MAS names sustainability head; Malaysia’s EPF appoints COO and CFO; GIC PE head for SEA leaves; State Super hires new exec; Hesta appoints chief growth officer, chief Debby Blakey appointed to corporate governance board; ex-BlackRock exec joins IQ-EQ in Singapore; HSBC AM builds direct real estate team; ex-Vanguard head of distribution joins LGIM; Sanne names Singapore head; and more
At the end of 2005, Westpac had A$225.8 billion in assets under custody, of which about 40% were sourced locally and 60% from offshore. In the same period, HSBC reported a total of A$11 billion in assets.
In an announcement issued Wednesday (July 26), Westpac said it was approached by HSBC to sell the business and ôafter a strategic review, decided to pursue the option.ö
The bankÆs chief executive officer, David Morgan, says Westpac no longer holds a sustainable comparative advantage in the custody arena. ôWe believe that custody is increasingly an international business and that natural owners require global scale,ö he says.
The decision by one of the countryÆs oldest custodians to get out of the game catapults HSBC almost to the top of the asset tables in the tightly held Australian market. The market leader is National Custodians with A$242.8 billion in assets at the end of 2005.
HSBC says all employees will be offered a role in the combined organisation, though the fate of Barry Dench, the former head of the Westpac business, is not known.
Proceeds from the sale will not have a significant impact on WestpacÆs 2006 full year earnings.
The sale is expected to be concluded at the end of August.
Investors still favour private equity assets for their higher growth, better governance structures, and diversification potential.
The recent focus on greenwashing has put bond issues under greater scrutiny. However, some market participants believe this risks paralysis by analysis.
The AU$85 billion ($61.6 billion) Australian super fund has some exposure to indebted property developer Evergrande. Meanwhile, China’s construction finance is part of its core strategy in real estate.
Investors are seeing the risks, but also the opportunities of the logistics sector. Warehousing their fears for the moment, they can see it's a good conduit to high-growth assets.