Weekly Digest: Indonesia's INA to boost spending; GIC snaps up Indian office assets
TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK
Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and Brookfield India Real Estate Investment Trust have joined hands to acquire commercial properties in India, marking the first partnership between a global institutional investor and a listed REIT in the country.
Both parties will obtain a couple of Grade-A assets, totaling 603,870 square meters at an aggregate enterprise value of $1.4 billion, from private real estate funds of New York-listed Brookfield Asset Management, according to a statement.
Source: Nikkei Asia
Indonesia’s sovereign wealth fund is poised to boost spending this year as the country’s prominent role in the green energy transition and investors’ eagerness to diversify from China push it into the spotlight as an investment destination.
Ridha Wirakusumah, chief executive of the Indonesian Investment Authority (INA), said the two-year-old fund would have deployed $3 billion by the end of this year alongside its partners. As of April this year the fund had deployed just over $2 billion.
Source: Financial Times
Nuveen has secured a mandate from four Australian superannuation funds to invest $190 million (A$284 million) across alternative office assets located in the US.
Cbus Super, Hostplus, TWUSUPER and another undisclosed super fund have invested in Nuveen's US Cities Workplace Fund, which targets office assets based in US cities operating mainly in the healthcare and technology sectors.
The fund is part of Nuveen's Global resilient series, which invests in megatrends pertaining to demographic change, urbanisation and technology within real estate and debt.
Source: Australian Financial Review
China said it will raise basic pension payments for retirees in 2023, marking the 19th consecutive annual increase.
The average monthly payment for pensioners of enterprises, government agencies and public institutions is set to be lifted by 3.8% from the 2022 level, according to a circular jointly issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the Ministry of Finance.
In 2022, China raised basic pension payments for retirees by 4% from the previous year.
The total assets of China's insurance sector amounted to Rmb28.4 trillion ($4.04 trillion) at the end of the first quarter of 2023, official data revealed.
The figure was up 4.5% from the beginning of the year, according to the National Financial Regulatory Administration.
The insurance sector's premium income expanded 9.2% year-on-year to Rmb1.9 trillion in the first three months, data showed.
Source: National Financial Regulatory Administration
India’s insurance regulator favours greater freedom for insurance companies to sell other products, including mutual funds.
A one-stop solution may offer better availability of financial services and lead to greater financial inclusion, said Debasish Panda, chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.
Life Insurance Corporation of India has tumbled 40% since its trading debut a year ago, putting it among the worst performers of newly listed companies, as the country’s biggest initial public offering struggles to attract investors.
The nation’s largest life insurer, which surprised investors last year with its $2.7 billion share offering amid the threat of global stagflation, has struggled since its debut on fears its massive size leaves limited room for further growth.
LIC’s performance is similar to state-run peers General Insurance Corporation of India and New India Assurance Co., both of which have seen their market capitalisations shrink after their respective listings.
The National Pension Service (NPS) sold all its shares in the now-collapsed Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and First Republic Bank, but succeeded in offsetting losses by generating decent revenues from major tech stock investments, according to its filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The state-run pension fund sold 100,795 shares of SVB and 252,427 shares of First Republic Bank in the first quarter.
The US banking crisis caused their stock prices to nosedive more than 99%. As of the end of 2022, NPS held W72.1 billion ($54 million) worth of shares in the two ill-fated overseas lenders.
NPS' direct investments in US stocks was worth around W74 trillion as of the end of March, up 8% from the end of last year.
Source: The Korea Times
New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZ Super) has topped up its hedge fund exposure, committing $100 million to trans-Atlantic global macro-strategy specialist Episteme Capital.
NZ Super’s chief executive Matt Whineray announced in a stakeholder update that the sovereign wealth fund would invest into the flagship Episteme Systematic Quest Total Return vehicle. The hedge fund invests in highly liquid futures and currency markets using a blend of fundamental, technical and liquidity management styles.
Whineray said NZ Super had also made further commitments to existing private equity mandates with Columbia Capital, adding $50 million and $100 million respectively to separate funds managed by the Virginia-based communications and technology private equity investor.
Source: NZ SUPER
Singapore-based insurtech startup Bolttech, backed by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, has raised $196 million in a Series B funding round at a valuation of $1.6 billion.
Japanese insurer Tokio Marine led the round, which included participation from the venture arm of New York-based insurance giant MetLife and Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional. The fresh capital brings Bolttech’s total funding to over $443 million.
Other backers of Bolttech include Li’s investment firm Pacific Century Group, Singaporean government investment vehicle EDBI, Spanish VC fund Mundi Ventures and San Francisco-based VC firm Activant Capital.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $25 million equity investment in Exacta Asia Investment III LP, a private equity fund managed by the Singapore headquartered investment firm Exacta.
ADB will assist Exacta in adopting gender impact tools in its investment processes for all future investees, alongside other gender and climate-friendly measures. This is ADB’s second commitment to Exacta, having previously invested in its Exacta Asia Investment II LP in 2018.
The fund will provide growth capital to middle-market companies operating in Southeast Asia across health care, financial services, education, manufacturing, business services, and consumer sectors.
Exacta has raised approximately $670 million in committed equity capital across three funds to invest in growth companies in Southeast Asia.
REST OF THE WORLD
Millions of American federal employees can invest in Chinese companies sanctioned by the US government via its flagship retirement plan, even though these companies have been branded a danger to national security or are accused of profiting from forced labor or other human rights abuses, Newsweek has learned.
Since June 2022, the federal government's employee retirement plan has offered its 6.8 million members the option to invest some of their savings in an account containing about 5,000 mutual funds, some of which have holdings in Chinese companies that are on at least nine U.S. government sanctions or watch lists, according to an exclusive analysis for Newsweek by Washington DC-based consulting firm Kilo Alpha Strategies, using data from the Coalition for a Prosperous America.
Among those companies are a leading developer of engines for fighter planes and turbines for naval ships, solar panel firms targeted for allegedly using forced labor by Uyghurs and others living in China's western Xinjiang region, as well as makers of surveillance systems seen as a threat to the US.