AUSTRALIA

Future Fund and investors such as Singtel Innov8 and Norwest have channeled $70 million in a series D funding to Bitglass, a US-based cloud security startup.

The funds will be used to further the company’s growth in the cloud assess security broker market. It also plans to double the headcount to 200 employees in roles such as sales and engineering this year.

The company has already raised $45 million from the Australian sovereign wealth fund in its series C round in 2017.

Source: DealStreetAsia

CHINA

China's main state pension fund is set to run out of assets by 2035 as the country's workforce shrinks, courtesy of its longstanding one-child policy, according to a study by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The urban worker pension fund, the backbone of China’s state pension system, held a reserve of Rmb4.8 trillion ($714 billion) at the end of 2018. Under current circumstances, it is predicted to peak at Rmb7 trillion in 2027, then drop steadily to zero by 2035, according to the report by the World Social Security Centre, part of the academy. 

The gap between contributions and outlays could be as high as Rmb11 trillion by 2050, with each retired citizen supported by only one worker, down from the current level of two.

Source: South China Morning Post

China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security will further promote the transfer of key provinces’ pension assets to the National Council of Social Security Fund (NCSSF) for investment management, Zhang Hao, an executive at the ministry, said.

Some Rmb800 billion ($119.34 billion) of provincial pension assets have already been transferred to NCSSF and a further Rmb700 billion should be collected, an academic was quoted as saying in the report.

Source: Xinhua

MALAYSIA

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Malaysia's largest pension fund, signed up to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, underlining its rising commitment to adhere to environmental, social and governance standards when investing.

EPF submitted its request to sign up to the UNPRI in March, as reported by AsianInvestor, and was widely expected to be approved on April 1, but ended up gaining final approval on April 8. 

Source: AsianInvestor, EPF

NEW ZEALAND

 

Del Hart

New Zealand Superannuation Fund is investing $115 million into CIM Group, a US real estate and infrastructure operator.

NZ Super’s investment, which includes CIM Group’s existing portfolio of six data centres, aims to capitalise on the growing demand for digital infrastructure, it said in a statement on April 11.

“Data centres offer strong infrastructure-like returns underpinned by exponential growth in digital data,” Del Hart, head of external investments and partnerships at NZ Super, said in the statement.

Source: Asia Asset Management 

SINGAPORE

Sovereign wealth fund GIC is understood to have led a consortium of investors buying in Vietnam's VNPay, according to three people familiar with the investment. It is believed to mark GIC's first investment into a Vietnamese financial technology company. 

Source: DealStreetAsia

GIC led a funding round in Traveloka, an online travel portal from Indonesia, which raised $420 million.

In November 2018, Traveloka’s co-founder and chief technology officer, Derianto Kusuma, resigned from the company, stating that “this game is no longer for me” in an article post on the publishing site Medium.

In 2017, Expedia invested some $350 million in Traveloka for a minority stake in the company. Other investors in Traveloka include East Ventures, Hillhouse Capital Group, JD.com, and Sequoia Capital. Traveloka was founded in Indonesia in 2012.

Source: Sovereign Wealth Finance Institute

Singapore state fund Temasek Holdings, US food giant Tyson Foods, and Enterprise Singapore have backed Big Idea Ventures, a new fund looking to raise $100 million to invest in startups focused on plant-based food, alternative protein, and related food technologies. 

The three investors have committed to jointly contribute roughly 30% to 40% of the fund, according to Big Idea Ventures founder Andrew Ive.

Source: DealStreetAsia

Temasek will also emerge as majority shareholder in an enlarged CapitaLand Group following anticipated shareholder approval of the property giant's S$11 billion ($8.13 billion) merger with Ascendas-Singapore on Friday (April 12).

Post-transaction, Temasek, which owns about 40.8% of CapitaLand’s shares, will increase its holding to 51%. CapitaLand and Ascendas-Singbridge announced in January that they had agreed a merger to form Asia’s largest diversified property group, with assets under management of S$123 billion.

Source: IP&E Real Assets

SOUTH KOREA

Cho In-sik

NongHyup Life Insurance is on alert mode after it suffered a net loss of W100 billion ($87.7 million) last year, the first time since it was established in 2012.

In a bid to turn fortunes around, NongHyup Life appointed Hong Jae-eun as its new CEO earlier this month. Serving various posts at NH Financial Group, Hong previously headed the group's business strategy division before he came to the post. The insurer also named Cho In-sik, the former overseas securities division chief of Korea's National Pension Service, as its new CIO.  

With its new management in place, NongHyup Life also announced the creation of an asset management taskforce.

Source: Korea Times

GLOBAL 

Only around a third (36%) of asset owners think active strategies will outperform passive ones in the long run, while fewer than a quarter (23%) feel actively managed portfolios are worth the cost, found Allianz Global Investors’ 2019 Institutional Investor Survey, conducted in November and December.

Moreover, anxiety about market risks over the next 12 months was far more prevalent among respondents than a year earlier. The most notable fears were over equity market risk, interest rate risk and inflation risk. Accordingly, many asset owners had put in place new risk-management strategies in the preceding year.

The global poll of 490 institutional investors with assets under management of around $15 trillion was conducted in November and December. The firms included insurers, pension plans and sovereign wealth funds, and 24% of respondents were based in Asia Pacific.

Source: Allianz Global Investors