Jonathan Boyd rounds up the best news and analysis from www.investmenteurope.net.
Guernsey in Czech and Bahamas TIEA deal
Guernsey has signed Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) with the Czech Republic and the Bahamas.
Chief Minister Lyndon Trott signed the Czech TIEA at the Crown Dependency’s London embassy in early September, while the Bahamas TIEA was signed by correspondence in August.
This brought the total number of TIEAs signed by Guernsey to 28, with 18 agreements in place with OECD members.
Schroders: Grim future for China investors
Returns from China over the past two decades were not great and ongoing challenges face the country, Schroders’ Robin Parbrook has claimed.
The firm’s head of Asia ex-Japan equities said returns for investors had been low as many of China’s largest businesses were either state-owned or state-backed, meaning they were less concerned with delivering returns to shareholders.
Parbrook added: “You would have lost 40% of your money in China over the past 20 years. Long term, it has been a pretty miserable place – you would have been better in the US.”
Fitch affirms Robeco asset manager ratings
Robeco, the asset management arm of Rabobank, saw Fitch Ratings affirm its asset manager rating at M2+, assigned to its mainstream asset management investment centres in Rotterdam and Paris.
The ratings agency said about the upgrade: “The main driver of the rating affirmation is the solid governance and effective risk management framework which underlies Robeco’s strategic reorientation.
“The progression made to improve operational efficiency and continued growth restored profitability in 2010. It takes into account the successful streamlining of activities, consolidation of its fund range and tighter organisational focus without endangering the firm’s franchise.”
Firms threaten to pull cash out of French banks
Confidence in the French banking system eroded after suggestions that a number of international companies had or were thinking of withdrawing funds from the country’s banks.
US online dating company Match.com suggested its newly acquired French counterpart Meetic move its cash from a French bank to an American one, over concerns about where the funds were being kept.
German conglomerate Siemens was reported as withdrawing €500m from Sociéte Générale, with liquidity concerns cited as a cause.
‘Real assets in demand, but hard to distinguish’
Frank Engels, co-head of European Economics and head of Asset Allocation Research for Barclays Capital, said that clients were looking for real assets in the current environment, but that it was difficult to treat them as a separate asset class.
Speaking at the publication of the latest edition of Barclays Capital Global Outlook: A Treacherous Path, Engels said the overall approach to asset allocation being recommended to clients was to remain “risk neutral” until greater clarity in terms of an outcome from the eurozone crisis.