ASIA

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), one of the world’s biggest pension funds, plans to hire “extensively” in Asia and Europe over the next two years and could shift an extra C$11 billion ($8.3 billion) into infrastructure and other real assets, its chief executive told Reuters.

The fund currently employs around 1,200 people across hub offices in Toronto, London and Hong Kong, while a further 1,500 work at real estate subsidiary Cadillac Fairview.

Outgoing chief executive Ron Mock told Reuters that OTPP could triple its current Asia headcount of around 25 people and is considering opening offices in Mumbai and Singapore.

Source: Reuters

AUSTRALIA

First State Super's investment in International Convention Centre Sydney has generated A$896 million ($607.9 million) in direct expenditure for the New South Wales state, with 1.4 million delegates and patrons attending events at the venue. 

“It’s one of the reasons we’ve recently secured the naming rights to the First State Super Theatre, the 8000-seat entertainment venue at ICC Sydney," said First State Super chief executive Deanne Stewart. "We want our members to know that their retirement savings are being put to work, earning a return for them and at the same time creating thousands of jobs and delivering value for the community," he added.

Source: First State Super

Allianz Australia was ordered to add an extra A$250 million ($169.4 million) in capital requirement by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), to reflect issues identified in a governance self-assessment the general insurer undertook last year.

APRA said that issues recognised by the assessments undertaken by 35 other entities existed in other institutions, including the need to strengthen non-financial risk management.

The additional capital requirement will remain in place until Allianz completes remediation work underway to strengthen risk management and close gaps identified in the self-assessment, said the regulator.

Source: Insurance Business

Equip Super and Catholic Super appointed Scott Cameron as the superannuation funds’ chief executive, following the announcement made by the two Melbourne-based firms in May to consolidate their investment and back-office operations, though they will maintain their own distinct brands.

Cameron will begin heading the two super funds in September, and lead the joint company overseeing Equip Super and Catholic Super when it starts operating in October. He currently serves as the chief executive of Computershare for Australia and New Zealand.

Source: Pensions & Investments

CHINA

Anbang Insurance Group, which is now in government control, has started a sale of its entire $2.4 billion Japanese property portfolio and previous owner Blackstone Group is bidding.

The price for the portfolio has not been set and the process is still at an early stage. Anbang paid Blackstone around 260 billion yen ($2.4 billion) for the assets in 2017, in what was Japan’s biggest property deal since the global financial crisis.

Source: Reuters

INDIA

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) is actively scouting for investment opportunities in India’s green energy and airport space, said two people aware of the development. 

This marks the pension fund joining marquee names such as Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (OMERS) in investing in India’s clean energy economy as the sector has emerged as a global investment hot-spot. 

Earlier this month, OTPP and AustralianSuper, Australia’s largest superannuation and pension fund, made a $2 billion commitment in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). These include commitments of $250 million each into NIIF’s master fund, and co-investment rights of up to $750 million each in future opportunities alongside the master fund.

Source: DealStreetAsia

New York-based infrastructure fund manager Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) has initiated talks to raise a India-focused infrastructure fund with targeted assets of as much as $1 billion, said two people aware of the development. 

GIP entered India last year after acquiring the infrastructure investment platform of IDFC Alternatives. Prior to the acquisition, IDFC Alternatives had raised two infrastructure funds—India Infrastructure Fund and India Infrastructure Fund II—aggregating $1.8 billion. 

“The fund will largely focus on acquiring operating assets in areas such as roads, renewables and transmission but could also look to invest in other infrastructure assets,” said the first person cited above, requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to reporters.

Source: DealStreetAsia

JAPAN

Insurance group MS&AD, which owns about 16% of Australian annuity provider Challenger, received the green light from the Australian Treasury to increase its stake in the company.

In March, MS&AD announced its intention to take its stake in Challenger over 15% and seek board representation. This was subject to approval from Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, and the Treasurer which was granted last week.

MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings will be allowed to hold a 100% stake in Challenger Life Company given that its direct control interest in the company does not exceed 20%, according to an August 14 notice signed by the Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Source: Financial Standard

KOREA

Melbourne-based infrastructure investment firm IFM Investors said it had closed two infrastructure debt funds worth a combined $420 million for South Korean investors.

A total of eight Korean insurance firms have committed to the funds. Among them, Hanwha Asset Management and Hyundai Investments will manage funds worth $190 million and $230 million, respectively.

IFM Investors will source and manage offshore deals for the vehicles, including the first investment in an operating combined gas cycle plant in the United States, IFM Investors added.

Source: The Investor

A number of wealthy South Koreans committed €5.5 million ($6.1 million) to Germany’s Earlybird Venture Capital, in the first direct investment by Korean individuals in a European venture capital fund.

They committed between hundreds of thousands of euros and million euros respectively to the technology-focused European investor via Hana Financial Investment, according to a source of the brokerage firm on August 14.

Hana’s private wealth management division has gathered the money from high net-worth customers since May, without launching a fundraising vehicle. No additional capital has been raised from Korea for Earlybird Venture’s latest fundraising.

Source: Korean Investors

MALAYSIA

The Tokio Marine group’s move to acquire RHB Insurance (RHBI) is a prelude to the Japanese insurer paring down its shareholding in its Malaysian insurance business, sources say.

According to sources, Tokio Marine’s plan is to acquire RHBI — a general insurer — and merge it with Tokio Marine Insurans, after which it will create a holding company to house all its insurance businesses, including Tokio Marine Life.

“The intention is to then divest a 30% stake in the holding company, either to a local strategic partner — this would be a cleaner and easier option — or through an initial public offering. The divestment will most likely happen next year,” a source familiar with the matter tells The Edge.

Source: The Edge

NEW ZEALAND

NZ Super will opt to run a lower active risk and increase equity exposure in an attempt to tweak its investment strategies, following market volatility spurred by the US-China trade tensions and added liquidity driven by central banks’ dovish stance.

Source: Deal Street Asia

SINGAPORE

Singapore will gradually raise its retirement age by three years to 65, its prime minister said on Sunday (August 18). The retirement age will rise to 63 in 2022 from the current retirement age of 62 and to 65 by 2030, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

Singapore, which has the longest life expectancy at birth in the world, is growing more dependent on its older residents as birth rates fall and foreign labour is restricted.

Source: Reuters

The owners of Ancestry.com, the DNA analysis and family tree company, are turning to a well-tested private equity play for taking cash out of a company: topping up on debt.

An investor group led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and private equity firm Silver Lake Management is looking to pull out more than $900 million from the company through a special dividend mostly funded by new borrowings. They are also seeking approval for another one-time distribution before year-end. The dividend would be one of the largest funded by the issuance of junk debt this year. 

Source: Bloomberg

GDS Holdings, Chinese clouds’ largest data centre landlord, has found a deep-pocketed partner to fund some of its already massive expansion activity: GIC. 

The Singapore government’s sovereign wealth fund recently entered the data centre investing with a vengeance, and it intends to fund a series of GDS projects starting with several for a specific, but unnamed, hyperscale customer.

The customer, which according to GDS is “a leading internet and cloud service provider,” has signed up for 130MW of IT power capacity across seven future data centers at three of the developer’s campuses, GDS CFO Daniel Newman said on the company’s second-quarter earnings call earlier this week. 

Source: DataCenterKnowledge

THAILAND

Thai Life Insurance struck a deal to take a 35% stake in Citizen Business Insurance (CB Insurance), becoming the first Asean insurer to enter Myanmar's insurance field.

"This partnership will give CB Insurance a competitive advantage by leveraging Thai Life's actuarial and managerial expertise, as well as product distribution channel development, which has proven to be successful in Thailand," Chai Chaiyawan, president of Thai Life Insurance said in a statement. The company did not reveal the investment amount.

Penetrating Myanmar's insurance market aligns with the company's strategy to expand operations to other countries in Asean, he said.

Source: The Bangkok Post

Aspen Holdings and Anderton Investments, two units of Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek, launched an overnight block trade on Wednesday for THB15.6 billion ($505.67 million) or 8.02% of its stakes in Thai telco company Intouch Holdings, according to a term sheet.

Intouch owns stakes in Thailand’s largest mobile phone network Advanced Info Service and satellite operator Thaicom. The deal, Southeast Asia’s largest block trade in 2019, sent Intouch shares down nearly 6% on Thursday in Bangkok trading.

Source: Reuters

INTERNATIONAL

Prudential has said that it will push ahead with its planned demerger, despite a shock legal judgment preventing it from offloading £12 billion of annuities — a deal that had been seen as smoothing the way for the split.

The High Court surprised the insurance industry yesterday (August 18) by blocking the transfer of 400,000 Pru policyholders to Rothesay Life, a specialist bulk annuity business, after some objected. 

The deal, the biggest of its kind, was announced in March last year on the same day that Prudential revealed plans to demerge M&G Prudential, its UK pensions and global asset management division, leaving the remainder as an Asia, Africa and US-focused business.

Source: The Times