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World’s Five Largest Asset Management Companies Hold $22.5trn in Assets, More than US GDP

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Global Five Biggest Asset Management Companies Hold $22.5trn in Assets, More than US GDP

Institutions and individuals who invest money usually do so with the asset manager’s help, a company that manages their investments and makes a profit for both sides. These firms make well-timed investment decisions on behalf of their clients to grow their portfolio and finances.

According to data presented by Stock Apps, the world’s five largest asset management companies hold $22.5trn in assets, more than the GDP of the United States. With more than $7.3trn in assets under management or one-third of that value, BlackRock represents the leading asset manager globally.

Total Assets Under Management of BlackRock Surged 57% in Five Years

Asset management companies work with several investors, which enables them to reduce the risk, diversify their clients’ portfolios, and provide access to higher-value options with better capital appreciation prospects. In many cases, they make money by charging fees based on the number of assets they manage, although some companies charge flat fees. These firms usually also provide other services than asset management, which generates only a part of their revenue.

The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, has become one of the leading players on the financial market over the last 25 years. It serves individual investors, companies, governments, and foundations through 70 offices all around the world. BlackRock also tops the list of largest Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) providers in the United States and has played a huge role in advising the US government during the financial crisis.

In 2015, the total value of assets under BlackRock’s management amounted to $4.6trn, revealed the company’s annual report. During the last five years, this figure surged by 57% to $7.3trn in 2020. Besides leading in the value of managed assets, the New York-based financial giant also witnessed a steady market cap growth in 2020. In September, the total value of BlackRock stocks hit $83.6bn, a 22% jump year-over-year.

With $5.7trn in total assets under management, the Vanguard Group ranked as the second-largest asset manager globally. The US financial company, with 20 locations worldwide and 17,600 employees, is also the second-largest provider of exchange traded funds and the largest provider of mutual funds in the world.

Eight of the top 10 Asset Management Firms are US Companies

UBS Group represents the third-largest asset manager globally, with more than $3.5trn in assets under management. The Swiss financial corporation and the country’s largest bank announced a net profit of $1.23 billion for the second quarter of 2020, an 11% drop year-over-year mostly caused by the continued credit losses amid the coronavirus crisis.

However, higher trading activity continued to support the bank’s earnings between March and June. The Group’s quarterly earnings also revealed an operating income of $7.4bn, compared to $7.5bn a year ago. Statistics show the Swiss lender lost $1.6bn in market capitalization in 2020, with the total value of stocks falling from $45.6bn in December 2019 to over $44bn this month.

State Street Global Advisors and Fidelity Investments ranked as the fourth and fifth largest asset managers globally, with $3.05trn and $2.92trn in total assets under management.

Analyzed by geography, the US asset managers lead on the global list of the most successful companies, with eight of the top 10 asset management firms from the United States. Statistics also show the world’s largest banks like JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America were not among the top five asset managers in terms of managed assets.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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SEC Warns Against Proliferation of Unregistered Investment Platforms

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned the investing public to be wary of the proliferation of unregistered online investment and trading platforms facilitating access to trading in securities listed in foreign markets.

SEC’s warning was conveyed via a circular issued in Abuja, Thursday to capital market operators.

It advised the investing public to seek clarification as may be required via its established channels of communication on investment products.

The circular read: “The attention of the SEC has been drawn to the existence of several providers of online investment and trading platforms which purportedly facilitate direct access of the investing public in the Federal Republic of Nigeria to securities of foreign companies listed on securities exchanges registered in other jurisdictions.

“These platforms also claim to be operating in partnership with capital market operators (CMOs) registered with the Commission.”

The Commission categorically stated that by the provisions of Sections 67-70 of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007 and Rules 414 & 415 of the SEC Rules and Regulations, only foreign securities listed on any exchange registered in Nigeria may be issued, sold or offered for sale or subscription to the Nigerian public.

Accordingly, the SEC notified CMOs who work in concert with the referenced online platforms of the Commission’s position and advised them to desist henceforth.

Public to seek clarification as may be required via its established channels of communication on investment products advertised through conventional or online mediums.

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SoftBank Reaps $33 Billion Coupang Windfall

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SoftBank Group Corp on Thursday racked up a roughly $33 billion gain on paper through the public market debut of South Korea’s largest e-commerce company, Coupang Inc, the latest sign of a dramatic turnaround for its $100 billion Vision Fund.

Shares of Coupang opened 81% above their offer price on Thursday, after the company raised $4.6 billion in the U.S. stock market’s biggest initial public offering this year.

SoftBank paid around $3 billion for a 37% stake in the company, according to sources familiar with earlier fund-raising, giving it a roughly $33 billion headline profit if prices hold.

Coupang’s hugely successful stock market launch is welcome news for SoftBank, which is grappling with the collapse of billions of dollars worth of funds linked to Britain’s Greensill Capital, a supply chain finance start-up.

Vision Fund is Greensill’s biggest backer.

The Japanese conglomerate last month reported third-quarter net profit ballooned more than 20 times thanks to a recovery at the Vision Fund, a huge venture capital operation famous for investing early in Uber and other tech industry startup successes.

Only a year ago, SoftBank had been smarting from the flopped IPO and collapse in value of office sharing firm WeWork, raising questions over whether Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son had lost his midas touch and threatening plans to establish a successor to Vision.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also forced Son to sell assets but a second deal reported by Reuters on Thursday bodes well for VF II, a second, smaller fund.

The $225 million late-stage funding round for healthcare startup Forward Health was its first major investment this year, following a pickup in activity and the group’s fortunes in the second half of 2020.

The Vision Fund also made $11 billion on a blockbuster market launch of DoorDash Inc in December, which valued the food delivery company at more than $70 billion.

It also made gains on home seller Opendoor Technologies Inc’s initial offering in December.

The fund still holds large stakes in China’s biggest ride-hailing firm Didi, as well as Uber’s Southeast Asian rival Grab.

SoftBank is also trying to ride the mania for special purpose acquisition companies, launching a handful of blank-check firms this year, although none of them have found investment targets yet.

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Agence Francaise De Developpement (AFD) To €2 billion in Nigeria

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The French Development Agency (AFD) is a development finance institution 100 percent held by the French government.

In Nigeria, it is mainly into financing infrastructure projects (water, energy, transport and agriculture).

It also involves financing related to the banking sector, governance and the cultural and creative industries.

Speaking to the media, the AFD Country Director Nigeria, Pascal Grangereau, said €2 billion was set aside to be sent on mainly road financing, water sector, improvement in electricity and agriculture.

He said €300 million was being spent on the Abuja Electricity Backup, a project in collaboration with Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to improve electricity at the nation’s capital.

Grangereau said a total of €200 million is equally expended on the North West Electricity Backup.

On agriculture, he said vocational training is currently held across the nation to improve the skills of Nigerians.

He added: “We intend to finance agricultural projects in five states, Benue, Imo and three other states to the tune of €50 million.”

He lamented that while it was endowed with reserves of crude oil and natural gas, Nigeria is characterised by power generation considered by the Nigerians themselves as not adequate.

He said concentrating more than half of the installed electricity capacity in West Africa, only half of which was harnessed by the country, implying a very low per capita consumption, limited access to electricity and frequent load shedding.

He added: “The sector is of strategic importance for successive governments, with the launching in the 2000s of a vast reform, supported by a massive investment plan; which reform although supported by the donors is yet to achieve the expected results. The project aims to strengthen the electricity transmission network, natural monopoly under the responsibility of the public company TCN, thus laying the foundations for a long-term partnership with TCN.”

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