AUSTRALIA

Hostplus and Intrust Super have become the latest super funds to announce a merger as the superannuation industry in Australia continues its consolidation spree.

The funds confirmed on Friday (June 25) that they have signed a Successor Fund Transfer Deed, with a target date of 26 November 2021.

Hostplus is already one of Australia’s larger super funds with 1.25 million members and A$66 billion ($50 billion) funds under management. The merger will create a A$69 billion fund.

Source: Hostplus

CHINA

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) will sell its stake in six Raffles City developments in China, which would have net proceeds of C$800 million ($649 million) before closing adjustments.

CPP Investments first invested in the Raffles City China developments, which are majority-owned and managed by Singapore-based real estate conglomerate CapitaLand, in 2008. 

The sale is part of an agreement between CapitaLand and Ping An Life Insurance to divest partial stakes in six Raffles City developments.

Source: Yahoo Finance

HONG KONG

French asset manager Amundi will manage the investments of Vanguard Group’s two Mandatory Provident Funds (MPF) in Hong Kong, which together hold nearly $3 billion of assets.

They reached an agreement to transfer the Vanguard Moderate Fund and Vanguard Income Fund to Amundi, subject to regulatory approvals, the companies said in a joint statement on June 23.

The two Vanguard funds had combined assets of $2.79 billion as of March 2021, which made up less than 2% of the approximately HK$1.17 trillion ($150 billion) MPF market.

Source: Amundi; Vanguard

Hong Kong will require financial institutions and publicly traded companies to disclose the financial risks of climate change on their businesses starting next year, according to a top official of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

The city’s central banking authority plans to speed up disclosure requirements on climate information that were planned for 2025, HKMA executive director (external) Darryl Chan said last week (June 24) at the Caixin Summer Summit.

The 2025 disclosure target for climate change-related information was set under a proposal by a cross-agency group including the HKMA and government departments. The requirements would be in line with standards set by the G-20’s Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosures. The disclosure rules would apply to Hong Kong banks, brokerages, insurers and listed companies as part of the region’s goal of developing as a sustainable finance centre.

Source: Caixin

KOREA

Korean Venture Investment Company (KVIC), a Korea government-backed fund of funds, committed to invest in Abu Dhabi-based early-stage VC Shorooq Partners’ Bedaya Fund, the VC firm announced on June 21. 

It is the first Middle Eastern fund to have received a commitment from KVIC since its inception in 2000. Shorooq did not disclose the size of the investment. 

The investment is being made from KVIC’s foreign investment programme, which aims to provide capital to foreign VCs that can bring strategic value to the Korean venture ecosystem. Fund managers KVIC has invested in have a combined AUM of $3 billion. 

Source: Menabytes

Samsung Asset Management participated in a $12.4 billion acquisition of a 49% stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Co., a unit of Saudi Aramco, as an equity investor.

As a consortium member, Samsung Asset is securing a 5% stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines for $100 million. Investors in the Samsung vehicle set up for the stake purchase are expected to earn around 9% of their investment per annum.

Korea Post has hired Mirae Asset Global Investments, KB Asset Management Co. and Heungkuk Asset Management, for its first ever socially responsible bond mandate, the government postal agency said in a statement on June 22.

Korea Post opened the tender for the domestic bond mandate for its insurance unit on April 20. The managers were each appointed for a one-year term.

MALAYSIA 
 
The year 2021 will be challenging for sovereign wealth fund Khazanah, Malaysian prime minister and Khazanah chairman Muhyiddin Yassin said, given its exposure to sectors such as aviation and tourism, which are not expected to recover this year. 
 
In March, Khazanah reported a 61% drop in profit from operations to RM2.9 billion ($699 million), from RM7.4 billion a year earlier. Its managing director Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said its two priorities going forward are to rebalance its commercial fund and develop its strategic fund. 
 
 
French insurer Axa agreed to sell its Malaysia operations to Italian insurer Generali for approximately RM 688 million ($166.5 million). Axa will sell its 59.99% stake in Axa Affin General Insurance and its 49% stake in Axa Affin Life Insurance. The two units are joint ventures with Malaysian financial firm Affin Bank. 
 
The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022. 
 
Source: Axa
 
Malaysian state-linked private equity investor Ekuiti Nasional (Ekuinas) posted its financial year 2020 results. Its second fund posted a gross internal rate of return (IRR) and net IRR of 11.9% and 8.2%, while its third fund posted negative IRR of –3.2%, an improvement of 7.6% compared to 2019. Net IRR for the latter was not shown as the fund is still deploying capital, the report said. 
 
Ekuinas’s total committed investment stood at RM4.4 billion ($1.06 billion) as of December-end 2020, and its total deployment with private partners at RM5 billion. Its direct investments amount to 46 companies. 
 
The firm said its results demonstrate resilience against a backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. 
 
Source: Ekuinas, Bernama
 
MIDDLE EAST 
 
Saudi Arabia’s cabinet approved the merger of two state-run pension and unemployment insurance funds into a $29 billion entity.  
 
Saudi Arabia’s Public Pension Agency (PPA) and the General Organization of Social Insurance (GOSI) will merge into one institution that will boost investment returns and diversification and reduce costs, the country’s finance minister and GOSI chairman said in a statement. 
 
The pension investors are major shareholders in Saudi Arabian companies, as well as UK companies such as HSBC Holdings and AstraZeneca. 
 
 
Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is eyeing opportunities in sub-segments of the real estate sector such as warehouses and data centres, its chief executive Mansoor bin Ebrahim al-Mahmoud told an economic forum organised by Bloomberg. This is in response to the pandemic which has affected the traditional property sectors, he said. 
 
He added QIA's investment pipeline is dominated by deals in Asia and the US. It also highlighted technology as a big area for investment. QIA manages over $300 billion worth of assets. 
 
Source: Reuters
  
SINGAPORE 
 
Temasek is to invest $500 million in Chinese ride hailing startup Didi Global’s upcoming New York initial public offering. According to the company’s latest prospectus, the firm aims to raise up to $4 billion in what is set to be the biggest US initial public offering (IPO) of 2021. 
 
However, potential investors question the company’s ability to maintain its high growth momentum for its core ride-hailing business in China. They also raised concerns about the possibility of tighter regulations on Chinese tech firms in the US. 
 
Morgan Stanley has also expressed interest in subscribing for up to $750 million.  
 
 
Singapore state investor Temasek co-led a $60-million series C2 round in Chinese speech therapy firm Orient Speech Therapy alongside Beijing-based Taikang Asset Management. The startup raised $23 million in a series C1 round led by Chinese healthcare-focused investment firm Cenova Capital in February. 
 
The firm will use the funding to grow its networking of centres, boost R&D and provide training for its therapists. 
 
 
Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC continuous its foray into cryptocurrencies by taking part in blockchain data platform Chainalysis’s $100-million series E funding round. The new investment brings the company’s valuation to $4.2 billion. 
 
It marks GIC’s second crypto-related investment in under two weeks, after the fund backed Hong Kong-listed digital asset firm BC Technology earlier this month. It also led an $80-million series C round in US’s digital asset platform Anchorage in February and US crypto exchange Coinbase in 2018. 
 
 
Singapore’s GIC will acquire a 16% stake in Sunway Healthcare Holdings for $180 million, its chairman confirmed in a media briefing. Reports citing anonymous sources previously said the sovereign wealth fund was eyeing a 20-25% strategic stake in the business. 
 
The investment amount will be disbursed to Sunway in four tranches over three years. The investment affirms Sunway's confidence in its health care division and the long-term potential of Malaysia's health care industry, said a joint statement by Sunway and GIC. 
 
The investment will be used to partly fund Sunway Healthcare’s expansion and pay outstanding debts. 
 
Source: Nikkei Asia