its US$95-million investment in FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange that collapsed last week, to zero.
The Ontario pension fund invested US$75 million in FTX International and its US entity FTX.US in October 2021 followed by an additional US$20 million in FTX.US in January this year.
The investments were made through Teachers’ Venture Growth in a move to gain exposure to an emerging area in the financial technology sector.
Ontario Teachers’ says the investment represented less than 0.05 per cent of its total net assets and equated to ownership of 0.4 per cent and 0.5 per cent of FTX International and FTX.US, respectively.
It says the loss will have a limited impact on the plan, given its size relative to its total net assets and strong financial position.
John Ray III, who was appointed CEO at FTX last week, has called the situation a “complete failure” of corporate control at the cryptocurrency exchange.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18, 2022.
Better Buy: AGNC Investment or Annaly Capital?
Welcome news regarding elevated inflation is prompting signals that there may be a slowdown in the Federal Reserve’s pace on interest rate hikes. With longer-term interest rates beginning to fall, mortgage real estate investment trusts (REITs) are once again getting attention from the investment community. Mortgage REITs struggled over the past year as rising rates caused the value of their investment portfolios to decline, which translated into big declines in book value per share.
Surprisingly, these REITs still managed to maintain their dividends, and the yields have become quite attractive (provided they can be maintained). The biggest names in the mortgage REIT space are Annaly Capital (NLY -0.41%) and AGNC Investment (AGNC -0.60%).
Given all the news recently, which one is the better buy right now?
Mortgage REITs are a different animal than the typical REIT
REITs traditionally focus on developing real estate properties such as apartment buildings, office buildings, or shopping malls. They then rent out the units to tenants. Their earnings generally come from the spread between the rents they collect and the interest they pay on the debt that financed the buildings.
Mortgage REITs don’t buy properties; they buy real estate debt (i.e. mortgages). They typically use borrowed money to build their portfolios, and their earnings are the difference between the interest they earn on the mortgage-backed securities and the interest they pay on their debt. In many ways, mortgage REITs’ operations are closer to a banking model than the landlord/tenant model that characterizes the typical REIT.
AGNC invests in mortgages guaranteed by the U.S. government
AGNC Investment invests primarily in mortgage-backed securities which are guaranteed by the U.S. government. For the most part, this means AGNC invests in mortgages guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Since the principal and interest payments are backed by the U.S. government, AGNC Investment takes very little credit risk, and the interest it earns on these securities tends to be lower. That lower risk also means lower returns. AGNC then uses a lot of borrowed money (think of it like margin on your stock account) to generate a double-digit dividend yield.
Annaly has a more diversified portfolio of assets
Annaly invests in agency mortgage-backed securities, but it also buys loans that are not guaranteed by the government. These loans pay higher rates of return, but they also tend to have a higher potential for downside. Annaly is a big investor in loans that are ineligible for a government guarantee. These loans are often referred to as non-QM and are often made to professional real estate investors and the self-employed borrower.
These non-QM loans are nothing like the bad old subprime loans of yesteryear. They require sizable down payments and proof that the investor will be able to pay the loans with rental income. So the risk is somewhat mitigated.
Ultimately, the decision on Annaly versus AGNC depends on the economic forecast. AGNC Investment will probably outperform Annaly if we head into a recession, since it won’t have to worry about credit losses from the resulting rise in loan defaults. AGNC will also be better protected if housing prices begin to fall. That said, Annaly has a much more diversified portfolio of assets, which helps it outperform in most interest rate environments.
However, Annaly will be more exposed to potential credit losses if the economy enters a recession. If housing prices fall, it will negatively affect the value of its non-QM loans if delinquencies begin to increase. Annaly also holds a large mortgage servicing portfolio, which is a stable source of additional income and acts as a hedge if interest rates rise.
Watch the book value per share
At current levels, AGNC Investment is trading right around book value per share of $10.04 and has a dividend yield of 14.4%. A bet on Annaly is a bet on a drop in interest rate volatility, which will probably happen once the Fed ends its tightening cycle.
Annaly is trading at a premium to its book value per share of $19.94; however, it has a better dividend yield of 16.6%. As a general rule, mortgage REITs trade right around book, so it usually pays to buy them at a discount to book, not a premium.
Despite Annaly’s higher yield, I like AGNC better, as home prices are beginning to decline, which will weigh on Annaly’s credit-sensitive book. I also don’t like buying mortgage REITs above book value. All this means I think AGNC Investment is the better buy at the moment.
Core Asset Wealth Management Launches Socially Responsible Investment Strategies
Core Asset Wealth Management is a financial management company. Recently, the company has incorporated SRI and Gene Therapies into its services.
Seoul, South Korea–(Newsfile Corp. – December 3, 2022) – Core Asset Wealth Management approaches socially responsible investing (SRI) in the latest development and seeks to maximize investment returns while avoiding companies that harm the environment or society.
As socially responsible investing has evolved into Environmental, Social, and Governance support, Core Asset Wealth Management is facilitating its clients with sustainable investment strategies. As the name implies, it is an investment process that considers environmental, social, ethical, and governance issues before allocating funds. All investors want to see their portfolios grow, but not at the expense of ethical practices, society, or the environment. Popular sustainable industries have recently included solar, wind, waste management, and water filtration.
Core Asset Wealth Management investment planning is not just about finding ethical and socially responsible companies to invest in but also about taking an activist role by using their voting rights to affect change.
The company is focusing on Gene Therapy. It delivers an innovative yet controversial area enticing to invest in due to the possibility of curing previously incurable diseases. However, many ethical issues arise from the processes used, such as animal testing and the resulting changes that can occur in our DNA.
Core Asset Wealth Management uses many different socially responsible investment vehicles that can be used with Wealth Management. Stocks and bonds are always readily available, but applying the various SRI filters can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Socially responsible mutual funds and exchange-traded funds are more accessible ways to participate in SRI investment. For accredited investors, more customized SRI investments are available such as hedge funds, venture capital, and private equity funds.
Furthermore, Core Asset Wealth Management focuses on Ethical investing and shunning companies that test their products on animals, provide harmful effects, or regularly engage in fraudulent or deceptive practices.
By avoiding investments in these companies, Core Asset Wealth Management sends a message that they disagree with their unethical operations and support businesses that improve their lives and community. Ethical Investments provide the opportunity to apply their moral beliefs to the company’s Retirement Planning and other accounts. Core Asset Wealth Management Ethical Investments meet environmental, social, and ethical criteria to be included in various socially responsible investment (SRI) vehicles. These investments are divided into multiple categories based on their grade of green qualifications to help potential investors evaluate their options.
With new developments, Core Asset Wealth Management has come up with the following additional services:
Green Investments – Light
Light green investments are the lowest part of the ethical investment scale. This responsible investing filter avoids gambling, military, defense, nuclear energy, “sin” related companies, and weapons manufacturers.
Green Investments – Medium
Medium green investments are in the middle and apply a more rigorous filter that avoids oil and gas companies and alcohol and tobacco.
Green Investments – Dark
Dark green investments apply the strictest filters for investment ethics. They screen out companies that are active polluters, ignore social issues and focus on renewable energies like solar, recycling companies, and water purification investments.
About the Company – Core Asset Wealth Management
Core-Asset Wealth Management provides financial analysis and consulting to a broad range of retail clients and businesses. It also facilitates its client with Account Management, Market and Media Analysis.
Potential clients should visit the official https://acg-wealth.com/ for further updates.
To view the source version of this press release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/146692
Turkey’s CHP Vows $100 Billion of Direct Investment If Elected – BNN Bloomberg
(Bloomberg) — Kemal Kilicdaroglu , the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party, promised to bring $100 billion of direct investment if elected to power in the elections scheduled for June next year.
“There will be at least $100 billion of direct investment in the first three years of our government,” Kilicdaroglu said in Istanbul on Saturday, speaking at an event at which the CHP unveiled some of its economic, political and social policies.
He also said his government would secure an additional $75 billion investment in the first three years, from pension funds and wealth funds abroad, among other resources.
The event dubbed “The CHP’s Second Century Vision” included speeches from Kilicdaroglu’s top economic aides and prominent economists, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Daron Acemoglu.
Faik Oztrak, CHP spokesman and deputy chairman responsible for economic policies, said the party would appoint a central bank governor who is “respected by the whole world.” The governor’s aim would be to permanently bring down inflation to single digits, he said.
Incumbent central bank governor Sahap Kavcioglu is frequently criticized by the opposition over his failure to rein in inflation. Annual consumer prices in October accelerated to over 85%, the highest in almost a quarter century.
Under pressure from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is fixated on economic growth ahead of elections, the bank has cut its interest rate for four straight meetings, lowering it to 9% last month.
Read more: Turkey Slashes Interest Rate in Line With Erdogan’s Demand
Erdogan is a self-proclaimed enemy of high borrowing costs and he has fired three predecessors of Kavcioglu for clashing with him on monetary policy. Acemoglu said inflation would be lowered only through “normalization” in monetary policy and by fixing policies on interest rates.
“Turkey’s company and bank balance sheets also need to improve. If companies and banks have negative balance sheets they can’t make new investments. And Turkey needs significant new investments,” he said. “This will again be fixed with the right monetary policy, right financial policy and resources.”
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
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