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Alternative Market Briefing

Investors explore commodities at ABN AMRO’s forum

Thursday, September 29, 2011

amb
Bob Greer
Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

ABN AMRO Clearing, a global securities services provider, hosted the Amsterdam Investor Forum on 14 September, which focused on opportunities and challenges in investing in the commodity and alternative areas. It attracted up to 200 attendees, many of them high-level investors from the Netherlands and other parts of Northern Europe.

PIMCO: The state of commodity index tracking Commodities have been used as a speculation tool quite some time, as futures markets, which were commodity-based, date back to the 1800s. However, since the 70s, they have been a tool for index tracking, index beating, inflation protection and diversification. Financial derivatives now account for 75% of commodity trading.

Bob Greer, executive VP of PIMCO, the global fixed income funds house, recalled his audience at the Forum that he himself had created the first investible commodity index in ’78; this index was conservative, used as inflation hedge and sought pure beta. Other indices were launched a bit later, from ’91 onwards, by GSCI, Merrill and JP Morgan. This crowd was seen as early adopters, and did not attract a lot of interest as back then stock markets were on the rise. PIMCO launched new index investment products in 2002; their initial collateral were T-bills, and then inflation-linked bonds.

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