Yale University, the world’s second-wealthiest school, with a $20.8 billion endowment, increased investments in an emerging market stock fund, accounting for almost three-quarters of its publicly traded portfolio.
During the first quarter, Yale added 2.46 million shares of the Vanguard FTSE EM fund, one of the largest emerging-market equity exchange-traded funds, for a total holding of 3.15 million shares valued at $127.8 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The stake accounts for 72 percent of Yale’s $177.2 million of publicly traded assets.
Emerging-market stocks have become cheaper and more attractive this year after lagging behind developed-market equities last year. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index of stocks rose today to its highest level since October, and is up 3 percent this year. The gauge has climbed 13 percent since reaching a five-month low on Feb. 5.
Yale also boosted holdings of the iShares MSCI EAFE exchange-traded fund, which tracks large-cap stocks in international developed markets, to 655,000 shares valued at $44 million. The increases follow a decision by the New Haven, Connecticut-based university last year to raise its target for investing in foreign equities to 11 percent of its portfolio from 8 percent.
One of eight schools in the Ivy League, Yale currently has a target of investing 31 percent of its portfolio in private-equity funds, lowered from 35 percent last year, and 20 percent in hedge funds.