【英语财经】阿塞拜疆拟大举投资人民币资产 Azerbaijan shows renminbi hand

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2014-6-11 07:06

小艾摘要: The sovereign wealth fund of Azerbaijan plans to invest up to $1.8bn in renminbi this year, in what would be one of the largest investments in the Chinese currency to be made public as it rapidly move ...
Azerbaijan shows renminbi hand
The sovereign wealth fund of Azerbaijan plans to invest up to $1.8bn in renminbi this year, in what would be one of the largest investments in the Chinese currency to be made public as it rapidly moves towards reserve currency status.

Shahmar Movsumov, the chief executive of Sofaz, the $37bn State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, told the Financial Times the fund was applying for permission from Chinese regulators to access renminbi assets and hoped to start investing by the end of the year.

“It’s one of the currencies that are becoming important, so why not invest?” he said. “We are in the process of getting all the necessary preparations.”

The move highlights the internationalisation of the renminbi as Beijing opens up greater access to the currency. The renminbi was the seventh most widely used currency for international payments in April with 1.4 per cent of transfers, compared with 0.6 per cent in January 2013.

Central banks and sovereign wealth funds hold $11.7tn in assets, according to International Monetary Fund data. But the large majority of declared holdings are in dollars and euros, and Standard Chartered estimates that they hold just Rmb300bn ($48bn), less than 0.5 per cent of total reserves.

Analysts assume that many central banks have bought small quantities of renminbi, but only a handful – including Australia, Chile and Nigeria – have confirmed such moves.

The Reserve Bank of Australia plans to put 5 per cent of its reserves in renminbi bonds, and Nigeria’s central bank holds about 10 per cent of its assets in the currency. Central banks in Japan and Malaysia also hold renminbi assets.

Sofaz had decided at the end of last year to increase its exposure to currencies other than the dollar, euro and pound from 5 to 10 per cent, Mr Movsumov said. The fund had yet to invest its allocation to “other currencies”, he said. “Whatever we have spare by the end of this year we will allocate to renminbi.”

Asked which renminbi assets he intended to invest in, he said the fund was “open to everything”.

Sofaz, the 28th-largest SWF, has grown rapidly thanks to rising oil prices in the past decade. Kazakhstan’s oil fund has assets of $71bn while the Russian equivalent holds $87bn.

Since 2012 Sofaz has moved into real estate, buying properties in London, Paris, Moscow and Seoul, and has started investing in public and private equity and gold.

SWFs are among the biggest investors in China’s public markets. Norway’s oil fund, the Kuwait Investment Authority and Singapore’s Temasek hold the largest quotas, which allow them to buy renminbi-denominated assets.

Qatar and Abu Dhabi also have sizeable quotas, while some funds have also mandated local managers to invest in renminbi debt.

“There is no reward for taking a long-term position in bonds today,” said Mr Movsumov.

Additional reporting by Josh Noble in Hong Kong

阿塞拜疆主权财富基金今年计划向人民币资产投资至多18亿美元,这可能是对人民币资产的最大公开投资之一。人民币正向储备货币的地位快速迈进。

阿塞拜疆370亿美元的国家石油基金(State Oil Fund,简称Sofaz)的首席执行官沙玛?莫夫苏莫夫(Shahmar Movsumov)告诉英国《金融时报》,该基金正向中国监管机构申请买入人民币资产的许可,希望最迟在今年底开始投资。

“人民币是正在变得重要的货币之一,那么为什么不投资呢?”他表示。“我们正在完成所有必要准备工作的过程中。”

此举凸显了随着中国加大国内金融市场准入,人民币国际化正不断推进。4月份,人民币是国际收支领域第七大使用最广泛的货币,在所有转账支付中占1.4%,而2013年1月的这个比例只有0.6%。

国际货币基金组织(IMF)数据显示,各国央行和主权财富基金持有总共11.7万亿美元的资产。但绝大多数公布的资产是美元和欧元资产,渣打银行(Standard Chartered)估计,这些机构总共仅持有3000亿元人民币(合480亿美元),在储备总额中不到0.5%。

分析师们认为,许多央行购买了少量人民币,但只有少数几家央行(包括澳大利亚、智利和尼日利亚的央行)证实了这样的操作。

澳大利亚储备银行(Reserve Bank of Australia)计划将储备的5%投入人民币债券,尼日利亚央行所持资产中大约10%为人民币资产。日本和马来西亚央行亦持有人民币资产。

莫夫苏莫夫介绍说,阿塞拜疆国家石油基金去年底决定将其对美元、欧元和英镑以外货币的敞口从5%增至10%。他表示,该基金尚未将其对“其他货币”分配的资金投资出去。“到今年底,我们能够腾出的无论多少资金都将投入人民币。”

在被问及他打算投资哪些人民币资产时,他表示,该基金“对一切持开放态度”。

在全球主权财富基金中排名第28的阿塞拜疆国家石油基金,在过去10年里借助油价上涨快速发展壮大。哈萨克斯坦的石油基金拥有710亿美元资产,而俄罗斯的主权基金拥有870亿美元。

自2012年起,阿塞拜疆国家石油基金涉足房地产,在伦敦、巴黎、莫斯科和首尔购买房产,并开始投资于股市、私人股本以及黄金。

主权财富基金跻身于中国公开市场的最大投资者之列。挪威的石油基金、科威特投资局(Kuwait Investment Authority)以及新加坡的淡马锡(Temasek)持有最大的人民币计价资产投资配额。

卡塔尔和阿布扎比也有相当大的配额,而一些基金还委托当地经理投资于人民币债务。

“现在买下债券的长期头寸是没有回报的,”莫夫苏莫夫表示。

乔希?诺布尔(Josh Noble)香港补充报道

译者/和风

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