Rest Super is understood to be considering options for its 50% in SEA Gas, which owns and operates a 700 kilometre underground high pressure natural gas pipeline and transmission system from Port Campbell in Victoria to Adelaide.
The superannuation fund is understood to have hired investment bank Lazard for help with the review, and has had its bankers quietly testing the appetite of potential buyers to see whether it get enough interest for an auction. Listed pipelines giant APA Group owns the other 50 per cent in SEA Gas and shapes as a potential acquirer.
A spokesman for Rest declined to comment on Monday (May 24).
Source: Australian Financial Review
The $61 billion Hostplus will swallow up the $2.6 billion Intrust as it pursues its long-standing ambition of acquiring more members in Queensland.
The 33-year-old Intrust has about 96,000 members, and 30,000 employers in the hospitality, clubs, tourism and retail sectors. Hostplus and Intrust's merger talks are in an advanced stage, Financial Standard understands.
The merger for Intrust comes at a time when it is significantly below the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority desired scale of A$30 billion ($23.24 billion) for superannuation funds to survive. Intrust was also hit by early release of superannuation withdrawals of about $288 million last year.
Source: Financial Standard
Australian superannuation funds could find future returns could be "muted" as elevated asset prices in public markets make it harder to meet lofty return targets, according to presentations at a Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees conference in Adelaide.
The warning comes as funds managing Australia's A$3 trillion ($2.3 trillion) pool of retirement savings lift allocations to non-traditional investments, such as venture capital and private debt, to enhance returns.
Future expectations are being tempered after a stellar recent performance — the median default investment option for Australian superannuation funds has returned 14.7% in the financial year to April 30 and returns averaged an annualised 8% over the past 10 years.
The outgoing top regulator for Australia's superannuation funds called for continued and more efficient industry consolidation, in pursuit of economies of scale.
Helen Rowell, deputy chairwoman of the Sydney-based Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, in a speech on May 19 to the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, said, "Larger funds are better placed to deliver stronger investment performance and lower fees," with scale an increasingly important determinant of "member outcomes."
However, she also noted that not all mergers succeed in spawning funds with the governance capabilities or the scale to be sustainable over the long-term, and expressed support for the "emerging industry view" that funds with less than A$30 billion ($23.24 billion) in assets will find it increasingly difficult to compete with the industry's "mega funds".
Source: Pensions & Investments