October newsmakers: HK wealth fund, KWAP, Rockefeller Foundation

The month yielded a crop of exclusive and never-before interviewed asset owners including Hong Kong Investment Corp and The Rockefeller Foundation.
October newsmakers: HK wealth fund, KWAP, Rockefeller Foundation

AsianInvestor's editorial team was busy as ever, meeting key executives at asset owners and bagging some strong interviews. 

HK's new wealth fund: How investments get picked

Hong Kong’s newly established $8 billion wealth fund is working with the government’s dedicated foreign investment agency to screen potential early investments.

In the Web3 space alone, Invest Hong Kong, the government’s foreign direct investment agency, has met with over 40 funds from Hong Kong, mainland China, and overseas markets that intend to raise capital from the Hong Kong Investment Corporation (HKIC), according to King Leung, head of financial services and fintech at Invest Hong Kong.

Invest Hong Kong has shortlisted a few funds and recommended them to HKIC and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) for further selection, Leung told AsianInvestor.

HKIC also named HKMA executive director Clara Chan as its first CEO. Chan assumed office on Oct 9. New investments are expected to be made by year-end at the earliest, after she is onboard.

Temasek-backed Pentagreen eyes zero-carbon infra projects

Pentagreen Capital is setting its sights on zero-carbon infrastructure projects in renewable energy, energy storage, sustainable transportation, water, waste treatment, and the circular economy, according to CEO Marat Zapparov.

“We are also exploring other types of assets, such as green data centers, nature-based solutions, and adaptation capex. We are also interested in electric vehicle (EV) projects and the broader EV ecosystem. This entails assessing deals that promote the adoption of low-carbon transportation solutions such as EVs, public transit systems, and alternative fuels," he said.

Pentagreen Capital is backed by two shareholders,Temasek and HSBC, in a 50:50 venture.

Malaysia's KWAP looks to private credit after private equity boost

Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP), Malaysia’s federal employees’ pension fund, is looking to add private credit investments to its portfolio holdings, as it pushes further into private markets.

A revamp of its strategic asset allocation in November 2022 brought the portfolio target balance between public and private assets to 80/20 from 90/10, and approval was given to start the process of investing in private credit as a new sub-asset class.

"In the last 8 months [we have] been educating ourselves on the subject, meeting major global private credit GPs,” Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin, chief investment officer at KWAP, told AsianInvestor.

Rockefeller Foundation champions catalytic capital's impact

The Rockefeller Foundation is keen to encourage all forms of capital to scale up investing with impact even as it drives catalytic capital growth, a top executive told AsianInvestor.

“The Rockefeller Foundation's programmatic investments seek to demonstrate the potential of catalytic capital," Deepali Khanna, vice president, Asia regional office of The Rockefeller Foundation, told AsianInvestor.

"Catalytic capital is about prioritising impact and investing in a balanced, flexible and patient manner that is guided by core values."

Catalytic capital refers to debt, equity, guarantees, and other investments that accept disproportionate risk and/or concessionary returns relative to a conventional investment in order to generate positive impact and enable third-party investment that otherwise would not be possible.

Canada's pension funds bet big on Australian agriculture

Focused on sustainable investments and decarbonisation targets, Canadian pension funds have been increasingly attracted to the agriculture and farmland sectors in Australia.

“We are excited about the opportunity in Australian agriculture – both around contributing to our sustainability goals and generating a positive return,” Nicolas Leyssieux, managing director at CDPQ told AsianInvestor.

Meanwhile AIMCo has also broadened its agricultural focus to include investments in Australian agriculture. Back in September 2021, AIMCo became a co-owner of Lawson Grains, an Australian agricultural company specialising in the production of cereals and vegetable oils.

Similarly, the Australian agricultural arm of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and PSP investments have also made noteworthy investments in Australian agriculture.

Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation urges VC approach to philanthropy 

One of Hong Kong's well-known philanthropists is keen to encourage other wealthy families to adopt a more venture capital-like approach to philanthropy by funding innovative ideas to solve important socio-economic issues.

It’s an approach ultra-high net worth individuals and wealthy families can afford to take as they can take high risks on ideas that haven't become mainstream yet, according to James Chen, chairman of Hong Kong-based Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation.

It's a philosophy he describes as 'moonshot' philanthropy.

“It’s how I approached our philanthropic ventures ... because we are really talking about impact [of this philanthropy] here," Chen told AsianInvestor.


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