TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK:

The Philippines’ Social Security System (SSS) incurred a net loss in 2020 that was 31.5% wider than in 2019, according to a newly published audit report.

The loss was incurred primarily from lower contributions in the wake of the coronavirus crisis and its adoption of new accounting standards.

The fund’s net loss increased to $8.3 billion (427.27 billion pesos) from $6.5 billion (324.85 billion pesos ) in 2019,  according to the Commission of Audit, which audits the accounts of all government funds and properties.

The SSS manages retirement savings of private sector employees and had $12.82 billion (639.99 billion pesos) of total assets as of end-2020.

Source: Asia Asset Management

Singapore Exchange (SGX) has made climate reporting mandatory for issuers in select sectors from 2023 onwards, with more to follow by 2024.

In two years, listed companies in the financial energy and agriculture, food and forest products industries must provide climate-related disclosures based on TCFD (Task Force of Climate-related Financial Disclosures) recommendations.

By 2024, companies in the materials and buildings and transportation sectors are also subject to mandatory reporting.

Source: The Business Times

New Zealand Super (NZ Super) has awarded UBS Asset Management with two ESG index equity fund mandates.

UBS AM will manage $4.9 billion across the two passive mandates, tailoring the funds to the sovereign wealth fund’s performance and responsible investment requirements.

Source: Financial Standard

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund has invested in cryptocurrency company Anchorage and Colombian Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) startup Addi.

GIC took part in Anchorage’s Series D funding round that raised $350 million, alongside a wide range of investors including KKR, Goldman Sachs, Andreessen Horowitz, BlackRock and PayPal Ventures.

The fund also took part in Addi’s latest funding round, comprising $200 million of debt and equity - $80 million in equity from GIC, Softbank’s Latin America Fund and others. Goldman Sachs groups promoted $215 million in debt financing. The startup offers customers in Latin America BNPL services.

Source: GIC, TechCrunch, Bloomberg

 

MORE INVESTOR NEWS:

AUSTRALIA

Cbus Super and NSW energy industry super fund EISS Super, have signed a memorandum of understanding to complete a merger in 2022.

With $67 billion ($47.65 billion) in funds under management, Cbus is one of Australia’s oldest and best performing industry super funds, returning on average 9.25% per annum over the last 37 years. Cbus’ MySuper investment option returned 19.34% for the 2021 financial year, a record year for the fund.

Cbus CEO Justin Arter said the merger would further strengthen Cbus’ position as a leading industry fund, “Cbus has had a connection and affinity with the electrical industry for decades.

Source: Cbus

CHINA

UBS Group is in talks with China Life Insurance to launch an asset management joint venture in China, two sources said, as part of the Swiss bank's plan to bolster its presence in the world's second-largest economy.

UBS will hold a majority stake in the business unit, which, if finalised, will be China's first foreign majority-owned asset management joint venture with an insurer since it permitted majority foreign holdings in such partnerships in 2019.

China Life and UBS have signed a memorandum of understanding to set up the joint venture, the formal launch of which will be subject to approval from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), said one of the sources.

Source: Reuters

Deutsche Bank (China) announced on Dec 15 that it has received regulatory approval to launch its domestic custody services for securities investment funds established in China, becoming the first EU bank and the second foreign bank to offer such services in China.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) approved the first licence of such kind to Citibank in September.

Source: China Daily

The Swedish pension fund AP7 on Dec 8 updated its blacklist and added a total of seven new companies including five Chinese coal-fired power companies, the fund recently announced.

The pension fund AP7’s blacklist is updated twice a year, in June and in December. This time five Chinese companies are blacklisted due to the Paris Agreement. They are China Power International Development, China Shenhua Energy Company, Huadian Power International Corp, Shanxi Lu’An Environmental Energy Development, and TBEA.

Source: ScandAsia

HONG KONG

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong on Dec 17 announced the city’s listing regime for special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs) that will take effect on Jan 1, 2022.

It sets the fundraising threshold for Spacs at HK$1 billion ($128 million) but lowered the minimum number of institutional professional investors required to 20 from the originally proposed 30.

Retail investors are barred from investing in Spacs.

Source: HKEX

Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA) and Macau’s de facto central bank, Monetary Authority of Macao (AMCM), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Dec 14 to enhance their information exchange, professional training and technical sharing.

Following the signing of this MoU, MPFA will share its experience in its efforts in the refinement of the MPF System and will exchange views with the AMCM on the regulation of the financial industry.

Source: MPFA

INDIA

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has extended the deadline for fund managers to adopt risk management frameworks and implement a two-tier structure for the benchmarking of mutual fund schemes.

India’s securities regulator originally set the deadline for January 1 when it announced the measures, aimed at improving investor protection, in September. The deadline has been pushed by three months to April 1.

Source: Asia Asset Management

KOREA

Public Officials Benefit Association (Poba) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) have jointly invested $40 million in multifamily assets in downtown San Jose, California, an official from POBA told The Korea Economic Daily.

The investment was made through the two investors’ $600 million joint venture for US commercial real estate loan investment, which was founded in April 2021 marking their fourth co-investment fund since 2018. Los Angeles-headquartered real estate investment firm PCCP LLC runs the fund.

Source: Korea Economic Daily

National Pension Service (NPS) will back 100 billion won ($84 million) in a private equity fund’s acquisition of the country’s largest hydrogen gas producer Deokyang in its first investment in the domestic hydrogen economy.

According to investment banking sources, NPS has decided to join as an investor to the 850 billion won purchase of Deokyang by Macquarie Korea Asset Management.

Source: Pulse

A Korean industry group for small and medium businesses is seeking bids from securities firms to provide brokerage and investment services for a $3 billion foreign mandate, and an absolute return mandate comprising a $300 million overseas fund of funds and a 50 billion won ($42 million) domestic investment fund.

The Korea Federation of SMEs, or KBIZ, will hire four firms for the $3 billion mandate, which will focus on North American stocks and is benchmarked against the S&P 500 Index, the group says in a request for proposal on December 17.

Source: Asia Asset Management

Government Employees Pension Service (GEPS) is seeking bids from securities firms to provide trading brokerage services for its foreign investment portfolios.

It will hire nine firms – six for foreign stocks and exchange-traded funds, and three for global bonds, GEPS says in its request for proposal on December 13. It didn’t specify the value of the portfolios.

The firms will be appointed for a period of six months starting January 1.

Source: Asia Asset Management

MALAYSIA

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has cut the minimum amount that special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) are required to raise in an initial public offering to $23.75 million (100 million ringgit) from $35.5 million (150 million ringgit) and has raised the minimum IPO price to 2 ringgit from 0.50 ringgit.

These are among the key revisions Malaysia’s securities regulator has made to its 12-year-old framework for SPACs, with the aim to promote the development of the local capital market.

The revised framework will take effect on January 1, the SC says in a statement on December 16. The regulator will now also allow SPACs to issue securities to acquire a qualifying target firm instead of having to pay all in cash, as was the previous rule.

Source: Asia Asset Management

NEW ZEALAND

NZ Super Fund joined a consortium which included Pioneer Capital and Comprador Holdings to buy a majority stake in New Zealand’s leading fertility treatment provider Fertility Associates.

Fertility Associates is the leading provider of reproductive support, diagnostic services and fertility treatments in New Zealand and Malaysia. To date Fertility Associates has helped bring 25,000 babies into the world in New Zealand and 5,000 babies in Malaysia.

The consortium acquired approximately 70% of the business, with the balance continuing to be owned by Fertility Associates’ doctors and management team.

Source: NZ Super Fund

SINGAPORE

Singapore’s UOB Asset Management and insurer NTUC Income have teamed up to give the latter’s corporate customers access to UOBAM Invest via the insurance firm’s corporate insurance platform, BIX.

UOBAM Invest is Singapore’s first digital advisory service for corporate investors, whilst BIX is Income’s corporate insurance self-serve platform. UOBAM is the first partner on board BIX, the two said in a joint announcement.

Source: Singapore Business Review