Topics : The United Arab Emirates has postponed the launch of its mission to Mars for a second time due to weather conditions at the launch site in Japan, the government’s communications office said on Wednesday.A new launch date in July will be announced soon, the statement on Twitter said.The UAE has said the launch window extends until Aug. 3. Its Hope probe was due to set off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre early Wednesday for a seven-month journey to the red planet, where it will orbit and send back data about the atmosphere.But storm clouds around the site delayed the initial launch, a statement from the Mars mission said.”The launch window has been set after careful study of the earth and Mars orbits to ensure the Hope probe arrives in the shortest period of time consuming the least levels of energy,” the statement said.The UAE, an oil-exporting nation, first announced plans for the mission in 2014 as part of efforts to diversify away from hydrocarbons and develop a knowledge economy, aiming to reach the planet by 2021.With a population of 9.4 million, most of whom are foreign workers, the UAE lacks the scientific and industrial base of the big space-faring nations. It launched a National Space Program in 2017 to develop expertise in space science among Emiratis.Hazza al-Mansouri became the first Emirati in space in September 2019 in a flight to the International Space Station.
New research from Amundi has found that failing to use factor investing techniques for investment grade bond allocations can cost investors potential return.The study showed that, since the 2008 financial crisis, the behaviour of the euro-denominated investment grade corporate bond market could be explained by a number of risk factors. These include both traditional factors – duration, spread and liquidity risk – and alternative risk factors such as value and momentum.While factor investing is now a common approach for equities, it is still in its infancy in the bond universe.The authors of the study – from Amundi’s fixed income platform and quantitative research teams – showed that, over the period 2003 to 2018, the behaviour of the investment grade corporate bond market was better explained by risk factors than by traditional capital asset pricing models. The effect was more marked since 2009, the researchers found. The study concluded that, by failing to consider these alternative factors, an investor would not capture certain components of potential return in the investment grade corporate bond market.The authors said a factor-based approach should result in a portfolio with more moderate performance in periods of strong market growth, but with more resilience in periods of sharp market declines than a portfolio managed in a more traditional way.The study also covered the US dollar universe, finding that value was already a significant factor for active managers from 2003 to 2009, and remained significant from 2009 to 2018.The authors said that alternative risk factor specifications – mostly coming from their analysis in the euro universe – achieved reasonable results in confirming the existence of the value factor in the US dollar universe. Jean-Marie Dumas, head of fixed income solutions at Amundi and one of the study’s authors, said: “We have been able to both quantify the behaviour of our alternative factors in credit management, as well as position them into a multi-factor framework integrating traditional factors.”