Insto roundup: Hong Kong's MPF grows 26%; Malaysia's EPF trims stake in oil palm planter

EISS Super CEO resigns after failing performance test; China to launch wealth management pilots in four cities; Hong Kong's MPF grows 26% y-o-y; India's NIIF in talks to acquire and develop green energy assets; Korea Post to hire financial services firm; GIC, Baring Private Equity, IMM Private Equity to exit from Kyobo Life Insurance; Khazana to sell stake in Cenviro; EPF trims stake in oil palm planter; and more
Insto roundup: Hong Kong's MPF grows 26%; Malaysia's EPF trims stake in oil palm planter


EISS Super's chief executive Alex Hutchison has resigned after the fund failed the first performance test issued by regulators.

The fund's chief financial officer Lance Foster has stepped in as interim chief executive, effective immediately. 

EISS Super is currently going through a merger with TWU Super, but chair Warren Mundy has said that Hutchison's resignation will not affect plans for the merger.

A day before his resignation, Australian media alleged that the fund had engaged in overspending, for instance by holding lavish Christmas parties at the Museum of Contemporary Art and spending A$75,000 ($55,000) on a senior manager's trip to the US for training.

Source: Financial Standard

The former chief executive of Macquarie has been named chair of a new regulator review board that will oversee the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Asic) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra).

Nicholas Moore, who led Macquarie for a decade, will lead the Financial Regulatory Assessment Authority (Fraa). The three-person regulatory board will comprise two others, corporate lawyer Gina Cass-Gottlieb, and former banker Craig Drummond.

Fraa was set up after a 2018 inquiry into misconduct in the banking, insurance and pension fund sectors that found the regulators were too lenient with enforcement.

Source: Reuters


China's banking and insurance regulator said on September 10 it will launch wealth management product pilots in four cities aimed at retail investors looking to boost their retirement savings.

The products will be sold by the wealth management units of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, China Merchants Bank and China Everbright Bank.

The pilot products will last for a year from September 15, and each institution involved can raise up to Rmb10 billion ($1.55 billion) of products, the statement from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said.

Source: CBIRC


Hong Kong’s Mandatory Provident Fund assets grew 26% year-on-year to HK$1.22 trillion ($156.4 billion) in mid-2021 as returns from investments offset withdrawals by residents leaving the city permanently, according to the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA), the industry supervisor.

It says assets increased 101% over the past five years, and that the MPF’s annualised net return was 5.1% versus Hong Kong’s inflation rate of 1.8% in the 20-plus years since inception.

There were 8,000 claims for withdrawals by Hong Kong residents departing the city in the second quarter, up from 7,700 in the first three months of the year. The number of claims in the 12 months to June was 32,400, up from 30,200 in the preceding 12-month period.

Government figures show that around 75,300 Hong Kong nationals and residents left between mid-2020 and mid-2021, and another 87,100 in the prior 12 months.

Source: Asia Asset Management

ALSO READ: MPF withdrawals set to soar as HK exodus continues


India’s quasi-sovereign wealth fund, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), is said to be in talks with government-owned companies National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to acquire and develop green energy assets, including offshore wind projects.

This is according to a letter sent to shareholders by NTPC chairman and managing director Gurdeep Singh its annual report for the financial year 2021.

Source: Mint


Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance announced on Friday (Sept 10) that it has joined international NGOs CDP and Climate Action 100+ to enhance disclosure related to global climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gas.

By endorsing and signing the international initiatives, it believes it can enhance disclosure through collaboration with other institutional investors.

Source: Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance


Korea Post plans to hire a financial services firm to provide asset evaluation services for its bank deposits and investment portfolio under a three-year term starting Nov 1, it said in a request for proposal on Sept 9.

The firm will be responsible for providing fund-related analysis and consulting services, as well as performance measurements for the government postal agency’s bank deposits and investment mandates.

Source: Asia Asset Management

Singapore's GIC, Affinity Equity Partners, Baring Private Equity and IMM Private Equity have taken the next step toward their long-delayed exit from Korea's unlisted Kyobo Life Insurance, after an international arbitration body's ruling failed to resolve their dispute with the insurance's chairman.

Shortly after the International Chamber of Commerce invalidated their attempt to sell a combined 24% stake in Kyobo back to the insurer's chairman Shin Chang-jae earlier this week, the four financial investors sent a letter of request to Shin to hire a third-party institution to assess his company's share price at which they can exercise the put options granted in 2012.

To speed up their exit efforts, they set a short deadline of September 13 for his response.

Source: The Korea Economic Daily


Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional reportedly plans to sell a stake in waste management company Cenviro as part of a wider strategy to divest non-core assets. Khazanah acquired Cenviro from UEM Group in 2014.

Khazanah told media: “We are in a closed process to potentially divest a stake to a party that meets our preferred partner criteria. As the process is ongoing and non-disclosure agreements are in place, further disclosures will be made at the appropriate time.”

Khazanah’s divestment exercise includes the divestment of stakes in SilTerra, IHH Healthcare and Alibaba Group Holding, BDO Unibank and Sea Ltd.

Source: The Edge Markets

Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) trimmed its stake in oil palm planter IOI Corp, according to the latter’s stock exchange filings. EPF trimmed its stake to 13.21% on September 2 from 13.28% on Aug 25.

The company did not specify at what price and to whom the EPF sold the shares between Aug 25 and Sept 2.

Source: The Edge Markets

Khazanah Nasional completed a placement of 138.4 million shares (approximately 1.4%) in CIMB Group at RM4.80 ($1.16) per share, raising gross proceeds of RM664.5 million.

The placement is part of Khazanah’s ongoing efforts to rebalance its portfolio, in line with the Perkukuh initiative unveiled by the government in August. As part of this, Khazanah announced an RM6 billion fund for high-impact investments to help build Malaysia’s economic competitiveness and resilience.

Following the placement, Khazanah remains the single largest shareholder of CIMB at 25.6%.

Source: Khazanah press release


HSBC has hired Ho Lee Yen from AIA Singapore as chief executive of its Singapore insurance operations, which will be merged with AXA Singapore when the $575 billion acquisition is completed.

She will report to Bryce Johns, global chief executive of HSBC Life and Insurance Partnerships, HSBC says in a statement on September 9. She will also be part of the global executive committees of HSBC Singapore and HSBC Life.

Her appointment is subject to regulatory approval.

Ho, who has over 25 years of financial and insurance experience, was previously chief distribution officer of AIA Singapore.

HSBC signed an agreement to acquire AXA Singapore from France’s AXA Group last month. The deal is pending regulatory approval.

Source: HSBC

Temasek’s wholly-owned investment company Sheares Healthcare Group led a $30 million series C round in Singapore-based healthcare startup Homage.

New investors DG Daiwa Ventures and Sagana Capital as well as existing investors EV Growth, HealthXCapital, SeedPlus, Trihill Capital and Alternate Ventures participated in the oversubscribed round, which brings Homage’s total funding to over $45 million.

Source: Tech in Asia

GIC closed the first phase of a minority investment in Duke Energy Indiana. The Singapore state-linked investor Duke Energy acquired an 11.05% minority interest Duke Energy Indiana for $1.025 billion. GIC will ultimately acquire a 19.9% stake for $2.05 billion.

Duke Energy remains majority owner and sole operator of Duke Energy Indiana. The transaction will help Duke Energy accelerate its clean energy strategy, its president and CEO Lynn Good said.

Source: Duke Energy

Singapore’s sovereign investor GIC and UK investment management firm Baillie Gifford led a series C financing round of over $350 million in US plant-derived chemicals company Solugen.

Temasek Holdings also participated in the round as did funds managed by BlackRock, Carbon Direct Capital Management, Refactor Capital, and Fifty Years.

Source: Solugen press release


Thailand’s Government Pension Fund (GPF) is upbeat on recovery prospects in the second half of 2021. Secretary-general Srikanya Yathip said the global economy will see continued recovery in the second half of this year which will benefit Thai exports.

The recovery will be seen more clearly in developed countries, she added.

Source: Bangkok Post

Thailand’s securities regulator has suspended the local unit of Huobi, a digital asset exchange operator founded in China and based in Seychelles, for failing to fix its work system, and is recommending that the Finance Ministry revokes the firm’s operating licence.

The Securities and Exchange Commission Thailand (SEC) also ordered Huobi (Thailand) to return all assets to customers within three months of its decision on September 2 to suspend the firm.

The regulator says it ordered Huobi Thailand to fix the problems in April. It says the firm asked for, and received, several extensions, but failed to resolve the issues to the regulator’s satisfaction by August 31.

Source: Asia Asset Management

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