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Baptist funds still unscathed

With a volatile market in the second quarter of the fiscal year, the $30-plus million investment from the sale of Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi that is being managed by Glenmede, fared well following Black Monday, when the Dow dropped more than 1,000 points.

Representatives from Glenmede presented a quarterly report to the Oxford Municipal Reserve and Trust Fund Committee Tuesday.

At the end of the third quarter, Sept. 30, the fund had a -2.9 percent return, leaving the fund’s value at $31,881,727 as of Sept. 30, which is the end of the second quarter. The fiscal year for the investment runs from April 1 to March 30.

Investor John Church said that while the market seemed to be topsy-turvy this summer, overall data suggests the economic health in the U.S. is strong.

The market began to rebound in the last two weeks and as of Tuesday, the fund’s worth jumped to $32.6 million.

“Large cap, small cap and international equities outperformed the benchmarks during the market sell-off in the past two months, due to high-quality positioning and the use of covered call options strategies,” Church said.

Since its inception, the fund has earned about $4.3 million, including any withdrawals for payments and the annual 3 percent payout to the city of Oxford that goes into the city’s general fund to help fund a variety of projects.

The fund’s long-terms goals, set up by the committee, are capital preservation and real growth after inflation, about 2.5 percent, and the annual 3 percent payoff. The fund needs to return at least 5.5 percent to reach those goals.

The volatile market was the result of China’s market crashing, fear of when the Fed will raise interest rates and low gas prices, which should have a positive impact on the economy, said Investor Adam Conish.

“The idea is the money saved from low fuel rates is that one-third will go into savings, another third will be used to pay off existing debt and a third will be spent and put back into the economy,” he said. “We don’t see the prices going up in the near future due to an over abundance of supply of oil.”

Investment results have been obtained in a portfolio that is diversified across the fixed income and equity markets. As of Sept. 30, 40 percent of the assets are allocated to equities, 59 percent are allocated to fixed income, and 1 percent is allocated to cash.

Church said those numbers were adjusted to prevent higher loss to the investment funds.

Church was asked if he thought the city would be able to receive its usual $800,000 payout at the end of the fiscal year with the way the market has been and the current allocations of the fund.

“I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty, that will be the case,” Church said.