Weekly Digest: NPS eyes San Francisco office; GIC buys green bonds

Korea's National Pension Service is considering opening an overseas office in San Francisco for new investment opportunities; GIC's green bonds purchase finances renewable energy portfolio; CalSTRS narrows in on China equity fund managers; and more.
Weekly Digest: NPS eyes San Francisco office; GIC buys green bonds


The National Pension Service (NPS) is considering opening an overseas office in San Francisco for new investment opportunities.

The pension fund will set up new overseas offices in major financial hubs as well as in emerging countries to discover new investment opportunities, Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare said on June 23. In particular, San Francisco will be reviewed first for new overseas office locations, but the need for additional expansion will also be reviewed in consideration of future financial market conditions.

In addition, considering the characteristics of alternative investments that require a large number of manpower, the government wants to actively expand NPS’ alternative investments by securing alternative investment manpower.

Source: Ministry of Health and Welfare



Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has partnered with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), an Australian government-owned green bank, to focus on agricultural land in Australia.

The first acquisition under this strategic partnership is a farm dedicated to row crops located in New South Wales. An initial investment of A$200 million ($134 million) will be made over the next three years to acquire assets that will be managed by Gunn Agri Partners, a leading Australian farmland manager, of which CDPQ and the CEFC will become minority shareholders.

Gunn Agri Partners adopts a sustainability approach to agricultural asset management to establishing a scalable and specialised operational team in the local communities where the assets are located.

The first asset acquired covers 1,200 hectares of arable crops and areas suitable for grazing and conservation and includes options for a range of summer and winter cropping such as cereals, oilseeds, pulses and dryland cotton.

Source: CDPQ


The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) said on June 20 it had shortlisted 19 fund managers for its China stock portfolio.

"We have identified 19 managers for our China public equity pool. Placement in this pool does not guarantee a manager will receive an allocation," the firm said in a statement to Reuters that did not disclose the names of the managers.

It said actual allocation sizes to the selected managers would be decided on factors including CalSTRS' needs and the overall attractiveness of the Chinese market. CalSTRS floated a request for proposal (RFP) last August kicking off its search for China-focused fund managers.

Source: Reuters

Wan Feng, a former chairman of Hong Kong- and Shanghai-traded New China Life Insurance, was expelled from the Communist Party on corruption allegations nearly six months after the insurance veteran disappeared from public sight.

Anti-graft investigators found that Wang, 65, took a “huge amount” of bribes for providing benefits to others in property investments, bank deposit deals and project contracts, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), China’s top graft buster, said Wednesday in a statement.

Source: Caixin Global


Some of the largest US public pension funds are not in sync on the quality of a climate resolution filed at Mizuho Financial Group.

Callifornian public pension giants, California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS)  and California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) pre-disclosed that they would vote against the resolution on June 23, after they supported a similar request at the bank in 2020. However, the Office of the New York City Comptroller, overseeing five New York City public pension funds, supported the resolution.

The resolution calls on Mizuho to issue and disclose a transition plan to align its lending and investments with the Paris Agreement.

Source, CalSTRS, CalPERS, the Office of the New York City Comptroller


Sovereign wealth fund Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) plans to allocate 25% of its assets in the category that includes private equity and credit, real estate and hedge funds by 2025, up from 22.8% as of the end of last year, CEO Jin Seoung-ho said in an interview on June 20.

“We think the portfolio diversification is very important,” Jin said. Private credit is particularly promising and the fund plans to increase investment in the area, he added.

Source: Bloomberg

Also read: Why Korea's KIC is speeding up alternatives allocation

The Korean government has been ordered to pay up to $108.5 million to US hedge fund Elliott as an international tribunal partially accepted Elliott's $770 million damage claim that a 2015 merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries incurred a substantial loss.

The dispute centers around a 2015 merger deal between two Samsung affiliates - Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries - that Elliott opposed, claiming the deal greatly undervalues Samsung C&T shareholders' interest. It accused the former Park Geun-hye administration of pressuring the National Pension Service (NPS), at the time the largest stakeholder of Samsung C&T, to approve the deal.

Elliott at the time held a minority share of 7.1% in Samsung C&T, while NPS had an 11.2% stake. Despite Elliott's objections, the deal went through, with NPS lending its support as a swing voter. The deal later became the center of a major corruption case involving former President Park and the heads of major conglomerates in Korea.

Source: Korea JoongAng Daily


Global clean energy enterprise TagEnergy has announced the closing of a dual currency (A$ and €) green bond totalling a maximum of around €570 million ($621 million) with GIC and fund manager Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).

This transaction will support the growth of TagEnergy’s renewable energy portfolio of onshore wind, battery energy storage systems (BESS) and solar PV assets across the UK, Europe and Australia.

TagEnergy was founded in 2019 by management and the Impala SAS Group, and now counts Mirova and Omnes as additional shareholders.

Source: GIC

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