TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK

Korea Investment Corporation said the strong performance of traditional assets has resulted in a decrease in its alternative assets. But the two straight years of declines do not indicate its shift from an announced plan to increase alternative investments to 25% of its portfolio by 2027.

KIC chief executive officer Jin Seoung-ho made the remarks during a recent parliamentary Q&A session, as Korean lawmakers criticised the sovereign wealth fund’s declining proportion of alternative investments.

KIC’s alternative assets size reached highest level of 16.5% of the portfolio in 2018, but dropped to 15.6% in 2019 and further down to 15.3% last year. By the end of May, the proportion picked up to 16.1%.

Source: The Korea Economic Daily; AsianInvestor

Korea Investment Corporation sees investment opportunities in US traditional retail companies that are applying new business model through new information technology.

Its head of New York office Shin Yong-seon made the remarks during the New York International Financial Cooperation Council hosted by KIC and attended by financial institutions and government officials from the US and Korea on Thursday (October 21).

The forum discussed Korean institutional investors’ innovative strategies for offline retail investments in North America.

Source: KIC

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX says it has raised $420 million in a new round of funding from asset owners including Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (OTPP), Singapore’s Temasek, valuing the company at $25 billion.

The Bahamas-based firm said on Thursday (October 21) that it raised the fresh cash from a total of 69 investors including the OTPP, Temasek, BlackRock and Sequoia.

The investment is a top-up to FTX’s series B financing round in July, in which it raised $900 million at an $18 billion valuation. FTX said it also scored an additional $100 million from Temasek which was not disclosed at the time.

Source: CNBC

The family office for Nicky Oppenheimer and his son Jonathan has set up an outpost in Singapore to boost its Asia exposure and partner with the region’s wealthy.

Edoardo Collevecchio, the former chief of staff for Oppenheimer Generations, is moving from London to build and lead its team in Singapore, while Yi Ling Ong joins from Temasek Holdings Pte as head of investment for the Asia unit, the company said in a statement.

The investment firm, which represents a branch of the dynasty that founded mining giant Anglo American and turned De Beers into the world’s largest diamond producer, said it hopes a presence in the city-state will help drive investments between Asia and its home market of Africa.

Source: Bloomberg

A ”leading Asian sovereign wealth fund”, believed to be Singapore’s GIC, together with existing investors and a new investor, have committed $750 million (€644 million) to the newly-launched ESR Japan Income Fund (JIF) at its initial close.

ESR declined to confirm the identity of investors in the logistics real estate fund.

But IPE Real Assets has learned from market sources that GIC, an existing investor with various ESR ventures in the Asia-Pacific region, and especially in Australia, has emerged as the cornerstone investor in the new fund.

Source: IPE Real Assets

 

MORE INVESTMENT NEWS:

AUSTRALIA

The Commonwealth Bank-owned Colonial First State announced on October 18 that it has inked a deal with asset manager BlackRock to help run its investment strategies across its $15 billion default superannuation business as it prepares for separation from the bank and life under new majority owner KKR.

BlackRock’s multi-asset investment team will actively manage investments across Colonial First State‘s two MySuper products, in attempt to boost its ranking in the government’s annual performance test next year.

Chief executive of superannuation at Colonial, Kelly Power said the deal with BlackRock had the support of both CBA and KKR and would help the business not just pass next year’s test but outperform in the long run.

Source: AFR

INDIA

India’s passive fund assets are expected to hit 25 trillion rupees ($334.5 billion) by 2025, an increase of more than eight-fold from current levels, driven partly by cheaper costs and underperformance of active funds, according to Mumbai-based investment platform Finity.

It says assets under management of passive funds in India grew an average of 69% a year over the past five years; as of end-March there were more than 160 passive funds with 3 trillion rupees of combined assets.

Source: Asia Asset Management

INDONESIA 

Abu Dhabi’s biggest sovereign wealth fund has agreed to lead fundraising at GoTo Group, ahead of a listing that could value Indonesia’s biggest internet firm at as much as $30 billion.

The $400 million pre-IPO commitment by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will be the first principal investment by its private equity arm into a technology business in Southeast Asia and its largest deal in Indonesia, according to a statement on Oct 20.

Source: Bloomberg

JAPAN

CPP Investments announced on October 19, that it has committed JPY 110 billion (C$1.3 billion) to the newly established GLP Japan Development Partners IV (GLP JDP IV). The Canadian pension fund's latest commitment marks its fourth modern logistics partnership in Japan with GLP, a leading global investment manager and business builder in logistics.

GLP JDP IV has raised JPY 311 billion (C$3.6 billion) so far and is targeting JPY 412 billion (C$4.7 billion) of total equity commitments, with a focus on developing modern logistics facilities in Japan, in particular large-scale projects in the Greater Tokyo and Greater Osaka areas. When fully deployed, GLP JDP IV is expected to reach over JPY 1 trillion (C$11.5 billion) in assets under management.

Following the inaugural Japan Development Venture in 2011, the CPP Investments and GLP have established two subsequent Japan development ventures in 2016 and 2018.

Source: CPPInvestments

Nippon Life Insurance will invest $80 billion in its first US renewable energy infrastructure project through a joint investment group named Powering Sustainable Change Initiative established by Canadian life insurer Sun Life Financial.

This is Nippon Life’s first investment in US renewable energy. It will invest through its asset management subsidiary Nippon Life Global Investors Americas, Nippon Life announced on Oct 20.

The initiative targets renewable energy infrastructure assets such as wind, solar and battery.

Source: Nippon Life Insurance

Sumitomo Life Insurance has appointed its US investment arm Symetra Investment Management to manage its two trillion yen ($17.6 billion) of foreign corporate bond portfolio to enhance investment efficiency and increase returns.

“Given the continuing low interest rate environment, Sumitomo Life aims to increase its long-term and stable investment yield by expanding its investment in overseas credit assets,” it announced on Oct 18.

Source: Sumitomo Life Insurance

Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance, Japan’s third-largest private life insurance firm, expects the yen’s weakness to be corrected and plans to reduce investment in foreign sovereign bonds in the six months to March, a top investment planning executive said on Monday.

It plans to increase holdings of domestic bonds and could step up buying if yields rise as the firm seeks to reduce mismatch between its assets and long-term liabilities ahead of a planned introduction of new solvency rules in 2025, Yoshimasa Osaki, general manager of investment planning and research told a news conference.

Source: Reuters

PHILIPPINES

The Philippines' state-owned Social Security System (SSS) approved around 1.92 billion pesos ($37.76 million) of loans in the eight months through August, down 17% from 2.31 billion pesos in the same period of 2020, because fewer retirees borrowed from its pension loan scheme.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora Ignacio said there were 43,424 retiree borrowers in the first eight months of 2021, 15% less than in all of last year.

Source: Asia Asset Management

SINGAPORE

GIC is in late-stage talks to sell its 49% stake in the Dexus Australian Logistics Trust, which is run by ASX-listed Dexus and owns a $3.5 billion portfolio of warehouses and business parks mostly in Victoria and NSW.

Sources said GIC had identified a buyer, and agreed on an eye-watering $1.7 billion-odd price, however, the mooted transaction needed to pass pre-emption rights and other regulatory approvals, before the parties could sign on the dotted line.

The buyer is said to be a large offshore pension fund. Sources said it could take a few months for the deal to complete.

Source: Australian Financial Review

Singapore Exchange (SGX) has opened the SGX-International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) office in India's Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (Gift City), according to a Business Times report on Friday.

SGX will also be launching Gift Data Connect to provide SGX's international members with access to real-time trading data of Nifty contracts via its derivatives trading platform and give investors "unrivalled insights into India's equity market," the newspaper said.

Source: Business Times

TAIWAN

Cathay Life Insurance aims to double its cumulative investment in domestic solar power projects to at least NT$20 billion ($716.8 million) by 2025, as the green energy business yields high rates of return and growing the sector is good for the environment, Cathay Life president Liu Shan-chi said on October 23.

The life insurer has invested NT$10 billion in 250 local photovoltaic farms, including rooftop, ground-mounted and floating solar systems, with a combined capacity of 200 megawatts.

The company plans to seek more projects in coming years, boosting the overall capacity of the photovoltaic farms it invests in to 400MW or more by the end of 2025, Liu said.

Source: Taipei Times

THAILAND

Thailand’s fund management industry recorded a net inflow of 132.2 billion baht ($2.85 billion) in the first nine months of the year, with most of the money going into Chinese and global equity funds.

The highest inflow – 78.5 billion baht – was into China equity funds, while global equity funds attracted 68.5 billion baht, Morningstar says in a report on October 19.

Source: Asia Asset Management