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NY Pension Fund’s Q4 Investment Changes


In the fourth quarter of 2023, the New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF) made significant changes to its investment portfolio, including increasing its stake in New York Community Bank (NYCB) and reducing investments in Chinese companies.

Investment Moves

NYSCRF raised its stake in NYCB just before the regional lender’s shares took a tumble in late January 2024. Additionally, the pension fund decreased its holdings in Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Music Entertainment Group, while also trimming its investment in Palantir Technologies. These stock trades were disclosed in a form submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Statement from NY Comptroller’s Office

In response to inquiries about the investment changes, the office of the New York State Comptroller, the trustee overseeing NYSCRF, stated that they do not comment on active manager activity. Any passive portfolio adjustments are made through routine rebalancing.

NYSCRF Overview

As one of the largest public pensions in the U.S. by assets, NYSCRF reported an audited value of $248.5 billion as of March 31, 2023, marking the end of the previous fiscal year.

Performance Update

While NYCB saw a 19% increase in stock value in 2023, falling short of the S&P 500 index’s 24% rise, shares have since declined by 52% in 2024 compared to the index’s 4.9% uptick.

Recent Challenges

Following a surprise fourth-quarter loss and dividend reduction at the end of January, NYCB wrote off loan values and allocated funds for potential losses. Subsequently, share prices plummeted to levels not seen since 2000. Executives and directors responded by purchasing shares of the devalued stock.

Specific Transactions

During the fourth quarter, NYSCRF acquired 184,757 additional NYCB shares, bringing its total investment to 1 million shares. Meanwhile, the pension fund sold 173,379 Alibaba American depositary receipts to decrease its stake in the Chinese online giant to 318,731 ADRs by the quarter’s end.

Market Insights and Stock Movements

In the world of finance and investment, notable figures and companies continue to make headlines with their strategic moves and market performances. Let’s take a closer look at some recent key developments:

Jack Ma’s Investment Strategy

Jack Ma, the renowned co-founder of Alibaba, made significant moves in the investment realm by purchasing the company’s Hong Kong-listed stock in January. Following this, Alibaba itself decided to boost its stock-buyback program in February after revealing a decline in profits for the final quarter of 2023. The prevailing economic slowdown in China has evidently cast a shadow on Alibaba’s operations.

Stock Performance Comparison

  • Alibaba vs. Tencent Music
    • Alibaba ADRs witnessed a 12% decrease in 2023, with a further slide of 4.6% this year.
    • On the other hand, Tencent Music ADRs surged by 8.8% last year and have already seen a 12% increase in 2024.

Universal Music Group Deals and Market Reactions

Tencent Music made headlines as it extended its licensing agreement with Universal Music Group earlier this year. Coincidentally, Universal faced challenges in renewing contracts with TikTok, the popular app owned by Chinese firm ByteDance.

Portfolio Adjustments by NYSCRF

The New York State Common Retirement Fund made notable adjustments to its investment portfolio by selling 1.2 million Tencent Music ADRs in the fourth quarter, thereby reducing its stake to 343,507 ADRs. Additionally, the pension fund trimmed its holdings of Palantir shares to 1.3 million by selling 199,120 shares by the end of 2023.

Palantir’s Market Performance

Palantir experienced a staggering 167% surge in stock value during 2023, with a further increase of 42% recorded so far in 2024. The data-analytics company’s CEO, Alex Karp, expressed concerns about the current global landscape, emphasizing the escalating chaos and risks.

Expert Insights and Analysis

On Valentine’s Day, Stephen Bersey, head of technology research at HSBC Global Research, downgraded Palantir stock from Buy to Hold while maintaining a target price of $22. Bersey highlighted that the valuation appeared stretched following the recent robust performance.

Inside Scoop provides exclusive coverage of stock transactions by corporate insiders, board members, significant shareholders, and public figures. These individuals are mandated to disclose their trades to regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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