AUSTRALIA

UBS and Insight Investment Management won large equities mandates from Australia's A$161 billion ($113.75 billion) Future Fund last financial year, according to the sovereign wealth fund's annual report for the financial year ending June 30. The former won an Australian equities mandate, and both were handed developed-market equities and emerging-market equities mandates.

The fund also appointed Sequoia Capital to help manage its venture and growth portfolio and Schonfeld Strategic Advisors and Dymon Asia Capital as new managers for alternatives multi-strategy (relative value). Wellington Investment Management added an alternatives macro-directional mandate to its previous two mandates. QIC Global Infrastructure won an unlisted infrastructure and timberland mandate, alongside the likes of AMP Capital and Global Infrastructure Partners.

Several fund managers lost their mandates, including HarbourVest Partners (special opportunities), CorVal Partners (unlisted property), Goldman Sachs Asset Management and QMS Capital Management (alternatives macro-directional), and SouthPeak Investment Management (alternative risk premia).

Source: Financial Standard

CHINA

China's Ping An Insurance raised a total of $875 million for two funds via subsidiaries, eyeing overseas private equity investing. Ping An global equity selection fund operates a fund of funds programme while Ping An global equity fund is set up to capture the co-investment opportunities globally.

GIC and Switzerland-based Montana Capital Partners are among global investors.

Source: Ping An Insurance

JAPAN

Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance invested more into currency-hedged foreign bonds in the half year to September and plans to raise such holdings further, as it is wary of a decline in the US dollar, according to an investment planning official at the insurer.

The insurer expects the dollar to weaken against the yen after the US elections next month no matter who wins out of Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

Source: Reuters

Dai-ichi Life Insurance is investing ¥10.5 billion ($100 million) in a renewable power fund managed by the real asset unit of BlackRock, underscoring the insurer’s drive to raise its exposure to sustainable investing.

The company is targeting to have more than ¥1.2 trillion of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments by 2023, from ¥550 billion at the end of last year, according to its 2019 annual report.

Source: Asia Asset Management

Nippon Life Insurance is buying ¥1.8 billion ($17.04 million) of a ¥20 billion long-term social bond offering by the University of Tokyo, in the first ever sale of debt by a Japanese national university.

The move comes after the education ministry in August allowed national education institutions in Japan to sell bonds to help finance their research projects.

The University of Tokyo is selling the 40-year bonds, which were to be issued on October 16, to fund its sustainability-related research projects. The annual coupon rate is 0.823%, higher than the 0.67% yield on 40-year Japanese government debt.

Source: Asia Asset Management

KOREA

Korea Post plans to hire two foreign asset managers for a US corporate bond mandate of unspecified size for its insurance unit.

The mandate will be benchmarked against the Bloomberg Barclays US Corporate Bond Index. The managers will be hired for a two-year term. Applications are open until October 27, and due diligence and manager selection are scheduled to be carried out in late November.

The government postal agency has been actively calling bids for various mandates through the coronavirus crisis. The US corporate bond mandate is its ninth since March when the pandemic exploded globally, and comes just days after it opened a tender for a domestic bond mandate, also of unspecified amount, last week.

Source: Asia Asset Management

Korea's National Pension Service and other pension fund managers that have remained heavy net sellers of local stocks over the past three months are expected to shift their position with the aims of generating higher yields through equities.

They together purchased a net W62.7 billion ($545.2 million) in domestic stocks from when markets reopened on October 5 after the mid-autumn festival until October 12, according to Korea Exchange data. Other institutional investors remained net buyers of local stocks, purchasing W304.7 billion worth, over the same period.

It is a shift from heavy sell-offs for the last three months. From July 1, the pension fund managers had offloaded a net W4 trillion worth of local stocks, with their net selling amounting to W1.3 trillion in September alone. During the same three-month period, other institutional investors in Korea sold W10.8 trillion.

Source: Pulse

MALAYSIA

A shake-up in the boards of Malaysia’s institutional investors is expected to continue with the former chief executive of the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) potentially looking to become the new head of civil service pension fund Kwap.

Nik Amlizan

Sources told The Malaysian Reserve that former LTAT CEO Nik Amlizan is in the running to be Kwap’s new CEO, to succeed Syed Hamadah Othman, whose two-year contract is due to end soon.

Syed was appointed Kwap CEO on November 1, 2018, while Nik Amlizan joined LTAT in October of the same year, before leaving in early October this year.

Source: The Malaysian Reserve

MIDDLE EAST

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is bringing together some of its most high-profile executives under one committee with the aim of running the fund more efficiently, say people familiar with the matter.

The new committee members will report directly to chief executive Mansoor Al Mahmoud. They include: Mohammed Al Sowaidi, who runs QIA’s North American operations; Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, in-charge of the $100 billion domestic portfolio; Faisal Bin Al-Thani, responsible for Asia Pacific and Africa investments; and Younes Belcadi, who heads public equities.

QIA has recently been targeting more investments in Asia and the US and in sectors such as technology and health care to diversify its portfolio after previously spending billions of dollars on trophy assets, such as London real estate and stakes in global companies.

Source: Bloomberg

SINGAPORE 

State fund Temasek Holdings has joined a group of investors buying equity in Australia’s V2food in a deal that will help the maker of plant-based meat alternatives forge a presence in Asia.

The Sydney-based company has raised A$77 million ($55 million) in a series B funding from a group that also includes US bank Goldman Sachs, Chinese food producer Esenagro, investment bank China Renaissance Holdings’s Huaxing Growth Capital, and investment firms ABC World Asia, Altitude Partners and Novel Investments, according to a spokesperson.

The funds will join existing investors Horizons Ventures and Australian state-backed firm Main Sequence Ventures, the spokesperson said. The new round brings the total raised by V2food to A$113 million.

Source: Bloomberg

Singapore s overeign wealth fund GIC and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ private entity Cascade Investment are among the new investors in StorageMart, a US-based self-storage company.

These funding investments will put StorageMart’s valuation at around $2.7 billion and allow the business to scale and expand its operations. StorageMart has 240 properties across the US, the UK and Canada. 

Source: NextUnicorn

TAIWAN

Taiwan’s Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) posted a 65% year-on-year plunge in investment income between January and August due to economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, but is confident of a better 2021 as market conditions improve.

Its investment income through the first eight months of 2020 was NT$14.78 billion ($513.3 million), translating into a 2.53% return, according to figures released by PSPF. Which is down from NT$42.32 billion and a return of 7.33% in the same period in 2019.

Chou Chih-Hung, Taiwan’s civil service minister, said the PSPF was looking to raise its allocation to alternative investments to 7.1% of total assets next year from around 6% currently.

Source: Asia Asset Management, Public Service Pension Fund

THAILAND

The Thai Life Assurance Association (TLAA) is urging the local insurance regulator, the Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC), to study the feasibility of allowing insurers to invest in a wider range of funds and bonds.

The insurers are eyeing infrastructure bonds, non-listed infrastructure funds, infrastructure loans and syndication loans.

Chuchatr Pramoolpol, deputy secretary-general of the OIC, said insurance companies in many countries participated in lending projects, but that this was is very new in Thailand due to its high risk. The OIC is consulting with the Bank of Thailand based on its experience regulating commercial banks and the lending business.

Source: Bangkok Post, Asia Insurance Review

INTERNATIONAL (EXCLUDING ASIA)

San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System (Sfer) has approved an investment of $125 million into funds managed by Hong Kong-based private equity firm Asia Alternatives Management and Asia-focused private equity major Hillhouse Capital.

The US pension fund will allocate nearly $50 million to Asia Alternatives Capital Partners VI, and up to $75 million to Hillhouse Fund V and the Hillhouse Focused Growth Fund.

Source: TechinAsia