• Financial Times article on Chinese Sovereign Wealth Funds: SAFE and CIC. A quote”

“The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) is both competing with CIC for investments and complicating the sovereign fund’s attempts to defuse criticism of the way it operates and makes investment decisions.

SAFE, which is under the central bank, has long conservatively managed China’s rapidly swelling foreign reserves, which stood at about $1,650bn (€1,050bn, £828bn) at the end of February.

For a long time, that meant investing largely in US Treasuries. Even now, about 70 per cent of its assets are in dollar bonds, say bankers.

But in recent months, SAFE has emerged as a powerful and more aggressive investor, chasing the kind of returns offshore that CIC was mandated to go after.

SAFE has built up a 1.6 per cent stake in the French oil firm, Total, worth about €1.8bn ($2.8bn, £1.4bn), the Financial Times revealed this week. It has bought stakes in Australian banks and considered investing in private equity funds.

Bankers familiar with its operations believe that it is also considering investing in international real estate.”

  • FT article on soaring rise prices, by 50% in the last two weeks. A quote:

“The increase also risks stoking further inflation in emerging countries, which have been suffering the impact of record oil prices and the rise in price of other agricultural commodities – including wheat, maize and vegetable oil – in the last year.

Kamal Nath, India’s trade minister, said the government would crack down on hoarding of essential commodities to keep a lid on food prices. “We will not hesitate to take the strongest possible measures, including using some of the legal provisions that we have against hoarding,’’ he said on Friday.”

The chart with rice futures is below: