AUSTRALIA

Club Plus Super and AustralianSuper have become the latest pair of superannuation funds to discuss a merger.

The A$8 billion ($6.2 billion) Club Plus Super and the A$200 billion Australian Super signed a Memorandum of Understanding ahead of a period of due diligence as the two parties work towards a potential merger.

AustralianSuper Chief Executive Ian Silk said the initial discussions between the two parties showed an alignment of values and hoped the merger would benefit members of both funds.

Source: AustralianSuper

CHINA

The China Security Regulatory Commission (CSRC) announced that it has started an investigation into the alleged manipulation of stock prices of firms, in response to media reports of suspected manipulation.

In a statement, it said that it would adopt a "zero tolerance" policy toward market manipulation activities and conduct thorough investigations and punish violators severely. 

Source:CBIRC

Kong Qingwei, China Pacific Insurance (Group) (CPIC) chairman, said at the group's 30th-year work conference, that the group will actively promote green investments while continuously strengthening the development and innovation of sustainable insurance products.

In addition to directly participating in the investment and construction of green projects, the company made indirect investments, especially in green bonds, to help support and stimulate the development of green finance.

Source: CPIC

BlackRock launched a majority-owned wealth management joint venture with a wealth management unit of China Construction Bank (CCB) and Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings. The venture is 50.1% owned by BlackRock and 40% by the CCB unit, with Temasek holding the remaining 9.9%.

The new licence allows BlackRock to expand its presence in China, where it already owns a mutual fund venture with Bank of China and is setting up a wholly-owned mutual fund house.

BlackRock named Bing Ji as general manager of the new venture. He will be based in Shanghai. Ji was most recently head of BlackRock's China institutional client business, based in Guangdong.

Sources: ReutersPensions & Investments

HONG KONG

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority recently carried out tests with the Digital Currency Institute of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), involving a bank designated by the mainland authority, as well as merchants and bank staff, the HKMA said in an e-mailed response to questions, reported Bloomberg.

“We have tested the use of the related app, system connectivity and certain use cases such as cross-boundary purchases,” it said. “We are discussing and collaborating with the PBOC on the next phase of technical testing, including the feasibility of broadening and deepening the use of e-CNY for cross-boundary payments.”

Source: Bloomberg

MALAYSIA

Malaysia's 1MDB is suing units of Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and private bank Coutts over losses relating to the 2016 scandal.

The defunct state fund 1MDB is claiming $1.11 billion from Deutsche Bank (Malaysia), $800 million from JP Morgan (Switzerland) and $1.03 billion from a Swiss-based Coutts unit, as well as interest payments from all of them, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit does not detail the banks' role in the 1MDB saga.

According to Malaysian and US investigators, at least $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB between 2009 and 2014, though Malaysian authorities have previously said the total is far higher.

Source: Reuters

SINGAPORE

Temasek is reportedly set to back warehousing and shipping firm JD Logistics’s Hong Kong initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter. Aimed to raise $3.5 billion, the listing would be Hong Kong’s second-biggest share sale of the year, after Kuaishou Technology's $6.2 billion listing in February.

Singapore’s Temasek is to buy $220 million worth of stock. Softbank Vision Fund, Blackstone Group and Tiger Global were also cornerstone investors in the offering. JD Logistics is finalising the terms of the offering, the people said.

Source: Bloomberg

Temasek Trust, the philanthropic arm of Temasek Holdings, entered into a strategic collaboration with SDG Impact, a United Nations Development Programme initiative that develops tools for sustainable investments in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The partnership makes Temasek Trust SDG Impact’s anchor partner in Asia. Temasek with support SGD Impact in driving awareness and adoption of its impact investing standards and tools for investors.

Temasek said the partnership demonstrates the state investor’s commitment to sustainability outcomes in Asia and follows the launch of its impact investment unit, ABC World Asia, in May 2019.

Source: Temasek Trust

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC is reportedly in talks to become an anchor investor in food and beverage group Monde Nissin Corp’s initial public offering (IPO) in the Philippines. At $1 billion, it would be the largest IPO in the country.

Financial services group Fidelity International and Hong Kong insurer AIA Group are also said to be in talks to become investors. The offer period for Monde Nissin’s IPO is scheduled from May 24 to 28.

In 2016, Monde Nissin acquired UK alternative protein firm Quorn for $831 million.

Source: DealStreetAsia

Temasek led a $64 million funding round in Chinese remote sensing technology company Innovusion. Other investors included Bertelsmann Asia Investment Fund, Joy Capital, Nio Capital, Eight Roads Ventures, and F-Prime Capital.

Innovusion plans to use the injection to increase production of its light detection and ranging (“lidar”) remote sensing method and boost R&D efforts. The company plans to double its headcount to over 200 this year.

The Series B round brings Innovusion’s total investment to over $100 million.

Source: TechCrunch

TAIWAN

Cathay Life Insurance has agreed to commit a total of $500 million to two US-based private equity funds.

The insurer secured NT$61 billion net income for the first four months this year. Its non-life insurance, securities and investment trust operations also saw net profits hitting new highs.

Source: Deal Street Asia

KOREA

Korea Investment Corporation names ex-senior finance ministry official Jin Seung-ho as new CEO.

His three-year term will start on Tuesday (May 18), replacing Choi Heenam whose term ended on Monday. Jin was the head of the Presidential Committee on Balanced National Development in from 2019 to 2021.

Source: KIC; The Korea Economic Daily

South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) plans to allocate as much as half its assets to ESG investments by the end of 2022.

Kim Yong-jin, chairman and chief executive officer of the pension giant, told local media on May 12. The ESG target is more than four times the approximately 12% of assets, or 87 trillion won (US$78.3 billion), that the NPS allocated in 2019.

Source: The Korea Times

Korea’s pension fund for private school teachers, the Teachers’ Pension, opens its first tender of 2021 for domestic equity mandate.

It is looking to hire three or four local fund managers for a domestic equity mandate comprising socially responsible, growth, and index strategies. It hopes to help generate stable portfolio performance, the fund says in a statement on May 7. It did not specify the value of the mandate.

Source: Asia Asset Management

Korea Post’s insurance arm has committed €80 million ($97 million) to a new flagship fund of Swedish private equity firm EQT Partners that raised €15.6 billion at its final close last month. 

EQT IX is the largest buyout fund of a European private equity firm, with a focus on healthcare, technology, media and telecom companies.

Source: The Korea Economic Daily

Korean institutional investors are preparing to file a lawsuit against two brokerage firms, Mirae Asset Securities Co. and NH Investment & Securities Co.

They seek compensation for the loss of their entire investment of 300 billion won ($265 million) in the long-stalled project in the US Drew Las Vegas development.

The institutional investors include pension funds, mutual aid associations, Hyundai Motor Securities Co., Hyundai Motor Group’s foundation, the Korean casino operator Kangwon Land and the country’s major broadcasting companies.

Source: The Korea Economic Daily

PGIM Real Estate, the asset management arm of American life insurance company Prudential Financial, has sold the Jung-An Building office asset in Seoul to a Korean fund manager for W105 billion, according to news reported on May 12.

Source: IPE Real Assets