AUSTRALIA

Industry superannuation fund Hesta announced a 23.03% return for its sustainable growth investment option for the financial year ended June 30.

Over a rolling 10-year period, the option delivered an 11.28% per annum return, compared with the fund’s 10.18% return for its high growth option, and 8.87% for its balanced growth option over the same timeframe.  

“This is a fantastic result for members, and a testament to the outstanding investment expertise of our team and the strong relationships we’ve built over many years with leading specialist responsible investment managers,” chief investment officer Sonya Sawtell-Rickson said in a statement.

Source: Hesta

Aware Super has grown to A$150 billion ($110 billion) in funds under management, less than a year after its creation through the mergers of First State Super, VicSuper and WA Super.

The fund added in a statement that members have also seen a reduction in fees, particularly for VicSuper accumulation members who had a 20% reduction in administration fees.

”As we grow, we are able to leverage our scale to drive down costs to members, maintain our record of top performance and expand the range of products, guidance, advice and education services that we can provide,” chief executive officer Deanne Stewart said.

Chief investment officer Damian Graham added that the fund has been particularly focused on expanding its internal capability and delivering more direct investments, and that the fund needs to continue to adapt and change as it works towards becoming a A$250 billion fund in the future.

Source: Aware Super

CHINA

The People's Bank of China will continue to roll out regulatory policies to enhance the attractiveness of green credit and green bonds.

These will include incentive policies, including subsidies, interest discounts, tax reductions and taxation policies, Fan Yifei, deputy governor of the central bank, stated at the "Global Wealth Management Forum 2021 Beijing Summit".

At the same time, Fan noted that the government will be actively promoting the combination of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment and fixed income products, enrich the application fields of ESG investment, and guide pension, insurance, social security and other long-term funds enter the ESG investment.

Source: Sina.news

HONG KONG

A Spac (special purpose acquisition company) backed by Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li will merge with Singapore online real estate firm PropertyGuru by the first quarter of next year. 

The merger with Bridgetown 2 Holdings will effectively take PropertyGuru public in a deal that values the combined entity at $1.78 billion.

The Spac, which is backed by Li and billionaire Peter Thiel is listed on the Nasdaq, and the merged firm is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. PropertyGuru's shareholders include KKR, TPG Capital and REA Group.

Source: Bloomberg

INTERNATIONAL

US sustainable infrastructure firm Generate has raised $2 billion from pension funds around the world, including AustralianSuper, QIC and Aware Super, as well as Andra AP-fonden from Sweden and the UK’s Railways Pension Scheme.

The $2 billion will go towards clean energy projects, and follows a $1 billion raise in February 2020, bringing its total raised funds to $10 billion. The San Francisco-based company has more than 2,000 assets in its portfolio and specialises in sustainable infrastructure projects.

Chief executive Scott Jacobs told CNBC that returns are competitive and that every funding round has been oversubscribed – some by as much as seven times. He pointed to this as evidence that sustainable investing does not have to come at the expense of performance.

Source: CNBC, Wall Street Journal

JAPAN

Dai-ichi Life Insurance has purchased the entire amount of about ¥13.2 billion ($119 million) of a climate resilience bond issued by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the life insurer announced on July 20.

This is the first climate resilience bond that the EBRD has issued to a Japanese institutional investor. Proceeds raised from this bond will be used toward ecological systems’ conservation projects.

Source: Dai-ichi Life

The Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan, or PMAC, will consider investing further in Chinese debt when it is added to FTSE Russell’s benchmark World Government Bond Index in October, according to Kei Terasako and Masaharu Noguchi, two officials from the fund.

PMAC had ¥2.8 trillion ($25 billion) of assets under management as of the end of March. It provides pension services to private school workers in Japan.

Source: Bloomberg

Nippon Life Insurance’s Special Advisor to the board Takeshi Kimura was appointed as the board director of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Board Director, a UN-supported network of global investors, the life insurer announced on July 19.

This is the first appointment as a PRI board member from a life insurance company.

Source: Nippon Life Insurance

KOREA

Tongyang Life Insurance said on July 23 that it sold its entire stake in major financial holding firm Woori Financial Group as part of efforts to bolster its balance sheet. The proceeds translate into 9.7% of its equity capital worth W3.93 trillion ($3.4 billion).

The insurer said its board decided to sell its 3.74% interest in Woori Financial Group, or 27.04 million shares, to some 60 domestic and foreign institutions, for W301.5 billion ($262 million).

Source: The Korea Herald

The Construction Workers’ Mutual Aid Association (CWMAA) is looking to hire an asset manager for a W25 billion ($22.5 million) foreign infrastructure mandate.

The $4 billion savings fund’s mandate will make equity investments across core, core plus and value-add strategies with an investment period of up to 15 years, according to its request for proposals released on July 19.

Source: The Korea Economic Daily

SINGAPORE

Temasek invested in eyewear retailer Lenskart’s $220 million funding round, the latest example of booming investor interest in Indian startups. US investor Falcon Edge and Indian venture capital firm Bay Capital also participated in the round.

The latest injection brings the start-up's valuation is now $2.5 billion, its founder said. The funds will be used to expand physical and online sales and grow its presence in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Indian startups raised a record $10.46 billion in the first half of 2021, up from $4 billion in the first half of 2020. In July, food delivery startup Zomato raised $1.3 billion in India’s biggest tech IPO and digital payments firm Paytm filed for IPO.

Source: TechCrunch

Temasek entered into a S$140 million ($103 million) hydrogen energy joint venture agreement with Singaporean nanotechnology solutions firm NanoFilm. The agreement was first announced in April.

NanoFilm will commit S$21 million and transfer its hydrogen energy business and related intellectual property for a 65% shareholding in the venture. Temasek will provide the remaining cash contribution.

The proceeds will be used for research and development and the construction of production capacity as the venture, known as Sydrogen Energy, seeks to commercialise hydrogen as an energy source.

Source: Straits Times

GIC will sign an agreement to buy a 30% stake in Starbucks Korea next week, according to sources.

Starbucks Corp, which owns 50% of Starbucks Korea, is selling its remaining 20% stake to E-Mart Inc, which currently owns the remaining 50% stake. Starbucks Korea was established in 1997 as a 50:50 joint venture between E-Mart and Starbucks Corp.

E-Mart parent Shinsegae Group will lead operations, GIC is expected to lead decision making on Starbuck Korea's possible IPO after an undisclosed period. The purchase agreement does not require Shinsegae to buy back GIC stake if IPO does not materialise, the sources said.

Source: Korean Economic Daily