AUSTRALIA

Aware Super has appointed State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) as its index solutions provider across passive equity and fixed-income mandates, which in total cover more than A$30 billion ($23 billion).

Aware’s chief investment officer Damian Graham said in a statement that SSGA was chosen because of its strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials, “compelling” value for money, and “ability to leverage scale”.

With $145 billion of funds under management, Aware Super is one of the biggest superannuation funds in Australia.

Source: Aware Super

BRUNEI

Brunei Investment Agency and Temasek subsidiary Vertex Ventures invested $15 million and $10 million respectively in Indian meat and seafood brand Licious.

Other investors in the $65 Series F round include private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management, Bertelsmann Netherland and angel investors. The round brings Licious’s total funding to date to $160 million.

Licious sells online meat and seafood to consumers in 16 cities across India.

Source: DealStreetAsia

CHINA

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) required large insurers and banks to prepare recovery plans in case the firms run into financial difficulties, as part of efforts to strengthen the financial sector against possible risks and maintain stability.

Insurers with more than Rmb200 billion in total assets will be required to prepare recovery and resolution plans. Meanwhile, banks (and other deposit-taking institutions such as credit cooperatives) with Rmb300 million or above in total assets will have to do the same.

The CBIRC told financial firms to prioritise using their own assets and request assistance from shareholders before turning to the government for aid in times of difficulty.

Source: CBIRC

Norway's Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) welcomed proposals from Chinese regulators to enhance transparency and strengthen shareholder protection in China.

China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) proposed that Chinese companies publish in annual and semi-annual reports more detailed information on how the board and its committees perform their duties as well as details of board members, meeting dates and agendas, and any major proposals made during these meetings.

Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages GPFG's international assets, welcomed the CSRC's proposal that companies disclose changes made to the structure of issued shares, such as introducing dual-class shares and changes in share class over the reporting period. GPFG, which invests $5 billion in equities and $1.8 billion in fixed income in China, said in a letter responding to the proposals it is important that company boards address material sustainability issues.

Source: Pensions & Investments

HONG KONG

Hong Kong’s Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) assets surged 35% year-on-year to HK$1.17 trillion ($150 billion) in March 2021.

The average investment return in the 12 months to March was 28%, the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA) says in a quarterly report. That was a rebound from the 8.6% loss in the 12 months to March 2020, according to the report, the scheme’s annualised return since its inception in 2000 was 4.9%.

The MPFA says total contributions that flowed into MPF products in the first three months of 2021 was HK$21.3 billion, the highest in any quarter since the scheme’s inception, and up from HK$19.8 billion in the same period last year.

Source: MPFA

INDONESIA

Indonesia’s new sovereign wealth fund (INA) is eyeing a deal in digital infrastructure and exploring tech investments, its chief executive Ridha D. M. Wirakusumah said.

The deal would be INA’s first, after the fund announced it had formed a $3.75 billion toll road fund with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, APG Asset Management and a unit the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in May. The government is seeding INA with $6 billion and hoping to attract an additional $14 billion in capital from foreign institutional investors.

Wirakusumah said INA may also look into investing in unicorn startups.

Source: Reuters

KOREA

Unidentified Korean life insurers have made an environmental, social and governance (ESG)-themed investment in The Carlyle Group's €2 billion ($2.4 billion) acquisition of German wind energy company Flender GmbH, leading the €79 million ($96 million) debt package put together for the deal.

Seoul-based Tiger Alternative Investors arranged the debt financing, or sustainability linked loan that incorporates ESG considerations. The so-called ESG debt carries a lower interest rate than other senior debt as long as the borrower complies with ESG standards.

Source: The Korea Economic Daily

The National Pension Service committed $100 million to a TPG consortium that recently raised $116.8 million to invest in Kakao Mobility, Korea's largest taxi-hailing app.

In the latest funding round, Kakao Mobility secured an additional $125 million both from TPG and The Carlyle Group, which valued the startup at W3.6 trillion ($3.2 billion).

Source: The Korea Economic Daily

Public Officials Benefit Association (Poba) committed W270 billion ($240 million) to a separately managed account (SMA) focusing on Europe's real estate market.

The SMA, managed by Seoul-based IGIS Asset Management, will diversify Poba's office-oriented portfolio into life science buildings, student housing complexes and last-mile distribution centres in major cities across Europe.

Source: Financial News; The Korea Economic Daily

Korea’s state-owned Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance (IACI) Fund is looking to hire four domestic asset managers for W400 billion ($360 million) of foreign equity and bond mandates. It will appoint three managers for the equity mandate and one for the bond mandate, with each receiving W100 billion.

Source: Asia Asset Management

A consortium of Korea Investment & Securities and NH Investment & Securities will invest A$350 million to back an A$4.6 billion takeover by MIRA, a global leading asset manager specialising in infrastructure, and Aware Super, Australia’s second-largest superannuation fund.

Of the total A$4.6 billion, A$1.86 billion will be funded through debt raising, of which the Korean brokerage consortium will bankroll A$350 million and then sell down the debt to major institutional investors in Korea.

Source: Pulse

The Korean Teachers' Credit Union (KTCU) netted a combined W173 billion ($155 million) from its eight-year investment of A$100.8 million ($77 million) in Aberdeen Asset Management's first PPP Infrastructure fund.

Earlier this month, the KTCU sold its interest in the public-private partnership (PPP) fund for 238 billion won in a secondary market, according to investment banking sources on June 14.

Source: The Korea Economic Daily

Korean non-profit organisation Incheon Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC) is inviting bids for a W20.49 billion ($18.5 million) domestic bond mandate.

IFAC will appoint one asset manager for a two-year term, which could be extended based on the investment performance.

Source: Asia Asset Management

The Korea Venture Investment Corp. (KVIC), a quasi-government agency established to support South Korean startups and venture capital industry, has diversified its US- and China-focused portfolio into the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Vietnam.

For its latest mandates of a combined W70 billion ($62 million), it added one venture capital firm each from the UAE and Vietnam to the pool of 10 VC firms, according to the KVIC on June 7.

Source: The Korea Economic Daily

Government Employees Pension Service (GEPS) has abandoned its onsite only due diligence requirements on alternative deals to revive overseas investments.

Its top decision-making body recently decided to embrace various methods of due diligence, including contactless ones, according to investment banking sources on June 14.

Source: The Korea Economic Daily

MALAYSIA

Malaysia’s largest pension fund, Employees Provident Fund (EPF), posted a gross investment income of RM19.29 billion ($4.69 billion) for the first quarter of 2021. This is a 59% year-on-year increase from the first quarter of 2020 and its highest in 16 quarters.

The fund said the strong performance was a testament to the fund’s resilience despite challenges posed by Covid-19. Equities accounted for 74% of total gross investment income in the quarter, while fixed income contributed RM3.92 billion. Real estate and infrastructure, and money market instruments accounted for RM710 million and RM380 million respectively.

However, EPF also reported a 1.8% drop in investment assets to RM981.7 billion over the three months ended March 31, amid continued Covid-19 hardship withdrawals by members.

Source: The Edge Markets, Pensions&Investments

MIDDLE EAST

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is an anchor investor in a new $800 million Gulf infrastructure fund set up by asset managers Aberdeen Standard Investments and Investcorp.

The vehicle is due to announce a first close at around $250 million, according to sources familiar with the matter. An undisclosed Asian institution is to be anchoring the fund alongside PIF. It has also seen commitments from regional financial institutions and family offices.

Its investment pipeline includes social infrastructure projects across the Gulf, including in healthcare, education, social housing, water and digitisation.

SINGAPORE

Singapore’s GIC invested $70 million in Hong Kong-listed fintech firm BC Group, the parent company of regulated crypto exchange OSL via a new private stock top-up placement.

BC Group will use the proceeds for operating working capital, digital transformation and to enhance the technology of digital asset platform business, as well as for future overseas expansion.

GIC previously participated in crypto exchange platform Coinbase's $300 million Series E fundraise in 2018, and earlier in 2021 led an $80 million Series C funding round for digital asset bank Anchorage.

Source: DealStreetAsia

Singapore’s GIC and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) joined a consortium to acquire US medical supply firm Medline in a deal that values the company at more than $30 billion. The takeover, led by private equity firms Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman, is poised to be one of the largest leveraged buyouts of 2021.

Medline the biggest private US manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies and generated sales of US$17.5 billion in 2020.

Adia, which contributed $1 billion to the deal, earlier this year acquired a minority stake in healthcare software provider Dedalus from private equity company Ardian.

Source: Bloomberg

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC entered a new joint venture agreement with US data centre firm Equinix to expand the latter’s data centre portfolio. GIC will own an 80% equity interest in the future joint ventures and Equinix the remaining 20%.

Equinix and GIC previously signed a $1 billion joint venture to build three data centres in Japan. The company plans to expand its portfolio to 32 global facilities worth an estimated $6.9 billion.

Source: Mingtiandi