President Barack Obama kicked off this week on Capitol Hill by welcoming financial regulators, including the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to the White House Monday.During the meeting, Obama called the financial system “safer and stronger than it was before the crisis.” He added that it is top priority of the White House going forward to improve cybersecurity and tighten security gaps in the financial sector, identifying weak and vulnerable areas.The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will continue its advocacy efforts for the remainder of Obama’s term and the 114th Congress, pushing for cybersecurity legislation that would provide a national data security and data breach notification standard.CUNA will also continue to fight for reducing the regulatory burden of credit unions, revealed in a groundbreaking CUNA study to have been $7.2 billion in 2014 alone. (See related story: Complete CUNA reg. burden study now available.) continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
The asset manager owned by 32 London pension funds has hit back at reports that it advised against investing in UK infrastructure in case of a change of government.The London CIV – an asset pooling initiative for the UK capital’s local government pension schemes (LGPS) – is currently exploring how to provide its member funds with access to infrastructure, and was asked to present its work so far to the London Borough of Camden’s pension committee at a meeting on 29 November.According to a report published by the council, the London CIV said two existing options for LGPS funds to invest in infrastructure were too focused on UK assets.The Camden report said: “The CIV… believes it would be imprudent to expose the London pension funds to regulatory and political risk at a time when… UK political risk is heightened in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, and relatedly, a potential future change of government could lead to a sharp repricing of core infrastructure assets due to concerns over renationalisation and regulatory changes to existing contracts.” Subsequent UK media reports linked the comments to the rise in popularity of the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn – an advocate of public ownership of infrastructure assets.In a statement on its website, the London CIV said: “London CIV wishes to clarify that it has not issued and will not issue any advice to London boroughs about the impacts of a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn on any investments including infrastructure.”The London CIV’s initial research – according to Camden’s report – had ruled out investing in the Pension Infrastructure Platform because it was too small and focused solely on the UK. Another pension-fund-only vehicle, GLIL, was also ruled out as it did not have a sufficient track record and was also focused primarily on the UK. However, the CIV also highlighted low expected returns on UK infrastructure, meaning the asset class did not compensate for the political risk involved “particularly when compared to the (net) returns on similar assets overseas”. Camden’s report stated that, “as the CIV’s product suite is built out, and, if valuations become attractive, the CIV would welcome the cross-pooling approach to infrastructure in the UK”.GLIL – a joint venture between the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and the London Pensions Fund Authority with backing from three other LGPS funds – could be a future option for infrastructure investment for the CIV, the report said. One of the main reasons for the UK government’s push for LGPS pooling was to increase capacity for infrastructure investment. Camden’s £1.3bn (€1.5bn) scheme is considering a 5% allocation to the asset class.The London CIV has established a working group to assess its approach to infrastructure. Ryan Smart, infrastructure investment analyst at the CIV, has created a long list of roughly 100 managers, according to the report from Camden, as the pooling vehicle sought to provide options for the eight London boroughs actively seeking an allocation.The CIV aimed to reduce the list down to 20 and appoint an independent adviser to help select managers, Camden said.
Ørsted and project partners have held an inauguration ceremony for the Formosa 1 Phase 2 offshore wind project in Taiwan.Formosa 1 Phase 2 is an extension of the existing two-turbine Formosa 1 Phase 1 project, which was officially commissioned in April 2017.The 120MW project comprises 20 Siemens Gamesa 6MW turbines installed approximately 2 to 6km off the coast of Miaoli County.To remind, the installation of turbines was completed at the site in October, with Formosa 1 Phase 2 producing first power a month later.“Today is a historic moment for all who participated in the Formosa 1 project. All the intensive efforts invested together with our joint venture partners, local authorities, financial institutions and stakeholders have flourished,” said Matthias Bausenwein, President of Ørsted Asia Pacific and Chairman of Formosa 1.“Formosa 1 marks the first milestone for Ørsted’s expansion in Asia Pacific. With this successful first step, we are confident that Ørsted will continue to lead the growth of offshore wind in Asia.”The 120MW project is owned by Formosa I Wind Power Co. Ltd., a partnership of Ørsted (35%), JERA (32.5%), Macquarie Capital (25%) and Swancor Holding (7.5%).