(Bloomberg) —



a sign in front of a building: The Vanguard Group headquarters are seen in Malvern, Pennsylvania, U.S.


© Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg
The Vanguard Group headquarters are seen in Malvern, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Vanguard Group Inc. returned about $21 billion in managed assets to government clients in China as part of a global shift to focus on low-cost funds for individual investors, according to people familiar with the matter. BlackRock Inc. and Amundi SA are being considered to manage a portion of the funds returned by Vanguard.

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The assets include about $10 billion that Vanguard had managed for each of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange and the China Investment Corp. sovereign wealth fund, the people said, declining to be identified as the matter is private. More than $1 billion was returned to the national pension fund, they said.

The currency regulator will probably transfer oversight of its money to other managers including BlackRock, while the pension fund is likely to pick Paris-based Amundi to manage some of its accounts, the people said. CIC folded the Vanguard funds into its own index investment platform, they said.

Vanguard, the National Council for Social Security Fund, BlackRock and Amundi declined to comment. CIC and China’s currency regulator didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.

Vanguard, the world’s second-largest money manager, is overhauling its Asia strategy, pulling out of Hong Kong and Japan to focus on individual investors in faster-growing markets. While China remains key for Vanguard as the nation opens its markets wider, the exit from the institutional business hands an unexpected windfall to competitors as they also step up their forays into the 100 trillion yuan ($15 trillion) asset management market.

Read more on BlackRock’s recent expansion in China

Vanguard is trying to move away from managing funds for institutional clients, a business that’s more demanding and less profitable, the people said. The sovereign clients’ relationship managers

(Reuters) – Debt-laden U.S. oil producer Occidental Petroleum Corp

said on Thursday it has agreed to sell its onshore assets in Colombia to private equity firm Carlyle Group Inc

for $825 million.

The cash-strapped company said it is continuing to advance other asset sales as it tries to find cash to pay off debt amid a crude price crash. It has so far announced over $2 billion worth of divestitures this year.

The Colombia assets sale, expected to close in the fourth quarter, includes the company’s operations and working interests in the Llanos Norte, Middle Magdalena and Putumayo Basins.

The company has operated in the Andean country alongside Colombia’s majority state-owned Ecopetrol

for more than 40 years. The two companies also have a joint venture in the Permian Basin in the United States.

Occidental said it will retain a presence in the South American country through its offshore exploration blocks.

“We have expanded our strategic partnership with Ecopetrol to the onshore U.S. and to exploration blocks offshore Colombia,” Occidental Chief Executive Vicki Hollub said in a statement. “These highly prospective offshore blocks hold tremendous potential that could significantly bolster the country’s energy resources.”

A spokesman for Ecopetrol said the company had no comment on the sale of assets.

Occidental’s debt ballooned after it paid $38 billion to buy Anadarko Petroleum last year, an ill-timed bet on rising oil prices. The company had total long term debt of $36.03 billion as of the end of June, according to Refinitiv data.

In August, the company said it would sell some of its Wyoming, Colorado and Utah assets to Orion Mine Finance for about $1.33 billion.

(Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Oliver Griffin in Bogota; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Jonathan Oatis)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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The world of exchange-traded assets just keeps getting bigger.

Exchange-traded funds and exchange-traded products pulled in a record $7 trillion-plus in assets in August, with U.S.-based ETFs and ETPs accounting for some $4 trillion of those flows. The U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan’s exchange-traded markets all also reached historic highs for asset-gathering.

A key factor driving the inflows is a renewed sense of confidence among investors, Deborah Fuhr, the founder and managing partner of ETFGI, told CNBC’s “ETF Edge” on Monday.

“ETFs really busted the myths that they weren’t able to handle the significant volatility in inflows and outflows during March and April,” Fuhr said. “From there, what we’re seeing is a significant increase in the number of investors using ETFs.”

Nearly 6,000 institutions now hold about half of all ETF assets across 62 countries, Fuhr said. As for where the money’s going, fixed-income-based products top the list, with $160 billion of net inflows globally in August, up from $148 billion over the same time period last year, she said.

“The Fed has clearly given a good signal to people that ETFs, fixed income, high yield and investment grade are good investments,” Fuhr said.

Themes such as ESG, which stands for Environmental, Social and Governance-related investments, technology and health care have also captured investors’ attention and money, she added.

“We’re also seeing active nontransparent. We have 15 new launches this year gathering about [$]500 million so far,” she said. “And gold has clearly played two different views there for investors. They’re in [$]49 billion of net inflows. Some see it as a safe haven. Others see it as a potential hedge against inflation given all the stimulus going into the markets.”

Kim Arthur, the president and CEO of Main Management, agreed that ETFs proving their resilience was a major catalyst