The Danish central bank, Danmarks Nationalbank, says it was Danish pension funds, life insurers and domestic investment funds that put the lion’s share of upward pressure on the krone in January and February rather than foreign speculators.Lars Rohde, director of the Danmarks Nationalbank, said: “A little more than one-third of the inflows can be attributed to foreign net purchases of Danish kroner.”Rohde was speaking at yesterday’s press conference presenting the bank’s quarterly report.He said the currency inflows from foreign parties in January and February were undoubtedly a reaction to the decision by the Swiss central bank to allow the Swiss franc to float against the euro. The European Central Bank’s (ECB) move to begin a wide-scale quantitative easing programme was also a factor behind the krone-buying, he said.Rohde said the Danish central bank did not share the speculators’ view that the Danish currency would follow the Swiss franc’s example and leave its peg, saying the bank would continue its current policy of defending the krone-euro peg.“But two-thirds of the inflows came from Danish investors of different types who bought kroner in the form of futures and hedged in that way different kinds of euro assets,” he said.Data from the central bank indicated that, in January, pension funds and life insurance companies had given rise to the bulk of krone inflows from domestic parties, while in February the domestic portion had come mainly from business and investment fund parties.Rohde said it was this combination of Danish pension funds and insurers and business and investment funds that had forced the central bank to intervene in the currency markets to defend the krone peg in the first two months of the year, to the tune of DKK295bn (€40bn).Meanwhile, individual Danish pension funds have had little to say officially on the subject of whether they have begun hedging their euro assets against kroner.There is arguably subtle pressure on the domestic institutions not to add to the central bank’s woes in having to keep the Danish currency unit tied to the euro.The Danish central bank recently confirmed it introduced a new requirement in February for pension funds to report their currency positions to the central bank on a weekly basis. Karsten Biltoft, director of administration at the central bank, said: “We have asked for the information to get better understanding of market developments.”However, the information is not being made public, he said.A source within the Danish pensions sector commented that the central bankers had been clever in managing the upwards pressure on the Danish currency and particularly so in introducing the new weekly reporting requirement. Most people would think twice before changing their currency positions, knowing this information would have to be disclosed to the central bank, the source said.He said the subject of whether Danish institutional investors were hedging their euro assets against a fall in the common currency against the Danish krone was a sensitive one.
The American Soybean Association (ASA) and Pioneer, a DuPont Company are seeking applicants for the 2004 Young Leader Program. The Young Leader Program is recognized throughout agriculture for its longstanding tradition of identifying and cultivating the producer leaders who are shaping the U.S. soybean industry.The Young Leader Program began in 1984. The program goal is the same today as it was twenty years ago, to seek out and develop new leadership for agriculture. The Young Leader Program is looking for soybean farmers who are innovative, assertive, “young” (or new) to leadership, and looking to make their mark in agriculture. More than half of all past Young Leaders serve on state or national soybean associations or promotion boards, and many are active in regional or county organizations as well.“The Young Leader Program is an exceptional leadership training program,” said Ron Heck, ASA President. “The instructors and program content are of the highest quality. This program provides information that the participant can start using immediately, not only in business but personally as well.”“Applicants selected as Young Leaders have an excellent opportunity to learn the key leadership skills necessary for high profile roles within agriculture,” said Kevin Turnblad, Pioneer Key Account Manager. “They do this through interactive training that utilizes instructors and materials that have been very successful in the real-world. Participants can also learn from each other and through the use of case studies of topics that are ‘front-burner’ and pivotal to the future of agriculture. If anyone is interested in making a difference in agriculture, this program is for you.”The 2004 class of Young Leaders and their spouses will participate in a challenging and educational leadership experience February 28 – March 2, 2004, in Las Vegas, Nevada. This seminar will include leadership and issues training and provide an opportunity for participants to meet and learn from other Young Leaders from around the country. The class will also take part in the Commodity Classic, March 2 – 4, 2004, rounding out a full week of learning, networking, and personal growth. Participants will travel to Pioneer’s Headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, to complete their training in December 2004.Application forms for the 2004 Young Leader Program, sponsored by Pioneer, a DuPont Company, are being mailed to all ASA members. Forms may also be obtained by calling (800) 688-7692, your state soybean office, or on the web at www.SoyGrowers.com. Soybean producers are encouraged to apply or nominate another producer who would be an excellent candidate for the program. Nominations should be returned to ASA by Wednesday, December 17, 2003. One Young Leader couple will be selected from each of ASA’s state affiliates.