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Weekly investor roundup: NCSSF of China to boost tech and green investments; Australian investors commit to UK projects

The chair of the National Council for Social Security Fund of China said the fund must grasp investment opportunities in technology; Australian institutional investors commit $38 billion to UK's green energy transition; Hang Seng Investment Management takes over management of Hong Kong's largest exchange-traded fund from State Street Global Advisors; and more.
Weekly investor roundup: NCSSF of China to boost tech and green investments; Australian investors commit to UK projects

TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK:

The National Council for Social Security Fund of China will continue to increase investment in key areas such as scientific and technological self-reliance, industrial transformation, green and low-carbon development, and common prosperity.

The remarks were made by the fund’s chairman Liu Wei when hosting a symposium on supporting the real economy with industry leaders and financial experts on March 22, the fund disclosed on March 29.

Liu said the fund needs to grasp investment opportunities in technology-driven high-quality development of the country, and support the implementation of China’s major strategic plans to welcome the opening of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China later this year.

Source: National Council for Social Security Fund

Australian institutional investors, including AustralianSuper and IFM Investors, have committed A$50 billion ($38 billion) to UK projects that support the green energy transition.

AustralianSuper will invest A$15 billion over the next five years, which includes the A$8.7 billion set aside for its joint venture with British Land for the Canada Water Masterplan.

The super owned IFM Investors will invest A$5.27 billion over the next five years to maintain existing assets such as the Manchester and East Midlands airports, and contribute to a new net zero fund that will support solar power, carbon capture and electrification projects.

Source: Australian Financial ReviewFinancial Standard

Hang Seng Investment Management will replace State Street Global Advisors to become the new manager of Tracker Fund of Hong Kong (TraHK), the city’s largest exchange-traded fund (ETF), ending State Street’s 22 years of management of the fund since its establishment in 1999.

TraHK Supervisory Committee announced the decision on March 29, noting that the appointment of the new manager will effectively lower the management fee of TraHK by approximately 31% to 0.022% per annum in the first three years.

“The change in manager comes after completion of a professional manager review and has regard to Hang Seng Investment Management’s relevant experience, expertise and sizable presence in Hong Kong as well as to latest market developments and TraHK’s future development,” it said in the announcement.

The appointment is subject to regulatory approvals and the transition is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2022.

Source: TraHK

 

MORE INVESTOR NEWS:

AUSTRALIA

LGIAsuper has finalised its acquisition of Suncorp’s superannuation business, bringing its funds under management to A$31 billion.

Suncorp Wealth’s executive general manager James Gyton joins the super fund’s leadership team as part of the acquisition to take up the post of chief operating officer for the SPSL (formerly known as the Suncorp Portfolio Services Limited) subsidiary.

The Suncorp fund will retain its branding and operate as a standalone entity but it will eventually be mutualised by LGIAsuper.

Source: Financial Standard

Colonial First State has settled a class action for A$56.3 million inclusive of legal fees that was brought on behalf of about 100,000 super fund members.

The class action alleged that the super fund’s delays in transitioning A$3.2 billion of funds resulted in higher fees and lower investment return for an extended period of time.

The super fund has not admitted wrongdoing in the case, but law firm Maurice Blackburn said that the victims should receive compensation in their superannuation accounts by this year.

Source: Maurice Blackburn, Financial Standard

CHINA

In an unusual policy reversal, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has proposed a revision to allow overseas-listed companies to provide sensitive financial information to foreign regulators.

It is the most significant change by Beijing to try to prevent Chinese companies from being delisted in the US in 2024. The unusual move will give way for US regulators to gain access to Chinese companies’ audit files.

The regulator released a revision on “Provisions on Strengthening Confidentiality and Archives Administration of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies" and started the public consultation on April 2.

Source: CSRC

China Securities Regulatory Commission will continue to improve regulations on private equity funds in China and promote the healthy development of the industry in 2022 ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China later this year, the regulator said in a recent meeting.

It will also continue to overhaul regional equity markets and strike illegal securities and futures activities, strengthening regulations and investor protection.

Source: CSRC

HONG KONG

Mandatory Provident Fund’s default investment strategy or DIS managed HK$86.7 billion ($11.11 billion) of assets by the end of 2021, which is “considerable” growth in less than five years, chairman of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority Ayesha Macpherson Lau said in a blog on March 29.

DIS accounted for 7.3% of the HK$1.18 trillion MPF scheme. The strategy was launched in April 2017 and automatically channels contributions from MPF members who do not provide investment instructions into two constituent funds – the Core Accumulation Fund and Age 65 Plus Fund.

By the end of last year, the Core Accumulation Fund has an average annualized return of 8.7%, and the Age 65 Plus Fund returned 4.5% per year on average.

Source: Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), as representative of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, announced on April 1 that a tender of 3-year government bonds under the Institutional Bond Issuance Programme will be held on April 13, for settlement on April 14.

A total of HK$4 billion ($510 million) 3-year bonds will be tendered. The bonds will mature on April 14, 2025 and will carry interest at the rate of 1.79% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears.

Under the Institutional Bond Issuance Programme, tender is open only to Recognized Dealers which are appointed as Primary Dealers. Each tender must be for an amount of HK$50,000 or integral multiples thereof.

Source: HKMA

Regulators in Hong Kong plan to develop the city into a global, high-quality voluntary carbon market and collaborate with relevant authorities and stakeholders to establish the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) Unified Carbon Market.

The plan was proposed by the Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group on March 30 in its preliminary feasibility assessment of carbon market opportunities for Hong Kong. The group is co-chaired by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission.

The SFC and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing will prepare a detailed roadmap, implementation plan and indicative timeline after consulting with market experts and relevant authorities, SFC said.  

Source: SFC

INDONESIA

The Indonesia Investment Authority (INA) expects its asset under management to rise to between $15 billion and $20 billion over the next two to three years, says its chief executive Ridha Wirakusumah.

According to the Business Times, he said there are several deals in the pipeline that are expected to close by this year, including infrastructure, digital, healthcare, and energy-related sectors.

Founded in February 2021, INA currently has about $5 billion of total assets under management.

Source: Business Times

The Indonesia Impact Fund (IIF), which counts family offices among its limited partners, has announced the completion of its first investment in a leading Edtech company named Cakap, a press statement said Tuesday (March 29).

Cakap operates an online learning platform that offers high-quality, non-formal education in Indonesia, focusing on foreign language and vocational courses, said the statement.
 
IIF is initiated by the Asia-Pacific Business Advisory Council (Abac) and managed by Mandiri Capital Indonesia, the corporate venture capital (VC) arm of Bank Mandiri Group. It is the first Indonesian-run private impact investment fund that is ESG (environmental, social, and governance) compliant.

Source: Cakap

MALAYSIA

The special scheme to allow members of the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) to withdraw RM10,000 ($2,375) to meet financial difficulties brought on by the Covid pandemic will not affect its investment strategy this year, said its chief executive Amir Hamzah Azizan.

“The scheme has been approved by the government and it will run...EPF will support it along the way,” he told reporters after the launch of EPF’s Sustainable Investment Policy and External Fund Managers Pledge on Thursday (March 31).

He said the EPF is continuously diversifying its investments and is aggressively looking for better opportunities, with Malaysia as an anchor market.

The special withdrawal scheme was announced by prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on March 16, 2022 to allow EPF contributors to make the special withdrawal to ease financial burden.

Meanwhile, Azizan said the EPF is committed to sustainable investments – it aims to be fully ESG (environmental, social, and governance) compliant by 2030 and climate neutral by 2050 - and its portfolio managers will be communicating the ESG expectations to its investee companies and fund managers. He did not elaborate on the expectations.

Source: The Edge, The Malaysian Reserve

Malaysia’s state-owned property development company PR1MA has submitted a strategic investment proposal worth RM8.1 billion ($1.9 billion) to the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to explore property investment opportunities in the country.

According to Bernama, prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Qatari government had agreed to its sovereign wealth fund QIA holding further discussions with PR1MA - Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia - to explore investments in affordable housing projects for Malaysians.

He said the decision was personally conveyed by the Qatari Amir Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al Thani to him at a meeting last Tuesday (Mar 29) at the end of his three-day visit to Qatar.

Source: New Straits Times

SINGAPORE

Private equity house Azalea Investment Management, which is backed by Singapore’s state investment fund Temasek Holdings, has launched its first sustainable fund, which will be co-seeded with $50 million by the recently merged Singlife with Aviva.

Azalea will also commit $50 million at launch to the Altrium Sustainability fund ASF I. The portfolio will be run as a fund-of-funds, focusing on managers that incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into their investment process and look to create a lasting impact.

The fund will primarily target buyout and growth strategies, focusing on the five core themes of climate, resource management, healthcare, education, and financial inclusion.

Source: Azalea

Mauritius-based Greenko Wind Projects (GWPML) – which counts Singapore’s wealth fund GIC and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) among its shareholders – has raised $750 million through dollar bonds from the international market to finance energy storage projects in India.

The offering issued last Wednesday (Mar 30) by GWPML, an indirect subsidiary of Greenko Energy Holdings, was priced at 5.5%. Fitch Ratings has assigned a rating of 'BB' to the proposed three-year US dollar senior notes.

 “This was the first international green bond issuance for funding an energy storage project in India. The fundraiser is a testimony to the robust credit quality of the Greenko Group and their strong track record in the international debt capital markets,” said Sameer Gupta, managing director and head of India DCM at Deutsche Bank.

Source: Business Standard

KOREA

Korea Post, has opened a second investment tender for 2022, seeking up to three asset managers for a domestic equity mandate of unspecified value which will be benchmarked against the KOSPI Total Profit Index.

In its request for proposal on March 31, the government postal agency — which has around 150 trillion won ($123.4 billion) — stated that the asset managers can be domestic or foreign, and will each be appointed for a one-year term.

Applicants must have a minimum 50 billion won ($41 million) in assets under management with at least a 60% allocation to equities. In addition, they must also have at least one year of experience managing ESG funds and oversee no less than 10 billion won ($8.2 million) of ESG assets.

Applications are open until April 13 and evaluation and manager selection will be conducted by May 17.

Source: Asia Asset Management

Samsung Asset Management has acquired a 20% equity stake in Amplify Holding, an Illinois-based exchange-traded fund sponsor.

The Korean asset manager, which is an arm of asset owner Samsung Life, acquired the minority stake in Amplify through Samsung AM's US-based special purpose vehicle, Samsung Asset Management U.S.

With the deal, Amplify and Samsung AM are forming a strategic business alliance in the ETF space, and the asset manager will have exclusivity to offer Amplify products in Asia. The companies also plan to develop new products and marketing strategies.

Source: Global Newswire

JAPAN

Japan Exchange Group (JPX), the country’s stock exchange operator, and S&P Dow Jones Indices have launched an environmental, social and governance score index series to boost the transparency and growth of the Japanese ESG market.

The new S&P/JPX 500 ESG Score Tilted Index Series aims to improve the overall ESG score of Japan’s TOPIX 500 stock index, as investors increasingly integrate ESG values into mainstream Japanese equity portfolios

The indices employ a range of scaling factors that, when applied to the weighting scheme, provide varying magnitudes of tilting. Higher scaling factors imply that the tilted index would have relatively higher S&P DJI ESG score improvement, but also greater differences in constituent weights relative to the parent index.

Source:  Japan Exchange Group

INTERNATIONAL

Ivanhoé Cambridge, through a joint venture with Irongate Group and Built, has announced the acquisition of the 1.57-hectare Younghusband Woolstores development site in Kensington, Melbourne.

Ivanhoe Cambridge is a real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), one of Canada’s leading pension fund managers with over C$420 billion ($337 billion) in AUM.

Younghusband is a heritage-listed site with planning approvals in place for a multi-stage infill precinct comprising up to 56,000sqm of A grade office and retail offering targeting best in class sustainability ratings.

Upon acquisition, the joint venture will immediately commence construction on stage 1 of the project for delivery in early 2024.

Source: CDPQ

TAIWAN

China Life Insurance (Taiwan) and Tokio Marine Newa Insurance have formed a partnership to jointly promote and expand their insurance product offerings and market.

Property insurer Tokio Marine Newa will train China Life’s about 15,000 sales agents, including helping them pass licensure tests to be able to register as Tokio Marine’s sales agents, the two companies told a joint news conference in Taipei on March 29.

The sales agents can then sell both China Life’s life insurance policies and Tokio Marine’s property insurance policies, including car, fire and travel insurance, the companies said.

Source: Taipei Times

Taiwan Life Insurance has committed to invest a total of $35 million in funds managed by private equity firms StepStone and Advent International, according to a disclosure.

Source: DealStreetAsia

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