Weekly Digest: Norway SWF to vote against all-male boards; KTCU hunts for global equity managers

Norway's sovereign wealth fund to oppose board chair appointments in Japanese companies without women; Mine Super and TWUSUPER move ahead with merger; Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance move may trigger more global bond sales; and more.
Weekly Digest: Norway SWF to vote against all-male boards; KTCU hunts for global equity managers


Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), operator of the $1.26 trillion Norwegian government pension fund, will oppose the appointment of board chairs in Japanese companies that do not have female board members, the Nikkei business daily reported.

The voting stance of the NBIM, the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, could affect about 300 Japanese companies.

The Norwegian fund's policy is to have a minimum 30% of each gender represented on the board in companies it invests in, or with a minimum of at least two members of each gender.

Source: Reuters



Mine Super and TWUSUPER have progressed in their merger process, reaching a key milestone by signing a 'heads of agreement' to form a combined fund that will manage A$20 billion.

The two Australian superannuation funds began the merger process in December 2022 with the signing of a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The merger between the industry funds is set to create a unified super fund serving over 150,000 members.

The next phase of the merger will focus on ensuring a smooth transition to the consolidated fund for all members. The merger is expected to be completed in early 2024.



Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance plans to offload all its currency-hedged foreign debt holdings, foreshadowing what may become a renewed wave of selling by some of the biggest investors in global bond markets.

Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance was among the first Japaneses life insurers to lay out investment strategies for the fiscal year.

The privately-owned firm, with ¥8.8 trillion ($65 billion) of assets, will cut its holdings of offshore debt by ¥300 billion in the fiscal year that began on April 1, said Yoshiyuki Suzuki, executive officer and head of the investment planning department. The reduction will eliminate all its remaining ¥240 billion of hedged foreign notes.

Source: Bloomberg

Sumitomo Life Insurance expects currency hedging costs for foreign bond investments to remain high due to the interest rate outlook, and lowered its earnings outlook for the next three years, according to CEO Yukinori Takada.

Hedging costs eat into the higher yields that Sumitomo Life and peers have sought in US government and corporate debt.

Source: Nikkei Asia


Samsung Life Insurance has acquired a 20% stake in Meridiam SAS, a French private equity firm focused on infrastructure investment.

With this investment, Samsung Life has become the second-largest shareholder of the French company.

The French firm invests in various infrastructure projects in Europe, North America and Africa through local offices. Meridiam has $18 billion under management and more than 100 projects to date.

Following this deal, Samsung Life Insurance will join the board of directors of the French company and also establish a business cooperation agreement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Source: Meridiam

The Korean Teachers’ Credit Union (KTCU) is looking to hire two asset managers for a W200 billion ($150 million) global equity mandate.

The firms will be appointed for two-year terms, which may be extended depending on investment performance. The winning bidders will have to set up a collective investment vehicle or discretionary account to invest in foreign equities.

Firms bidding on the tender must be locally registered fund houses with track records of investing in global equities through collective investment vehicles. Applications are open until May 4 and the managers are expected to be hired by May 17.

Source: KTCU


Malaysia’s Armed Forces Fund Board, known by its Malay acronym LTAT, has bought a 7% stake in AHAM Asset Management from Japan’s Nikko Asset Management International Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition announced in a filing by the Malaysian firm AHAM to the local stock exchange on April 19, marks LTAT’s re-entry as a shareholder in the local asset manager.

The Armed Forces Fund Board had previously sold its entire 63% stake in AHAM for 1.54 billion ringgit ($347 million) in January 2022 in a deal that also involved CVC Capital buying another 5.4% from senior management of the asset manager.

CVC Capital currently owns 68.4% of AHAM.

Source: Asia Asset Management


The Philippines’ Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has signed an agreement to invest $300 million in global infrastructure projects covering transport, energy and digitization through the emerging-market fund of Global Infrastructure Partners, an $89 billion infrastructure fund manager based in New York.

GSIS President and General Manager Wick Veloso and James Amine, the US firm’s partner, have signed an agreement for the investment, according to a statement on April 18.

Source: Asia Asset Management


Sovereign wealth fund GIC has cut its holding of China Telecom’s Hong Kong-listed shares for the sixth time this year, after China’s biggest wireless carrier saw its stock price surge amid the frenzy over artificial intelligence.

GIC sold 20.4 million Hong Kong shares of China Telecom for HK$89.3 million ($11.4 million) on April 12, according to a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Since the beginning of 2023, GIC has cut its stake to 10% from 15%, cashing out about HK$460 million.

Source: Yicai Global

GIC has invested in Vietnamese healthcare services provider Nhi Dong 315, according to regulatory filings.

The Vietnamese firm operates at least 60 pediatric and maternity clinics in Ho Chi Minh City.

Source: Dealstreetasia

Temasek Trust Capital and family offices Gunung Capital and Tsao Family Office are among seven investors in a new founding round in BlueMark.

The US-based provider of independent impact verification and intelligence for the impact and sustainable investing market, has announced that it had closed its Series A funding round with $10 million in capital commitments.

Source: BlueMark


¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.