TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) and Pacific Asset Management Company (Pacific) have announced a $170 million joint venture to develop the largest carrier-neutral hyperscale data centre in South Korea, according to an official statement on March 21.
CPP Investments and a fund managed by Pacific will commit $116.4 million in equity for the project development of the Jukjeon Data Centre, with CPP Investments allocating $107 million. Other investors in the joint venture include Dreammark 1, GS Retail, and Shinhan Investment Corporation.
Located in the eastern part of the Seoul metropolitan area, Jukjeon Data Centre is close to the Pangyo Techno Valley, a technology hub known as South Korea’s Silicon Valley. The data centre also provides connectivity to multiple telecom carriers.
Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC has teamed up with NorthWest Australia, a subsidiary of Canadian-listed NorthWest Healthcare Properties, to invest an additional $2.4 billion in a joint venture established four years ago.
NorthWest Australia's healthcare real estate joint venture with GIC has reached $6 billion, comprising a mixture of debt and equity funding.
This portfolio invests in hospitals, medical centres, ambulatory facilities, aged care facilities, and health precincts. Another 10 projects are currently under construction across Australia and New Zealand.
NorthWest president and chief executive for Australia and New Zealand Craig Mitchell said a major focus for the firm is to create large-scale healthcare precincts that deliver a range of critical health services to local communities.
Source: Financial Standard
The Government Pension Fund of Norway, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, has voted in favour of a shareholder proposal requesting Toshiba Corp solicit buyout offers from private equity firms ahead of the extraordinary general meeting of shareholders on March 24.
The $1.35 trillion sovereign wealth fund — which owns 1.22% of Toshiba — voted against the Japanese industrial conglomerate's plan to break itself up by spinning off its devices business, a voting record showed.
Similarly, the State Board of Administration of Florida, with a 0.22% stake in Toshiba, voted against the management-backed break-up plan and in favour of the proposal from Singapore-based 3D Investment Partners.
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AustralianSuper chief executive officer Paul Schroder addressed complaints about the superannuation fund’s slow response to divest from Russian assets.
Schroder said in an interview that it is “dangerous and ridiculous” for governments to have a say in funds’ investments, and that the decision to divest was made prior to the government’s intervention.
The fund announced that it would exit Russia eight days after the country’s invasion into Ukraine, but not before receiving 1000 inquiries from members on the issue.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Chinese vice-premier Liu He said on Wednesday (March 16) that the government would take measures to boost the economy and introduce policies to support the market.
He did not specify the measures, but Chinese stocks rose on the announcement, with the Hang Seng index rising more than 9.1% and the CSI 300 index closing 3.2% higher.
Source: Financial Times
Li Ka-shing’s CK Asset completed its sale of 5 Broadgate, which serves as UBS’s London headquarters, to the National Pension Service (NPS) of Korea for £1.21 billion ($1.59 billion).
The deal is reportedly the UK capital’s largest property deal in nearly five years. The firm had bought the office building for £1 billion in 2018 from Singapore’s GIC and British Land.
Hong Kong marked its first special purpose acquisition company (Spac) listing on Friday (March 18) when Aquila Acquisition Corp made its debut on the city’s bourse.
The firm, backed by CMB International Asset Management and AAC Mgmt Holding, raised around $128 million with shares sold at HK$10 each.
It closed 3.2% lower at HK$9.68, as trading is restricted to only professional investors with only 29 approved participants allowed to trade.
Indonesia has sent a team of officials to Saudi Arabia to follow up on the latter’s interest to invest in its new capital city Nusantara through its wealth fund Indonesia Investment Authority (INA), said its coordinating minister of maritime affairs and investments Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan last Thursday (Mar 17).
He said the team will discuss the scope and size of the investments, including broad terms of the agreement with its Saudi counterparts.
"Indonesia is now in talks with Saudi Arabia. I and the crown prince are in constant Whatsapp communication, where he always asks about the progress. He is very progressive," he said.
Saudi Arabia has shown interest in investing in the construction of Indonesia's new capital at a meeting he had with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his visit to Riyadh earlier this month, he said.
The Saudi interest comes after SoftBank announced its withdrawal from the new capital construction project.
Indonesia’s sovereign wealth fund will only invest in projects that pay good returns, and this includes the construction projects for the $32 billion new capital city, said its chief executive.
Ridha Wirakusumah, head of Indonesia Investment Authority (INA), said the wealth fund has been encouraged by the government to source foreign investments to help fund the construction of the new capital Nusantara, located on the eastern side of Borneo Island.
But he said any investment decisions must be based on commercial considerations, adding he wants to avoid the kinds of mismanagement that led to the corruption scandal that hit Malaysia’s state fund 1MDB.
“The approach is the same whether it’s the new capital city or anything else. INA can use its own funds or with co-investors, but if it invests in the new capital city - like in any other assets - it must be commercially viable,” said the former banker, without elaborating on specific rates or return.
Malaysian workers who contribute to the country's Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will be able to withdraw up to RM10,000 ($2,385) from their defined contribution accounts to cope with economic hardship.
The new withdrawal program will be the fourth offered to the EPF's more than 14 million active and retired workers since the start of the Covid pandemic in early 2020, said Malaysia’s Prime Minister Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob last Wednesday (Mar 16), in announcing the new measure.
Despite total withdrawals amounting to more than RM100 billion by 7.34 million contributors from the first three withdrawal programs, there are still families who have yet to recover economically from the effects of the pandemic, he said. The EPF currently has total funds of RM1.01 trillion.
US investigators looking into the corruption scandal involving Malaysia’s sovereign fund 1MDB has offered a reward of up to $5 million for information that leads to the seizure, restraint, forfeiture, or repatriation of the assets.
According to the US Treasury Department’s website, the assets must be in an account at a US financial institution (including branches in foreign financial institutions) or in possession or control of someone in the US.
The reward by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be given to the informant if the information leads to any of these seizures.
Meanwhile, the wife of former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng charged with bribery and embezzlement of funds from the 1MDB has been accused by prosecutors of helping her husband launder millions of dollars from the money looted.
Prosecutors want the jury to hear statements that Ng's wife Lim Hwee Bin made to bankers about an account and shell company they say she opened in 2012. Ng's lawyers plan to call her as a witness on his behalf.
The defence says Ms Lim will testify that $35.1 million transferred into an account she controlled was not tainted 1MDB money but was for an unrelated business transaction.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has partnered with the CDP, formerly known as Carbon Disclosure Project, to promote sustainability disclosures and access to quality ESG data in the financial sector and the wider economy.
The CDP is an international non-profit organisation that operates one of the world’s leading environmental disclosure systems for companies and sub-national governments.
According to a media statement dated Mar 18, 2022, on the MAS website, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the two parties will enable financial institutions and corporates to better measure and monitor their ESG performance and impact.
The collaboration will extend to the exchange of information between CDP’s disclosure system and MAS’ Project Greenprint, which is a programme under the MAS Green Finance Action Plan aimed at enhancing access to high-quality, consistent and reliable ESG data to support sustainable finance.
Sacramento County Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS) is investing in non-core real estate in Japan via a fund managed by Seven Seas.
The $13 billion US pension fund revealed in a meeting document that it has made a $20 million commitment to Seven Seas Japan Opportunity Fund which seeks to raise $250 million. The fund’s planned leverage is capped at 55%.
The targeted net internal rate of returns for the fund are projected to be in the range of 15% to 17%, according to SCERS.
Source: Deal Street Asia
The Orange County Employees Retirement System has committed about $390 million to alternative investment funds and co-investments, according to staff reports.
Among the commitment reported by the $22.4 billion California-based pension fund — a $30 million commitment has been made to C-Bridge Healthcare Fund V, a buyout fund managed by CBC Group that invests in healthcare companies in Asia as well as some US companies looking to expand into Asia.