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Foreign Exchange

Principal Global Investors reports record results

Principal Global Investors says that its macro currency fund returned 17.4% in the first quarter of 2009. “The fundamental discretionary style of active currency management is the stand-out performer, because it has the ability to adapt dynamically to a rapidly changing environment and is not dependent on low volatility to deliver returns,” says Mark Farrington, the managing director of Principal’s macro currency group.

Principal’s macro currency group, which has been managing currency portfolios for 17 years, is optimistic that interest in currency funds is on the increase. “In recent years we have seen increased interest in currency as an alternative source of alpha. The relative basis of the asset class means that there are always opportunities to generate positive returns, regardless of the macroeconomic environment,” says Nick Lyster, chief executive of Principal Global Investors (Europe).

He adds: “We expect interest in currency to increase as schemes move away from traditional asset classes, which fared badly in 2008, in an effort to reduce funding deficits. We have already started to see growth in currency overlay strategies, as large allocations to overseas assets, combined with unprecedented high levels of currency market volatility, bring currency risk management to the forefront of many trustees’ thinking.”

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