TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK

Didi has decided to delist in New York to pursue an A-share listing in Hong Kong.

The firm noted that its US shares would be convertible into freely tradable shares of the company on another internationally recognized stock exchange and that its board had approved plans to pursue a listing in Hong Kong, according to a separate statement on Didi’s website.

Source: Bloomberg

China’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has invested Rmb4 billion ($627.23 million) in a venture capital fund of funds managed by the private equity unit of China International Capital Corporation (CICC), one of the largest domestic investment banks.

The CICC Genesis Fund is aimed at supporting the government’s plan to promote mass entrepreneurship and innovation. Managed by CICC Capital, it will focus on funding technology startups and emerging industries in the embryonic stages.

The National Council for Social Security Fund (NCSSF), which supervises the NSSF, estimates that the total value of companies that will benefit from the Genesis Fund’s investments is more than Rmb500 billion. 

“Through the CICC Genesis Fund, NSSF will act as a parent fund to finance over 100 quality venture capital funds across the nation, covering over 2,500 companies,” the NCSSF said in a statement on November 30.

Source: NSSFAsia Asset Management

The entity formed through the merger of QSuper and Sunsuper will be called Australian Retirement Trust, the funds said in a statement.

The A$230 billion ($161.84 billion) combined fund plans to deliver a fee reduction for their more than two million members from July 1, 2022. Final details will be communicated to members before June 30.

After the merger, Sunsuper’s 1.4 million members will become members of Australian Retirement Trust’s public offering as will all new members not connected to the Queensland Government. The QSuper brand will continue as a part of Australian Retirement Trust, dedicated to providing superannuation products and services to Queensland Government employees and their families.

Australian Retirement Trust will be headquartered in Queensland, with offices around Australia. The planned merger is on track to proceed on February 28, 2022 pending final Board, regulatory and legislative approvals.

Source: QSuper

GIC has made two Australian property deals through joint ventures, the first being the acquisition of an office building in Canberra for A$335 million and the second for a A$750 million shopping centre fund.

The Singapore sovereign wealth fund and Australian-listed property group Charter Hall on Monday (December 6) announced their establishment of a joint venture to acquire the Grade A office building in Canberra's Central Business District, with a net leasable area of 40,000 square metres.

Separately, the fund signed a deal with real estate owner SCA Property for a A$750 million SCA Metro Convenience Shopping Centre Fund. GIC would own an 80% equity interest in the joint venture.

Source: Business TimesAustralian Financial Review

 

MORE INVESTMENT NEWS:

AUSTRALIA

AustralianSuper has successfully completed its merger with Club Plus Super, absorbing its 60,000 new members and A$3.2 billion in member assets.

The merger followed a rigorous due diligence process after the Club Plus Super board chose AustralianSuper as its preferred merger partner earlier this year.

The fund said in a statement that the merger process had been seamless and was completed on schedule.

AustralianSuper has over 730,000 members in New South Wales, with member assets exceeding A$65 billion. More than 1000 people are choosing to join AustralianSuper each week.

Source: AustralianSuper

UniSuper and Australian Catholic Superannuation (ACS) are exploring a potential merger that would form a A$110 billion fund, the funds announced last week (December 1).

Both funds have commenced conducting due diligence to fully understand the potential benefits for members of any potential merger activity.

Any future decisions made by UniSuper and ACS will be based on what is in the best financial interests of both funds’ members, the funds said in a statement.

The next stage in the process would be a Heads of Agreement, which is not expected until Q2 2022.

Source: Australian Catholic Superannuation

Colonial First State (CFS) is now a standalone business following the completion of the sale by CBA of a 55% stake to global investment firm KKR.

CFS is now looking to invest more than $430 million in its business over the next four years.

As the largest payer of pensions in Australia after the Federal Government, CFS will look to use the new investment to deliver a range of benefits for almost 1 million Australians who entrust their superannuation and investments with CFS. It will support the modernisation and digitisation of the business, and in turn create more capacity to reinvest in growth areas of CFS.

Source: Colonial First State

CHINA

Hui Ka Yan, the chairman of embattled property developer Evergrande, was summoned by the provincial government of Guangdong late Friday night, after the deeply indebted company warned on the same day that it may not be able to meet its financial obligations.

Hong Kong-listed Evergrande, now close to collapsing under more than $300 billion in total liabilities, sought help from the southern province, according to a short post published via its website. Authorities in Guangdong, where Evergrande is based, agreed to dispatch a “work group,” and help the company “resolve risks, strengthen internal control and sustain its normal operations.”

The Guangdong government also “paid close attention” to Evergrande’s latest warning, the post said. In a stock exchange filing on December 3, the company said it had received a demand to pay creditors $260 million. 

Source: Forbes

The recent default of property developer China Evergrande Group is an individual case and will pose little impact on the market, the country's regulatory authorities said Friday.

Evergrande's problem was mainly caused by its own mismanagement and break-neck expansion, an official with the People's Bank of China (PBOC) told the press when asked to comment on Evergrande's recent default on guarantee obligation.

The overseas U.S. dollar bond market is quite mature with well-defined legal provisions and procedures on how to deal with relevant issues and its investors are good at risk identification, said the official. "The risks caused by a certain individual real estate firm in the short term will not undermine the fund-raising function of the market for the medium and long run."

Source: China.org.cn

China will help leading futures companies to speed up their development and encourage qualified firms to be listed, the China Futures Association said in a statement, citing an official from the securities regulator.

Authorities would support futures companies to widen and diversify their financing channels and allow them to compete with overseas players, Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, told an industry conference on Sunday, according to the statement.

Source: Reuters

INDONESIA

The board members of the Indonesia Investment Authority (INA) are set to be paid $5 million for the first half of the year, as the fund’s 15 trillion rupiah ($1.04 billion) of assets have yet to be deployed.

According to its financial statement, the salary for its supervisory board and board of directors were set at 72.8 billion rupiah, with 55.7 billion rupiah accrued and set aside but not yet paid.

Meanwhile, the fund had 15 trillion rupiah of assets in savings accounts at PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia and PT Bank Mandiri, which earned 142.9 billion rupiah in interest.

INA has been in talks with 50 investment managers and have signed deals with pension funds and sovereign wealth funds such as Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, APG Asset Management and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Source: Bloomberg

JAPAN

Major Japanese insurance companies are tapping the power of artificial intelligence to simplify their claims-settlement process. They are expecting AI to speed up payments to policyholders and help reduce costs.

Sompo Japan has teamed up with a Tokyo-based start-up to jointly develop an AI-powered settlement system for accident insurance. The company is aiming to start using the new method within fiscal 2022.

Source: NHK

KOREA

Kyobo Life Insurance, one of South Korea's leading life insurers, said Monday that it has requested a reinvestigation into and punishment of some accountants of Deloitte Anjin accused of conspiring to inflate the prices of a put option that one of its strategic investors exercised years earlier.

In October 2018, Affinity Equity Partners exercised a put option on 6 million shares in Kyobo Life Insurance at a strike price of 409,000 won ($345) per share after the insurer failed to deliver on its promise to conduct an initial public offering by September 2015.

Kyobo Life refused to buy those shares, saying the price was too high and lodged a complaint with the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICC). In September this year, the ICC rejected Affinity Equity Partners' request.

Source: The Korea Herald

MALAYSIA

Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB), the flagship fund of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), is expected to announce higher dividends for the financial year ending on December 31, compared with the year before.

Dividends will likely be higher than five sen, higher than last year’s record low of 4.25 sen but no more than 5.5 sen.

Unitholders will also receive a special one-off “Ehsan” payment of 0.75 sen per unit for up to the first 30,000 units as the fund celebrates its 30th anniversary.

However, the number still falls short of 2019 financial year’s total distribution of 5.5 sen per unit, comprising a five sen distribution and a half-a-sen bonus.

Source: Malaysian Reserve

SINGAPORE

Temasek and Malaysia’s PNB participated in the latest funding round for online car marketplace Carro.

Regulatory filings showed that the platform raised $100 million in equity at a valuation bump of 10%. Anderson Investments, a unit of Temasek, invested US$30 million for over 570,990 shares in Carro on November 25, according to the filings. This translates to a share price of about US$52.54, up 10.4% from its SoftBank-led Series C raise in June.

Another entity, PNB Capital Global 2, invested US$25 million at the same valuation.

Source: The Business Times

AstraZeneca has blocked a $7.6 billion takeover of Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB by withholding its 8% stake in the drugmaker from a buyout offer by Advent International and Singapore wealth fund GIC, according to people familiar with the situation.

The UK drugmaker’s opposition meant the offer fell short of the 90% threshold needed for approval, torpedoing what would have been the largest take-private deal in the European healthcare sector this year. 

Astra objected to the deal because it was seeking to buy certain assets from the Swedish company, said the people, who requested not to be identified because the information was private.

Source: Bloomberg