AUSTRALIA

AustralianSuper plans to triple its private debt investments to over A$15 billion ($11.04 billion) by 2024 as it promotes a new head of private credit Nick Ward.

Most of this growth will be made through direct lending, Ward said in a statement on Wednesday (July 28).

Ward will be the fund’s first head of private credit. He has been with the fund for 10 years and previously handled real assets debt investments.

The A$225 billion fund’s private credit team currently has 10 people, with seven in Melbourne and three in London. The fund plans to open a New York office within the next 12 months, of which the private team will form an integral part. The fund is hiring six people for the team in their offshore offices.

Source: AustralianSuper

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Asic) is suing six firms that are linked to the AMP Limited group for charging fees to 1500 customers who no longer had access to their services.

The lawsuit involves AMP Superannuation, AMP Life (which has since been acquired by Resolution Life Group), AMP Financial Planning, AMP Services, Charter Financial Planning and Hillross Financial Services.

The misconduct allegedly occurred between July 2015 and April 2019. Asic alleges that these companies deducted A$600,000 worth of fees from 1,540 corporate superannuation accounts despite knowing the customer had left their employer-sponsored accounts.

Source: Asic

Marinya Capital, the John Fairfax family office, has selected Investment Control Systems (ICS) as an investment data provider.

As part of its services, ICS hosts a data management platform which manages and automates a range of investment functions including investment reporting, operational reporting, and risk analysis.

Marinya chief operating officer and chief financial officer Rob Jackson said that the platform will help the firm centralise its investment data and analytics, which will reduce manual operational processes and enhance the capabilities of the investment team.

Source: Financial Standard

CHINA

China's securities regulator said on August 1 it will seek closer cooperation with its US counterpart and will support overseas listings, after US regulators tightened disclosure for Chinese companies and voiced concern about Beijing's regulatory actions.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said in a statement that it had taken note of the US Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) new requirements for disclosure regarding Chinese companies' listings and that the two sides should "uphold the spirit of mutual respect" and "strengthen communications on regulating China-related stocks."

The CSRC has always been open to companies choosing where to go public and "China's basic national policy of advancing reform and opening up is unswerving, and the financial opening to the outside world will continue," it said on its website.

Source: Reuters; CSRC

Allianz (China) Insurance on July 30 announced that Allianz Insurance Asset Management has received approval from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission to be established as the first wholly foreign-owned insurance asset management company in China, with a registered capital of Rmb100 million, headquartered in Beijing.

Source: Allianz

HONG KONG

Hong Kong’s Exchange Fund reported an investment income of HK$102.7 billion ($13.16 billion) in the first half of 2021, recovering from a HK$10.6 billion loss in the same period last year as global financial markets bounced back from the coronavirus crisis.

The Exchange Fund is the city’s foreign reserves for defending the value of the local dollar, which is pegged at HK$7.8 per US dollar but allowed to trade between HK$7.75 and HK$7.85.

The fund’s investment gain in the first half brought its accumulated surplus to HK$834.6 billion as of end-June, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority says in a statement on July 27.

Source: Asia Asset Management; HKMA

The amount of money deposited in Hong Kong's banking system jumped in the first half as investors targeted a series of hotly anticipated initial public offerings in the city, with the sector also benefiting from the economic recovery.

Deposits in the local currency stood at HK$7.87 trillion ($1.01 trillion) at the end of June, 11.5% higher compared to HK$7.06 trillion in the year-earlier period, data from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) showed last Friday.

Together with foreign currency deposits, the amount held in bank accounts rose by 7.9% year on year in the first half to HK$15.18 trillion.

Source: HKMA

INDIA

Omers (Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System) Infrastructure, the Canadian pension fund’s infrastructure arm, is to buy a 19.4% in New York Stock Exchange-listed Indian renewable power producer Azure Power Global.

The agreement “demonstrates Omers’ strong global interest in high-quality renewable power and energy transition assets, as well as our interest in India as an investment destination and Asia-Pacific more broadly,” global head of Omers Infrastructure Annesley Wallace said.

In May this year, India granted Omers full tax exemption on income from interest, dividend and long-term capital gains for infrastructure investments made between then and March 2024.

Canadian peers such as Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Brookfield Asset Management are also active investors in India.

Sources: Omers, Mint

JAPAN

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) made a record cut to the weighting of treasuries in its portfolio last fiscal year as the world’s safest asset led a global debt selloff.

GPIF lowered US government bonds and bills to 35% of its foreign debt holdings in the 12 months ended March, from 47% previously, according to an analysis by Bloomberg of the latest data.

The rebalancing comes with the fund now over a year into a new investment plan that’s reduced dependence on Japanese government bonds and shifted focus toward higher returning equities and overseas debt. While GPIF offers little commentary on annual changes in its portfolios, even small adjustments reverberate through world markets given its total investments of about $1.7 trillion.

Source: Bloomberg

KOREA

The National Pension Service gained a cumulative 5.82% return, or W48.6 trillion ($42 billion), in the first five months of this year, thanks to global stock rally, the world’s third-largest pension fund released on Friday.

The growth brought NPS’s assets to W892 trillion ($774 billion) as of the end of May, approaching the W900 trillion won mark despite the pandemic. It gained 13% from domestic stocks and 14.3% from foreign stocks from January to May.

The update came a day after the pension fund announced to extend the term of its chief investment officer Ahn Hyo-joon for another year to October 7, 2022 to recognise his performance.

Source: NPS

Public Officials Benefit Association (POBA) has ventured into the real estate secondaries market, committing $150 million to Brookfield Asset Management's new fund for a target IRR of 12%. 

Source: The Korea Economic Daily

SINGAPORE

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and Singapore state investor Temasek are “significant” investors in Brookfield’s new $12.5 billion impact investment fund, the Canadian asset manager said in a statement.

The Brookfield Global Transition Fund also counts Canadian pension funds PSP Investments and Investment Management Corp. of Ontario as investors in its initial $7 billion close.

Private equity firms raised close to $4 billion for impact funds in 2020, the most for the strategy since 2017, according to data provider Preqin.

Source: Bloomberg

Singapore's GIC joined a Fortress-led private equity consortium bidding to acquire British supermarket chain Morrisons. The sovereign wealth fund will provide £100 million ($139 million) toward the £9.5 billion bid.

Canadian pension fund CPP Investments and a unit of US multinational Koch Industries are part of the Fortress consortium.

While the supermarket group board approved the consortium’s 252p-a-share bid, existing investors have voiced concerns about the bid proposal, including a short timetable to evaluate other offers.

Source: Financial Times

Singapore’s Temasek co-led several investments in Indian startups last week, including in content-sharing platform ShareChat and AI platform Blaize.

The $145 million funding in ShareChat follows a ban on rival platform TikTok and other Chinese apps last year. Four months earlier, ShareChat raised $502 million from Tiger Global, Snap, Twitter and others.

Blaize in turn raised $71 million in its Series D round co-led by Franklin Templeton.

Sources: Reuters, DealStreetAsia

GIC will invest $240 million in Icelandic renewable energy firm Arctic Green Energy to support the latter’s expansion in Asia and Europe.

Arctic Green Energy focuses on the decarbonisation of the building sector, using geothermal resources for clean heating and power generation. It has a geothermal partnership with China's state-owned oil giant China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.

“Investing sustainably is core to GIC’s mandate as a long-term investor. We have been investing in renewables in Europe and expect this to grow, especially with increasing policy support to support the decarbonising of the power sector,” GIC’s head of infrastructure for Europe George Kay said.

Sources: Reuters, Think GeoEnergy