AUSTRALIA

First State Super and VicSuper agreed to a merger following talks earlier this year to be completed by June 30 in 2020. The union of Australia’s top non-profit pension funds will create an A$120 billion ($83.3 billion) superannuation fund – potentially the second largest in the country trailing after the $112 billion AustralianSuper.

First State Super and VicSuper are at the due diligence stage. Michael Dundon, VicSuper’s chief executive, said the merger would open investment options previously unavailable to the fund as it is the smaller of the two, at $15.4 billion.

Source: Chief Investment Officer, First State Super

Queensland Investment Corporation agreed to acquire power station company Pacific Energy for A$422 million ($293 million), according to a regulatory filing. Pacific Energy said in the disclosure to the Australian Securities Exchange that the QIC has entered into a scheme implementation deed with the firm for the acquisition by way of a scheme of arrangement.

QIC offered A$0.975 for each Pacific share, a 35% premium to the firm’s last close. But the implementation of the scheme is subject to approval of the power state firm’s shareholders, among other things.

Source: Deal Street Asia

QSuper named Charles Woodhouse to be its new chief investment officer after the current chief Brad Holzberger retires in September.

Woodhouse, who has been with the fund since 2009 as head of funds management, will be overseeing A$55 billion ($38.2 billion) of the firm’s A$91 billion in AUM. He briefly acted as deputy chief investment officer for QSuper in 2015.

Source: Chief Investment Officer

CHINA 

China’s National Social Security Fund invested around Rmb570 million ($82.7 million) in China’s new Nasdaq-style tech board on Monday (July 29).

NSSF will be committed to long-term investments in the tech board, Liu Zhongyuan, head of the National Council for Social Security Fund, said at a conference on July 22. The ¥2 trillion (£290 billion) state pension fund hopes to capture development dividends from China’s fast-growing sci-tech sector.

Source: Ignites Asia

 

China Life preliminarily estimated that its net profit for the first half of 2019 will increase by between Rmb18.89 billion ($2.74 billion) and Rmb22.17 billion, representing or 115% to 135% more than the same period of 2018.

Investment returns are one reason for the higher profit. The company recorded growth of equity investment income from the open market, thanks to rising domestic stock valuations in the first half of 2019, it said.

Source: China Life

HONG KONG

The Exchange Fund recorded an investment income of HK$170.8 billion ($21.85 billion) in the first half of 2019. The lion’s share was due to gains on bonds of HK$76.4 billion, followed by returns on other equities (outside Hong Kong) of HK$65.1 billion. Total assets of the Exchange Fund stood at HK$4.14 trillion at end-June 2019.

However, outgoing CEO Norman Chan was cautious of future uncertainties. “While in end-June China and the US agreed to resume trade negotiations, it cannot be assumed that an agreement would definitely be reached any time soon. Furthermore, Brexit remains an important and unsettling factor. A 'hard Brexit' could trigger volatilities throughout Europe’s economy and financial markets,” he said.

Source: HKMA

INDIA

Overseas sovereign and pension funds may use diplomatic channels to lobby the Indian government against the increase in tax surcharge on non-corporate entities imposed in the budget. They include a leading Middle East government fund and three big-ticket pension funds based in Canada among others, said people with knowledge of the matter. 

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told parliament last week that the government will not consider rolling back the budget measures, which are also applicable to foreign entities structured as trusts or associations of persons (AoPs). 

Source: The Economic Times

Indian renewable energy company Greenko Energy Holdings secured $950 million in an Asia's largest green bond offering, gaining support from Singapore's GIC and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. The fundraising spree came a week after the two funds agreed to make an additional $329 million equity investment in Greenko to fund its business plan.

The Hyderabad-based firm, which focuses on building integrated renewable energy plants with storage, currently has more than 4.2 gigawatts of operational wind, solar and hydropower assets in its portfolio and more than 7 gigawatts under construction. 

Source: Renewables Now, The Mint

Tata Realty and Infrastructure (TRIL), a wholly-owned unit of Tata Sons, is set to exit the roads business by selling four of its projects, with preliminary talks on with Singaporean sovereign fund GIC, according to two people aware of negotiations. 

Subsidiary TRIL Roads owns the four National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) toll road projects on offer and it has hired Ambit Capital to find a buyer. Feelers were sent out to global investors such as Macquarie, Cube Highways and Canadian fund CDPQ, said one of the sources. 

Source: The Economic Times

The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) is looking at raising another $1 billion from external investors, a senior official said here Friday.

The NIIF, which is tasked with attracting investments into infrastructure and other key sectors, has already received commitments for $1 billion from a few external investors. The fund already has commitments from two sovereign wealth funds-- Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Singapore's Temasek-- and will be looking to induct more partners.

Source: Business Standard

JAPAN

Tokyo-listed multinational insurance holding company Tokio Marine Holdings signed a partnership agreement with Israeli insurer Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services, the two announced July 24.

According to the agreement, the two companies will work together to spot Israeli technologies that can be integrated into their services and to scout for potential investments and partnerships with Israeli technology companies.

Sources: The Algemeiner, The Jerusalem Post, Israel National News

KOREA

Hana Financial Investment and Lotte Non-life Insurance lent $85 million in a mezzanine loan on Salt Creek Midstream in Texas, in the latest sign of South Korean institutional investors chasing US midstream assets for decent and stable yields.

The loan underwritten by the two South Korean firm represents about 40% of the latest mezzanine financing of $200 million raised for the project, according to sources of the companies on July 26. Deutsche Bank underwrote $50 million of the credit package, with other unidentified institutions taking the remainder.

The yield of the mezzanine loan is expected to be about 10% to 11% per annum in US dollar terms and 9% in the Korean currency.

Source: Korean Investors

The Public Officials Benefit Association (Poba) plans to commit around $150 million to global blind-pool private equity funds to invest in buyout/growth, secondary and income strategies.

For the income strategy, Poba specified that it would focus on junior and mezzanine tranches for a target dividend yield of 5% per year, or a net internal rate of return of over 10%, according to its announcement on July 18.

It rules out senior loan, real estate and infrastructure investments for the mandates. The $11 billion retirement fund added that it would prefer a global investment firm with an office in South Korea and selected fund houses needed to achieve at least 60% of their fundraising target within one year.

Source: Korean Investors

MALAYSIA

Malaysia's $200-billion pension fund Employees Provident Fund is investing A$100 million ($70 million) in an Australian health care real estate fund managed by real estate developer Dexus.

In a statement, the developer said EPF's investment in Healthcare Wholesale Property Fund will enable it to acquire North Shore Health Hub, Stage 1 of the development at St. Leonards, currently held in Dexus' trading portfolio. The health care facility is due for completion in late 2020.

The plan is to eventually expand the precinct to include a "medi-hotel," build-to-rent housing and other amenities that will increase its end value to A$1 billion.

Source: Nikkei

Khazanah Nasional, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, has hired Morgan Stanley to look at strategic options for Malaysia Airlines, according to an official in the prime minister’s department.

The investment bank was brought in as an independent adviser for the airline’s recovery plan, Farid Rafik, a deputy minister in Mahathir Mohamad’s department, said in parliament, confirming a Bloomberg News report. The government is willing to become a minority shareholder in the carrier, he added, implying a stake sale is among options under consideration.

Khazanah is the sole shareholder of Malaysia Airlines after taking it private in 2014 following two tragic incidents — one of its planes vanished over the Indian Ocean and another was shot down over Ukraine. While the carrier’s revenues have been rising over the past year, overcapacity in Asia and external volatility including the trade war between the US and China are expected to continue to hamper growth.

Source: TheEdgeMarkets

SINGAPORE

Tencent Holdings, Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and BlackRock increased their stakes in online commerce and marketing company Weimob through a share sale that’s said to have netted $180 million.

The six-year-old company, which went public in Hong Kong this year, helps businesses fine-tune their online commerce and marketing strategies. Tencent is an existing backer, a relationship Weimob has leveraged to help small businesses market across the internet giant’s social networking platforms.

Weimob’s shares have jumped 63% since its January initial public offering, vastly outpacing an 8% rise for the Hang Seng Index. It has signed up 2.8 million registered merchants, according to a company filing in July.

Source: Bloomberg

Shareholders of Singapore-based reinsurance company ACR Capital have revived a majority stake sale plan and hired Morgan Stanley to run the process, people familiar with the matter told DealStreetAsia.

ACR Capital shareholders are reviving the sale plans after a proposed divestment to a Chinese buyer group fell through a couple of years ago. The stake sale process was reinitiated about three to four months ago. Morgan Stanley has been conducting auctions since then, the source added.

ACR Capital counts Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional and Singapore's Temasek Holdings among its shareholders. Other shareholders include Japan-based Marubeni Corp and UK-based 3i Group.

Source: DealStreetAsia

VIETNAM

VNLife, the parent company of Vietnamese payments firm VNPay, bagged funding from SoftBank Vision Fund and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, its chairman confirmed on Thursday. 

Earlier this week, it was reported that the Vision Fund had committed to invest up to $200 million in VNPay while GIC had proposed a $100-million investment. Tran Tri Manh, chairman of both VNLife and VNPay, told local news site CafeF that VNLife closed the investment from the two investors. He declined to comment on the quantum of funding received.

Source: DealStreetAsia

GLOBAL

The property investment arm of Dutch construction industry pension fund bpfBOUW has invested nearly $100 million alongside other investors into a portfolio of 26 offices across Asia Pacific worth nearly $700 million.

Bouwinvest plans to deploy €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) into Asia Pacific’s real estate markets by 2021 after opening a regional office in Sydney in February.

The latest portfolio – which contains assets across Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Seoul and Auckland – will be managed by Hong Kong-based PAG Real Estate.

Source: Apac Real Estate

Two Canadian pension funds – Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec – are competing to acquire a portfolio of roads in India.

The funds have made bids of around INR30.2 billion ($439.3 million) for the portfolio – Highway Concessions One – to the current owner, infrastructure fund manager Global Infrastructure Partners. The portfolio is spread across seven states and generates a consolidated revenue of INR6.2 billion.

Source: Livemint