AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND

Hesta Super has committed A$20 million ($14.8 million) to member-owned mutual Australian Unity’s inaugural Mutual Capital Instrument (MCI) issuance.

The MCI, the first issued by an Australian mutual, has the potential to contribute to Australia’s impact investment market, Hesta said in a statement on December 1. Autralian Unity announced the MCI on November 27 with an offer to raise A$100 million.

Source: Australian Unity, Hesta, ICMIF

New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Canada's Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan have completed their purchase of pathology business Asia Pacific Healthcare Group (APHG) valued at NZ$550 million ($387.3 million).

The purchase was finalised on November 30 and adds to the super fund’s NZ$7.2 billion portfolio of domestic assets. APHG’s previous owner was Australian private healthcare provider Healthscope.

APHG provides pathology services to around half of New Zealand’s district health boards and conducted a third of Covid-19 testing in the country.

Source: NZ Super

CHINA

Anbang Insurance Group has lost the US court case under which it was suing to force South Korea's Mirae Asset to fulfil its agreement to pay $5.8 billion for 15 US hotels.

Mirae did not close the deal on the scheduled date in April 2020, saying that the insurer’s representations and warranties were inaccurate and failed to satisfy conditions. The judge agreed, saying Anbang had made extensive changes during the pandemic to the way it ran its hotels that were in breach of the merger agreement.

A consortium led by Mirae had agreed last year to buy the hotels from Anbang, which had been selling some of its foreign assets to raise funds after the Chinese government took control of the troubled insurer in 2018.

Source: Financial Times

German insurer Allianz has proposed to transfer all its shares in CPIC Allianz Health Insurance, a joint venture between German's Allianz Group and China Pacific Insurance Company, to CPIC and its subsidiary CPIC Life Insurance.

Allianz holds 22.94% shares in the Shanghai-based JV, which was founded in 2014, and CPIC holds the rest. CPIC and CPIC Life Insurance will hold a respective 85% and 14.9% shares after the transaction.

Source: Asia Insurance Review

HONG KONG

Hong Kong-based family office Grace Harmony and other firms have invested in the third issuance of the Women’s Livelihood Bond.

The Singapore-based Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), which focuses on impact investing, priced the $27.7 million bond, which aims to support women and female entrepreneurs in Asia Pacific in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other investors include US asset manager Nuveen and New Zealand firm Pathfinder Asset Management, an IIX spokeswoman told AsianInvestor, declining to name other investors and the amounts invested.

Source: Citywire AsiaIIX Global

JAPAN

The Government Pension Investment Fund is seeking advice on how to deal with a potential permanently low-yield world.

The $1.6 trillion fund has put out a request for information seeking explanations as to what has caused the global zero-interest-rate environment to become entrenched. GPIF wants help on how it should estimate its bond returns in such a world and other topics.

The pension fund is itself one of the world's key buyers of bonds and held well over half its assets in low-yielding Japanese bonds until as recently as 2014.

Source: Pensions & Investments

INDONESIA

Indonesia’s government said on December 4 that the Japan Bank for International Cooperation had committed to invest $4 billion in the Southeast Asian country’s soon-to-be-launched sovereign wealth fund.

Jakarta will follow up the commitment by preparing the technical details, with the hope of realising the investment in the first quarter of 2021, the embassy said.

Source: Reuters

KOREA

National Pension Service (NPS) has formed a joint venture with San Francisco-based investment manager Stockbridge to acquire a 14.3 million square foot portfolio of class A logistics facilities across the US in a $2 billion deal.

The assets were acquired in partnership with the Stockbridge Smart Markets Fund from Hillwood Investment Properties for $2 billion, which represents the largest industrial transaction this year.

Scott Kim, head of real estate investment at NPS, said: “This acquisition will be an excellent addition to our real estate portfolio. Additionally, our local presence in New York has allowed us to quickly underwrite the portfolio and manage partner relationships to successfully form this venture.”

Source: IPE Real Assets

Korea Post is looking for two foreign fund managers for a $200 million overseas direct lending mandate, the government postal agency said in a request for proposal issued on December 2.

Hedge funds, collateralised loan obligations and sector-focused funds, such as infrastructure, real estate and energy funds, will be excluded from the mandate. The deadline for applications is December 15, with due diligence and manager selection scheduled to be carried out in the first two months of 2021.

As of December 2019, Korea Post had $106 billion of total assets, with less than 10% allocated to alternatives.

Source: Asia Asset Management

South Korea’s stock exchange is inviting foreign and domestic asset managers to bid on two mandates worth a combined W150 billion ($135.5 million).

One is for a W90 billion multi-asset strategy, and the other is for a W60 billion absolute return strategy with a target annual return of 2.5%, Korea Exchange said in its request for proposal. It will appoint one manager for each mandate for a one-year term, with a one-year extension. 

Applications are open until December 10. Evaluation and manager selection are scheduled to be carried out between December 11 and December 23.

Source: Asia Asset Management

MALAYSIA

Employees’ Provident Fund said it expected the additional outflow from withdrawals by members affected by the pandemic to have a minimal impact on its long-term returns.

The $216 billion state pension fund said it had been expecting withdrawals since the coronavirus hit early this year and had prepared for them by boosting its cash levels. The comments come in the wake of concerns that any large redemptions by members would hurt its returns and a sell-down of its portfolio would weigh on the stock market.

Source: Bloomberg

SINGAPORE

Sovereign wealth fund GIC is investing C$260 million ($202 million) into a C$310 million private placement to help Canadian engineering services company WSP Global finance its $1.14 billion acquisition of Ontario-based Golder Associates.

WSP’s purchase of Golder, an engineering, environmental and design services firm, aims to create a leading global environmental consulting firm.

British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, a C$170 billion Canadian public fund, has invested C$50 million alongside GIC in the private placement.

Source: WSP Global

TAIWAN

Taiwan’s Bureau of Labor Funds (BLF) has replaced US fund house Vanguard as the manager of at least $590 million of government pension and insurance assets due to long-term underperformance and “unusual moves” in Asia.

New York-based BlackRock will be the new main manager for the assets under the Asia Pacific mixed index mandate, according to BLF.

The move has come as Vanguard is overhauling its Asian strategy, pulling out of Hong Kong and Japan to focus on individual investors in faster-growing markets. Vanguard has also returned about $21 billion of assets to Chinese government clients.

Sources: Bloomberg

The Taiwanese government on December 3 passed an amendment to the insurance law to abolish a limit on insurance companies' board representation in investee firms that are engaged in infrastructure development and community welfare business.

At present, no more than one-third of the board of directors of such investee companies can be representatives of an investing insurer.

Source: Asia Insurance Review