Weekly investor roundup: AustralianSuper's former CEO Ian Silk joins KPMG; China to conduct probe on insurer's investments

Ian Silk joins KPMG as special advisor on ESG issues; Chinese government to conduct probe on insurers and their investments after discovering compliance issues; Ray Dalio's Bridgewater Associates raises $1.25 billion for its third investment fund in China; Korea's NPS posts 8% return for first three quarters of the year; Binance confirms talks with sovereign wealth funds; and more.
Weekly investor roundup: AustralianSuper's former CEO Ian Silk joins KPMG; China to conduct probe on insurer's investments


Former AustralianSuper chief executive Ian Silk has joined KPMG as special advisor on environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters.

The fund had announced in July that Silk was stepping down from Australia’s biggest superannuation fund when his term ended this year. Chief risk officer Paul Schroder took over on October 1.

Silk had been in the role for 15 years, leading the fund from A$21 billion ($15 billion) assets under management to over A$225 billion.

Source: Financial Standard

The Chinese government will conduct a probe on insurers and their investments in order to weed out any illegal activity that might compromise the sector’s stability.

Regulators had previously conducted a routine inspection and found that some insurance companies had serious compliance issues, according to Shanghai Securities News.

Beijing will investigate whether insurers have invested outside of the allowed scope, especially in the real estate sector. These include investments into unlisted property developers, as China continues to battle the fallout of the Evergrande liquidity crisis.

Source: Shanghai Securities NewsInsurance Business Asia

Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates has raised $1.25 billion for its third investment fund in China, making it one of the biggest foreign managers of private funds in the country.

The fund is being marketed to institutional investors and wealthy individuals. Bridgewater has between 2 billion yuan and 5 billion yuan assets under management in China.

The fund is a trust product overseen by state-owned China Resources Trust, while Bridgewater’s China subsidiary serves as the investment adviser.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

National Pension Service (NPS), the world’s third-largest pension fund, posted 67.4 trillion won ($56.6 billion), or 8% of return in the three quarters ended September driven by equities, pushing its assets under management to 918.7 trillion won ($771.3 billion), it released on Monday.

It gained 22.7% in foreign equities and 8.2% in Korean stocks, both beating benchmarks. Bond wise, it suffered a 1.28% of loss in domestic bonds amid rising interest rates, but returned 7.6% in foreign bonds thanks to a weakened won against US dollar.

Source: NPS

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, has confirmed that it is in talks with sovereign wealth funds about them taking a stake as the firm faces increasing regulatory pressure worldwide.

The global entity’s chief executive, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, told the Financial Times that he believes investments from sovereign wealth funds would help improve Binance’s perception and relationships with various governments.

He declined to say with which SWFs the firm was in discussions, but its Singapore business has been backed by Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of the state-backed investment company Temasek.

Source: Financial Times




Assets under management in the super system reached A$3.4 trillion in September, an increase of 17.5% year-on-year as funds moved money from cash and bonds to international shares.

Equity investments now make up 56% of assets in default MySuper portfolios, the highest allocation since 2014.

Allocations to safer asset classes such as cash and fixed income fell to 20% in September.

Source: Australian Financial Review

Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board has approved a A$5.2 billion buy-out of Spark Infrastructure by a consortium led by private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), the Ontario Teachers’ pension fund and PSP Investments, with the deal to be closed by December 22.

Spark had initially rejected an offer for A$4.9 billion, but the offer was increased to around 12% above its share price value. The consortium will take control of Spark’s A$17 billion of electricity network assets, which include a 15% stake in Transgrid, Boman Solar Farm (100MW in operation and a 2.2GW development portfolio), 49% of South Australian electricity distributor SA Power Networks and 49% of Victoria distributors Citipower and Powercor.

Spark Infrastructure will delist from the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Monday, November 29 – a week after shareholders overwhelmingly agreed to the takeover. Following this latest acquisition, Canadian public pension funds have emerged as the leading foreign investors in Australian infrastructure.

Source: GlobalSWF, AFR


The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has asked Didi’s management to formulate a plan to delist from the New York Stock Exchange, according to a Bloomberg report, citing unnamed sources.

This was due to concerns about leakage of sensitive data.

Proposals under consideration include the privatisation or a share float in Hong Kong after delisting in the US. Under the privatisation deal of Didi, shareholders will likely be offered at least $14 per share, corresponding with the IPO price, in order to avoid lawsuits or shareholder resistance.

Source: Bloomberg


Indonesia will launch Merah Putih Fund, a venture capital fund backed by state-owned enterprises to support local start-ups.

Telkom Group, Bank Mandiri, and Bank BRI are reportedly initial investors of the fund, which will be launched in mid-December.

Source: Tech in Asia, Tempo


Dai-ichi Life Insurance, together with 20 private institutional investors and banks in Japan, signed the Japan Impact-driven Financing Initiative to promote high-quality impact investment among institutional investors, the life insurer announced on Monday.

They agree that the fundamental purpose of private financial institutions is to help solve environmental and social issues. It also promotes impact-driven finance by measuring and managing the changes in society and the environment created by their investments, and loans or bonds.

Source: Dai-ichi Life Insurance

Sumitomo Life Insurance is planning to invest $75 million in the Brookfield Global Transition Fund which will focus on investments in decarbonization and energy transition solutions, it announced on Nov 26.

The fund targets investment opportunities globally relating to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, as well as increasing low-carbon energy capacity and supporting sustainable solutions.

Source: Sumitomo Life Insurance


Korea Investment Corporation saw 11 managers from the 35-people alternative investment division resign by November, including the recent departure of its real estate investment head Cha Hoon, a report announced by Korea’s National Assembly member Park Hong-keun showed.

This includes private equity investment head Jay Huh, who left KIC in April to lead private equity investment of Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Source: Korea Economic Daily

National Pension Service (NPS), the world’s third-largest pension fund, plans to give out an average of 75 million won ($63,000) of year-end bonus to each investment portfolio manager, the highest level in Korea’s pension fund industry, according to its fund management committee.

A combined 21.6 billion won ($18 million) of bonus will be paid to its about 290 investment managers. The committee approved the payments of an average of 86.7% of annual salaries -- a sum of the target performance bonus of 70.7% and the organizational performance bonus of 16% -- to its investment managers. The bonus for chief investment officer Ahn Hyo-joon was set to be 98.4% of his annual salary.

Source: Korea Economic Daily

Korea Post has opened bids for a 200 million euro ($226 million) offshore real estate mandate, structured as an open-ended commingled fund that will focus on developed markets in Europe.

It will select two asset managers for the mandate, which will adopt core and core plus strategies, the government postal agency says in a request for proposal on November 25.

Source: Asia Asset Management


Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) (Kwap) aims to enhance its ESG integration by integrating climate change into its investment decision making process.

Chief executive officer Nik Amlizan Mohamed said that the finance minister’s recent call for financial institutions to help the government manage the impact of the pandemic and foster sustainable growth had underscored the importance of ESG for the fund.

ESG is fast becoming a requirement for all investors and businesses, she said.

Source: The Edge Markets

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has ceased to be a substantial shareholder of Inari Amertron after it disposed of 1.40 million shares on Thursday (November 24), bringing its stake to below 5%.

The fund is reportedly left with 183.92 million shares in the electronic manufacturing services company.

The EPF also traded in Inari shares on Tuesday and Wednesday, buying two million shares and selling 1.66 million. The stock has risen 53.31% since the beginning of the year.

Source: The Edge Markets


Temasek has led a S$12 million ($8.76 million) series B funding round for healthy food chain SaladStop! Group.

The salad food chain’s latest funding round was oversubscribed and funds will be used to accelerate the group’s digital transformation and expansion into four new markets by 2025.

Other investors include venture capital funds Vulcan Capital, K3 Ventures, East Ventures and DSG Consumer Partners.

Source: VulcanPost

The media group behind popular meme sharing platforms SGag, MGag and PGag has raised $10 million in its series A funding round led by Temasek’s Pavilion Capital and other venture capital funds Quest Venture and Bent Pixels.

The funds will be used by Hepmil Media Group to expand into esports and gaming, and into new markets Thailand and Vietnam next year.

Source: Tech in Asia

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