Harvard, Other Top Schools Boosted Emerging-Market ETF Stakes

  • Vanguard fund plunged 19% in third quarter as stocks slid
  • University of Texas, Yale, Notre Dame increased investment

Harvard University and other top schools increased stakes in the third quarter in a Vanguard Group Inc. emerging market exchange-traded fund that lost 19 percent amid a rout in developing-nation assets.

Harvard, the world’s richest school with a $37.6 billion endowment, added 6,750 shares of the $36 billion Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF to bring its holding to $4.8 million as of Sept. 30, according to regulatory filings.

Yale University, the second-biggest endowment at $25.6 billion, added 152,000 shares to bring its largest disclosed U.S. equity holding to a value of $112.8 million, a filing shows.

MSCI Inc.’s emerging-market index suffered its largest quarterly decline in four years as a rout in the Chinese stock market and a surprise devaluation of the yuan roiled global markets. The Vanguard ETF, which tracks the FTSE Emerging Markets Index, holds large and mid-cap stocks from such countries as Brazil, Russia, India, Taiwan and China.

University of Texas, with $24.1 billion in endowment assets, added 22,520 shares to increase its position in the ETF to more than $2.7 million. The University of Notre Dame, with $8 billion in assets as of June 2014, lifting its holding by 890 shares to leave it with a value of $3.2 million at the end of the quarter.

Emory Sells

Emory University, the Atlanta school with about $6.7 billion in assets, went in the opposite direction, selling 750,890 shares to reduce its stake to $10.2 million.

Direct holdings by the universities, reported quarterly on Form 13F, often account for less than 5 percent of their portfolios and aren’t indicative of broader investment strategies. The filings show directly held U.S. securities and don’t include cash, holdings that aren’t publicly traded or assets held indirectly by outside money managers.

Asset managers who oversee more than $100 million in U.S. equities must file a 13F within 45 days of the end of each quarter to list their holdings in stocks that trade on U.S. exchanges, as well as options and convertible debt.

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