Here we present the stories from our daily newsletter that were most popular among our core audience of institutional investors in February in descending order, with number one the recipient of the most hits. Excluded from the list are our weekly roundups of people news.

1. Axa IM closes HK multi-asset team in structural shift (by Richard Newell, February 28)

The French insurer's asset management business is not up for sale, says its CEO, but it is consolidating certain business lines as part of a strategic shrink of its operations.  

2. MetLife IM wins Hong Kong licence, sets up team (by Joe Marsh, February 13)

US insurer MetLife is ramping up its asset management business in Asia to expand its regional client base. It is also reportedly looking to sell its Hong Kong insurance unit.

3. SWFs face illiquid asset limits, end to swift growth (by Joe Marsh, February 5) 

The changing landscape in the $6 trillion sovereign wealth fund segment has big implications for global asset allocation, including a potential shift back into bonds, finds new research.

4. Kwap to create ESG guidelines for alts investing: CEO (by Indira Vergis, February 21)

Other Asean instos could follow after Malaysia's second-largest pension fund, which already has ESG rules for equities and fixed income investing, signed up to UN-backed RI principles.

5. Moody’s SFC penalty could harm China’s capital markets (by Joe Marsh, February 20)

The rating agency is appealing against sanctions imposed by the Hong Kong regulator for a negative report on Chinese companies. If the decision is upheld, price discovery will suffer.

6. Investment consultants stoke conflict of interest concerns (by Jolie Ho, February 7)

The delegated investment business of consultants sits awkwardly with their advisory business, say some investment industry experts. 

7. Future Fund adds to risk assets as market fears abate (by Richard Newell, February 2)

Although still wary of excessive risk, the Australian sovereign fund remains focused on the long term and continues to look for opportunities in private markets.

8. MPFA flags fee cuts following strong returns (by Jolie Ho, February 8)

Hong Kong's Mandatory Provident Fund system had a good year in 2017, but concerns over high fee levels and a lack of innovation still linger.

9. Fund managers fear further falls in Asia equity rout (by Joe Marsh, February 7)

Portfolio managers are braced for more stock market falls in Asia, but expect to see buying opportunities in Greater China and Japan once the dust settles.

10. China tipped for $1tn in flows from global instos (By Ernest Chan and Richard Morrow, February 14)

Foreign asset owners are still underinvested in Chinese assets, say experts, but that is set to change—albeit slowly—as A-shares' weighting rises in MSCI's indices.