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ROGER TAYLOR: CPP's investment head says sticking with oil and gas companies will help wind, solar development – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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Climate change is important to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, but it’s not ready to divest of its holdings in conventional oil and gas.

Although a segment of the Canadian population may want the CPPIB to drop conventional energy, the board’s top spokesman says its investment decisions are not necessarily motivated by politics or a change in public policy.

Michel Leduc, CPPIB senior managing director and global head of public affairs and communications, said in a phone interview on Monday that conventional energy sources are not going away as quickly as some people may believe, and oil and gas will have a role in the global economy for some time to come.

Michel Leduc is senior managing director and global head of public affairs and communications at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. – Contributed

It is the investment board’s view that conventional oil and gas is still a good investment, providing a good return for years to come, said Leduc, and the board will maintain such investments.

The conventional oil and gas companies are making the switch to unconventional wind and solar energy themselves, Leduc argued, so if the CPPIB was to cut its investment in such companies it would actually help slow the transition from conventional to renewable energy.

The subject of energy may come up again Tuesday when Leduc hosts a CPPIB virtual town hall for Nova Scotians, during which he will explain what the investment board is doing with its $430-billion fund.

Every second year, the CPPIB holds public meetings individually for each province and the northern territories throughout October. Nova Scotia is the second last of year’s presentations.

There are a total of 20 million CPP contributors and beneficiaries in Canada and, of that, there are 461,799 contributors and 220,693 retirement beneficiaries in Nova Scotia.

Leduc said that despite the economic concern brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the solvency and sustainability of the Canada Pension Plan is on solid footing for at least the next 75 years.

Before the creation of the CPPIB in 1997, the Canada Pension Plan was 100 per cent invested in government debt, Leduc said. To better prepare for so-called black swan events, such as a pandemic, the investment board has diversified the fund.

The fund is invested in three broad categories: 20 per cent in fixed income, which is mainly sovereign bonds and provincial bonds; 53 per cent in equities, both publicly traded stocks and private companies wholly controlled by the CPPIB; and the remainder would be in real assets, which includes toll roads, commercial real estate and ports, which provide steady income for a long period.

Geographically, only about 15 per cent of the CPPIB’s investments are in Canada, Leduc said, and about 85 per cent is invested across the developed economies of the world.

Considering that Canada represents only about three per cent of global markets, most of the CPPIB investments are outside of the country to be fully diversified and protect the fund from downturns in the Canadian economy.

The largest portion of the outside investments are in the United States, followed by Europe, Japan, South Korea and then developing countries, which includes China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Colombia.

In Canada, the fund is invested in both conventional and renewable energy, the financial sector and technology, including Ottawa-based tech darling Shopify, Leduc said.

The CPPIB has a 50 per cent holding in the 407 toll highway in Ontario, which has proven to be the investment board’s largest investment so far.

In Nova Scotia, the fund has investments in Empire Co. Ltd., parent of the Sobeys grocery chain, and Crombie REIT, both of which are controlled by the founding Sobey family of Pictou County.

Internationally, the CPPIB owns 23 ports in the United Kingdom, which also provide steady income over a long period.


CPPIB VIRTUAL TOWN HALL

The virtual Canada Pension Plan Investment Board town halls are accessed at cppinvestments.com/publicmeetings. The Nova Scotia session is scheduled for today from noon to 1 p.m.

To join, click the link for the meeting and register with an email address. Registrants will get a response and can submit a question in advance.

In Nova Scotia, 461,799 residents are CPP contributors (47.9 per cent of the provincial population) and 220,693 are CPP retirement beneficiaries (22.9 per cent of the population).

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Outlook 2021 – Future investment opportunities: green hydrogen – Investors' Corner BNP Paribas

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Read our investment outlook – Legacy of the lockdowns

More on green hydrogen and decarbonisation and sustainable investing


Any views expressed here are those of the author as of the date of publication, are based on available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual portfolio management teams may hold different views and may take different investment decisions for different clients. The views expressed in this podcast do not in any way constitute investment advice.

The value of investments and the income they generate may go down as well as up and it is possible that investors will not recover their initial outlay. Past performance is no guarantee for future returns.

Investing in emerging markets, or specialised or restricted sectors is likely to be subject to a higher-than-average volatility due to a high degree of concentration, greater uncertainty because less information is available, there is less liquidity or due to greater sensitivity to changes in market conditions (social, political and economic conditions).

Some emerging markets offer less security than the majority of international developed markets. For this reason, services for portfolio transactions, liquidation and conservation on behalf of funds invested in emerging markets may carry greater risk.

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Sandpiper Increases Investment in Artis REIT to 10% – Canada NewsWire

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VANCOUVER, BC, Dec. 2, 2020 /CNW/ – Sandpiper Group (“Sandpiper”) announced today that on December 2, 2020, it acquired, through Sandpiper Real Estate Fund 4 Limited Partnership (the “Fund“), an aggregate of 100,000 units (“Units”) of Artis Real Estate Investment Trust (“Artis” or the “REIT”) (TSX: AX.UN) in the open market through the facilities of the Toronto Stock Exchange at an average price of $11.10 per Unit or $1,110,000 in the aggregate (the “Acquisition”).

As a result of the Acquisition, Sandpiper owns and exercises control and direction over an aggregate of 13,612,584 Units, representing approximately 10.07% of the 135,221,252 Units issued and outstanding as reported in Artis’ Monthly Cash Distribution Announcement dated November 16, 2020. Prior to the Acquisition, Sandpiper owned and exercised control and direction over 13,512,584 Units, representing approximately 9.99% of the issued and outstanding Units.

The Units were acquired for investment purposes. Sandpiper believes that the Units of Artis are undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity.

“Our increase in our ownership in Artis further confirms our long term commitment in this investment,” said Samir Manji, CEO of Sandpiper. “We believe Artis has significant near term and longer term potential with an attractive, undervalued asset base. We look forward to working with the trustees and management at Artis to identify avenues and opportunities that will maximize value for all unitholders.”

Sandpiper and its affiliates may, from time to time, depending on market and other conditions, increase or decrease its beneficial ownership, control or direction over the securities of Artis through market transactions, private agreements, or otherwise.

Artis’s head office is located at Suite 600 – 220 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 0A5

Sandpiper’s head office is located at Suite 1670, 200 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 3L6.

An early warning report will be filed by Sandpiper in accordance with applicable securities laws. For further information and to obtain a copy of the early warning report filed by Sandpiper, please contact Alyssa Barry, Vice President, Capital Markets and Communications, Sandpiper at (604) 558-4885.

ABOUT SANDPIPER GROUP

Sandpiper is a Vancouver-based private equity firm focused on investing in real estate through direct property investments and public securities. For more information about Sandpiper, visit www.sandpipergroup.ca.

SOURCE Sandpiper Group

For further information: Alyssa Barry, Vice President, Capital Markets and Communications, Sandpiper Group, Phone: 604-558-4885, Email: [email protected]

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http://www.sandpipergroup.ca/

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"Tectonic forces" could cause economic upheaval: Poloz – Investment Executive

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This could lead to many different inflationary scenarios from a return to the 2% inflation target to an inflation outbreak, or to stagflation or deflation.  

“Personally, I would not weight them equally, but I would attach a meaningful weight to each of them and suggest that [investors] think about ways to preserve [their] capital should any of them arise,” said Poloz who is a special advisor with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

“We should not fall in love with the high probability scenario where inflation just returns to 2% and remains there.”  

One driver of high interest rates in recent decades was the population surge of the post-war baby boom. As this generation now moves into retirement, Poloz believes that the high real interest rates of the past “were an aberration” and should not be expected to return.  

While there is an expectation for interest rates to normalize along with inflation targets, Poloz notes there is growing concern that inflation could get out of control as governments borrow a “staggering amount of money.” 

The former central banker said that today’s central banks are well-equipped to keep inflation in check via monetary policy.  

However, three of the tectonic shifts mentioned could disrupt central banks in their policy goals: growing indebtedness, technological progress and rising inequality. 

Global indebtedness was on the rise long before Covid-19 hit, said Poloz.

As a result of monetary and fiscal policies that have prevented recessions, individuals and companies are not retrenching and rebalancing their finances as they might have done in the past. From an investor point of view, this leads to the danger of “zombie firms” that are not “washed out of the system” as they might have been.  

In the case of technology, progress generally means more efficiency and lower costs for companies over the long-term, said Poloz. But, that same progress can have serious economic consequences in the short term in the form of economic depressions and disruption 

The world is currently experiencing a fourth industrial revolution as the economy becomes digitized through artificial intelligence — which is leading to fears within workforces that a few large firms will scoop up all the economic benefits, leading to growing income inequality.

People believe and expect that economic growth is like yeast, it spreads everywhere, so everybody benefits,” said Poloz. “But the reality is more like mushrooms that pop up here and there and single firms can reap most of the benefits.” 

Climate change is also having a seismic effect on the economy as more companies try to shift their businesses to environmentally-friendly processes. The problem, noted Poloz, is “markets are really bad at distinguishing between shades of green. They’re essentially only able to tell the difference between green and not-green.” 

Firms will have to move towards “full carbon transparency,” which will require significant investments in analytics or consultancy work. And,  “firms who invest in this early deserve your attention,” said Poloz. 

With these forces in play, “volatility beyond the norm is now a given,” said Poloz. A firm’s risk management for these factors will be key to creating shareholder value and will likely be “the next channel of intangible investment.”

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