AUSTRALIA

State Super appointed Charles Wu as chief investment officer as of December, the superannuation fund announced on January 20.

The appointment comes after previous CIO Gary Gabriel left State Super to become head of portfolio management at Victorian Funds Management Corporation in October last year.

Wu has been with the company for six years, rising from head of asset allocation and risk to deputy CIO and general manger of asset allocation. He was previously an investment manager at Media Super.

Source: State Super

Future Super co-chief executive Kirstin Hunter will leave the pension fund after four years, with no word yet on her next move. 

Hunter joined the firm in 2017 as chief operating officer and was later promoted as managing director in 2018, then co-founder and chief executive in 2020. Simon Sheikh, who shared the position with Hunter, will become the sole CEO upon her departure.

Source: Financial Standard

LGIAsuper pulled its mandate with AMP Capital’s Ethical Leaders Balanced Fund, citing investment performance and reports about culture at AMP as concerns.

The super fund’s socially responsible balanced option has been invested in AMP’s Ethical Leaders Balanced Fund since 2008, but has now been transferred to Pendal Group’s Sustainable Balanced Fund.

The option lost 1.33% for the year ending June 30 2020.

Source: Financial Standard

CHINA

China overtook the US as the world’s top destination for new foreign direct investment in 2020. New investments by overseas businesses into the US, which for decades held the number one spot, fell 49% in 2020, according to UN figures released on January 24.

China, which had long been ranked as the second-largest target, saw direct investments by foreign companies climb 4%, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development said.

Source: Wall Street Journal
 
INDIA

India’s Rp400 billion ($5.48 billion) National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) made less than Rp47 billion worth of investments in its first five years, a disappointingly low level of activity. Co-investments by its partners stood at Rp117 billion as of September.

The infrastructure fund was set up in 2015 with foreign commitments to improve infrastructure financing by investing in greenfield, brownfield and stalled projects. However, most of the senior management team was put in place in early 2017 and the bulk of its fundraising and investment activity has taken place since 2018. NIIF manages a total of $4.4 billion across three funds.

In December 2020, NIIF announced the final close of its $2.34 billion NIIF Master Fund. Co-investors include Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board, the US International Development Finance Corporation, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, AustralianSuper, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Singapore's Temasek.

Source: Economic Times, VCCircle

JAPAN

The Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) is requesting information on environment, social and governance (ESG) and sustainable development goals (SDGs), including the relationship of modern portfolio theory to ESG investment and the performance indicators to judge the effectiveness of ESG investment.

Interested parties can submit the insights before February 12. No compensation will be provided for any information received.

Source: GPIF

KOREA

National Pension Service and German insurer Allianz are buying a 50% stake in OUE Bayfront, a landmark commercial building in Singapore’s central business district, at S$634 million ($478 million) via Allianz Real Estate’s AREAP Core 1 fund.

The transaction is expected to close at the end of February, and the agreed value translates to a passing yield of 3.6%.

Source: Allianz Real Estate

MIDDLE EAST

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) launched its five-year strategy on January 24, under which it plans to grow its assets under management from some $400 billion to over $1.07 trillion by 2025.

The PIF also said it intended to invest at least $40 billion annually in domestic projects and investments, contribute $320 billion to non-oil GDP cumulatively through its portfolio companies and create 1.8 million direct and indirect jobs by the end of 2025.

Source: PIF

SINGAPORE

Singapore Exchange (SGX) and sovereign wealth fund Temasek formed a digital assets joint venture focused on capital markets. The move follows last year’s issuance of Asia’s first public syndicated digital bond for agri-food firm Olam International by SGX, Temasek and HSBC.

The partnership aims to exploit current digitalisation trends and advance capital market infrastructure developments in Asia, according to SGX’s head of fixed income, currencies and commodities, Lee Beng Hong.

SGX said its digital asset issuance platform has so far been used to issue four digital bonds with a total size of over S$1 billion ($750 million).

Source: SGX

TAIWAN

China Development Financial Holding Corp (CDFHC), which holds a 34.82% stake in China Life Insurance, aims to acquire up to 1 billion shares, or 21.13% of all China Life shares, adding that it hopes to secure at least 236.57 million shares, or a 5% stake.

A BDO Taiwan accountant surnamed Chou said CDFHC aimed to increase its stake in China Life to boost its return on equity by expanding its operation and asset size, adding that the financial holding’s overall sound condition allowed for such a move.

Source: Taipei Times

INTERNATIONAL (EXCLUDING ASIA)

Canada’s Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (Omers) has taken an equity investment in new private credit investment manager Orion Capital Asia.

The firm has been formed by the management team that led the private credit efforts of private equity firm Olympus Capital Asia since 2012. They had spun the business out in December and rebranded it as Orion.

Orion manages investment vehicles that provide medium-term secured loans to middle market businesses.

Source: Orion Capital Asia

Canadian institutional investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has made its first transportation investment in India with the acquisition of a 67-kilometre expressway in the eastern state of Odisha.

The purchase represents the first acquisition by CDPQ’s India Highway Concession Trust, an investment trust set up in 2020 to focus on road infrastructure investments in India. CDPQ’s head of infrastructure, Emmanuel Jaclot, said the deal reflected the fund's long-term confidence and interest in the roads sector and in the Indian infrastructure market generally.

Source: CDPQ