Weekly investors roundup: GIC and APG to acquire major stake in The Student Hotel; Omers to buy Australian mobile tower asset developer Stilmark

Singapore’s GIC teams up with Dutch pension fund APG to acquire a substantial stake in hospitality brand The Student Hotel valued at $2.22 billion; Omers Infrastructure plans to take over Australian mobile tower assets developer Stilmark for undisclosed sum; Malaysia's Employees Provident Fund reported an 18% decline in gross investment income for Q1 2022; and more.
Weekly investors roundup: GIC and APG to acquire major stake in The Student Hotel; Omers to buy Australian mobile tower asset developer Stilmark


Singapore’s GIC and Dutch pension fund APG will acquire a substantial stake in hybrid hospitality brand The Student Hotel (TSH) from asset-management business Aermont Capita, in a move that will value the European student accommodation and hotel group at €2.1 billion ($2.22 billion).

In a joint statement on Tuesday (Jun 21), the parties said that under the deal, APG and TSH’s founder Charlie MacGregor will raise their current stakes in the group. This is GIC’s first investment in TSH. The transaction is, however, subject to approval from the relevant regulatory authorities.

With GIC and APG’s latest commitments, TSH will be able to accelerate its growth strategy to expand into key European cities and grow its presence to 50 hotels from the current 25 now under ownership. 

Source: Business Times GIC

Omers Infrastructure has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Stilmark, an independent Australian developer, owner and operator of mobile tower assets. The details of this transaction are not being disclosed.

Since its establishment in 2013, Stilmark has delivered numerous development and build projects for TPG and Optus, and has grown a national portfolio and pipeline of towers, with all sites secured under long-term revenue agreements. Stilmark is currently owned by its founders, management team, family offices and US-based ATN International.

Following the acquisition, Omers will consolidate the Stilmark Group with another Australian telecommunications tower business it bought from TPG Telecom Ltd. in May. The assets will be managed by Omers Infrastructure, which also manages a number of Australian assets, including the Port of Melbourne and FRV Australia, a renewable energy firm.

Omers Infrastructure manages infrastructure investments on behalf of Canadian pension fund Omers, and currently has approximately $25 billion (C$32 billion) in assets under management.

Source: Omers

Malaysia's Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has reported a gross investment income of 15.9 billion ringgit ($3.8 billion) for Q1 2022, down 18% from the year before, amid a global sell-off of stocks and bonds.

The decline was due to several factors, including geopolitical tensions, exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine war, soaring inflationary pressures and rising interest rates, its chief executive Amir Hamzah Azizan said in a media release on June 21.

However, the EPF portfolio managed to eke out a gain, with its assets at the close of the quarter valued at 1.02 trillion ringgit, up marginally from 1.01 trillion ringgit as of Dec 31, 2021.

Source: Pensions & Investments



State Super has appointed Cathy Yuncken to the board, bringing with her over 30 years of executive leadership experience.

Yuncken is currently also a non-executive director at Eclipx Group, chair of the St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation and managing director of See Y. Other directorships have included chair of BT Private Nominees, executive director of the Advisory Boards of BankSA and Bank of Melbourne and non-executive director of Fitted for Work.

Her executive career has also included roles at Bank of America, Barclays Capital, and senior leadership roles at GE Capital, Commonwealth Bank’s institutional bank, and Westpac Group.

Source: State Super

The A$6.3 billion ($4.36 billion) TWUSuper has awarded a global bond mandate to JP Morgan Asset Management’s new Global Bond Fund, which was launched this month.

The fund is a high conviction, diversified portfolio investing in global investment-grade bonds and focused on income, diversification, and volatility management.

The mandate was awarded as the Super is realigning its investments to the objectives of the Your Future, Your Super regime which includes reducing costs, tracking errors and improving returns.

Source: Financial Standard

Melbourne-based superannuation fund, Hostplus has made a $500 million anchor commitment to a new dedicated Apollo Asia Pacific credit strategy that Apollo Global Management launched with $1.25 billion in assets, according to a joint press release on June 22.

The superannuation fund, which manages more than $47.2 billion (A$68 billion) in retirement assets, is making its commitment alongside Apollo's internal and affiliated insurance balance sheets, which accounts for the remainder of the initial capital raised for the strategy.

"This launch is part of our broader investment strategy to help to further diversify our investment portfolio to protect and grow our member investments over the long-term," said Hostplus Chief executive David Elia in the release.

Apollo's new Asia Pacific credit strategy will focus on investing in Australia, India, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong. Apollo already has about $10 billion of assets under management invested in the region.

Source: Apollo

Squirrel Super has been ordered to pay a A$55,000 ($38,100) penalty for false and misleading marketing regarding investing in residential property via self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF).

The federal court found that Squirrel had distributed a brochure conveying misleading representations about residential property investment returns at a seminar and via email on about 9,420 occasions between March 2015 and January 2019.

The misleading representations included claims that residential property in metropolitan locations was likely to double in value every 7-10 years and generate a rental return of around 4 - 5% per annum and that there is a ‘remarkable’ difference in returns between investing in a regular superannuation fund (7%) and using an SMSF that purchased residential property (14%).

The Australian Services & Investments Commission (Asic) had also issued two infringement notices to Squirrel regarding the same conduct in October 2018 which Squirrel failed to pay.

Source: Australian Securities & Investments Corporation

Australia's life insurance industry will have a new peak body, the Council of Australian Life Insurers (Cali), to be launched later this year.

Cali will be the collective voice of the life insurance industry, with a focus on meeting the evolving needs and expectations of its customers, partners, stakeholders and the community, and supporting the ongoing progress and development of the industry.

The new industry body will be seeking to take over future responsibility of the Life Insurance Code of Practice (Licop), as part of the transition arrangements with the Financial Services Council.

Source: Adviser Voice


China's securities regulator has proposed rules to regulate private pension investment via mutual funds, setting the criteria for qualified products and sales agents under a scheme that will channel fresh savings into the country's capital markets.

The draft rules, published by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) late on Friday (June 24), came after Beijing in April launched a milestone private pension scheme to tackle the challenges of an aging population.

Under the scheme, eligible Chinese citizens can buy mutual funds, savings deposits and insurance products via their own individual pension accounts, potentially boosting a pension market that has lured foreign asset managers including Fidelity International and BlackRock.

Source: Reuters

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) said on Friday its wealth management joint venture with Goldman Sachs Group Inc had received the country's banking regulator's approval to begin operations.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission's (CBIRC) nod comes as the world's second-largest economy opens up its giant financial sector to investments from foreign players, allowing them to collaborate with domestic banks.

Goldman Sachs ICBC Wealth Management, set up in May last year with a 51% funding contribution from US banking giant Goldman and 49% by ICBC, will now offer a broad range of investment products to the Chinese market over time, including quantitative investment strategies.

Source: Reuters

Singapore private market exchange ADDX is teaming up with Beijing-based China Construction Bank to allow the lender to offer Mainland investors access to products on ADDX’s platform.

This will be done through a $200 million quota under China’s Qualified Domestic Limited Partnership scheme (QDLP), a ten-year-old programme that allows sophisticated local investors to invest in onshore funds that invest overseas, including public and private markets investment products.

ADDX and China Construction Bank have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on the custody and distribution of the quota allocation, ADDX says in a statement.

Source: Asia Asset Management


State pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has earmarked close to PHP272 million ($4.95 million) in emergency loans for members and pensioners who were affected by massive flooding due to heavy rains in the province of Davao de Oro in April.

About 12,325 active members and 1,257 old-age and disability pensioners are expected to benefit from the loan. Active members must be working or residing in the calamity-declared area during that period to be eligible.

Source: Philippine News Agency


Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC has obtained a A$295 million ($205 million) green loan from DBS for the refinancing of Chifley Tower Sydney, an iconic development in the heart of Sydney’s Central Business District, according to a statement on June 22.

The Chifley Tower Sydney has attained Green Star certification by the Green Building Council of Australia as well as a 5.5-Star Nabers energy rating. The facility is one of the largest green loans extended by a Singapore lender in the Australian market and is also DBS’ first AUD-denominated green loan.

The green loan is part of GIC’s holistic and long-term approach toward sustainability across the firm’s investment and corporate processes. As for DBS, the green loan is part of its broader efforts to provide corporates with more sustainable financing solutions as they transition their operations and portfolios towards a low-carbon future, said the statement.

Source: DBS

Singapore’s GIC is understood to have abandoned plans to buy the Southern Cross Towers complex in Melbourne after the private equity owners refused to drop the price by A$200 million ($138 million), according to a report by The Australian on Friday (June 24).

In April this year, property fund manager Charter Hall was reported to be in talks to close Australia’s biggest direct office tower deal transaction – valued at A$2.1 billion ($1.45 billion) - with backing from GIC.

The two-tower skyscraper complex on Exhibition St in Melbourne’s central business district is owned jointly by Brookfield and Blackstone. GIC has declined AsianInvestor’s request for comments.  

Source: The Australian

Digital assets platform FalconX has been valued at $8 billion in a new funding round led by Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and B Capital, more than doubling its valuation in 10 months, its chief executive and founder Raghu Yarlagadda said.

This funding round totalled $150 million from new and existing investors, bringing fresh capital to the company, despite the recent slump in the cryptocurrency market.

Besides GIC, new investors in the company include private equity firm Thoma Bravo and Adams Street Capital, while existing investors Tiger Global Management, Thoma Bravo and Wellington Management poured more money into FalconX.

Source: Reuters

Singapore’s GIC has entered an agreement to jointly acquire Direct ChassisLink (DCLI), a leading chassis provider in the US, together with its investment partners Omers Infrastructure and Wren House Infrastructure Management for an undisclosed sum.

DCLI – owned by funds managed by Apollo and EQT – has over 151,000 marine and 100,000 domestic chassis in its fleet. The company – which operates across port and rail terminals in the US - is well-positioned to capitalise on the growing trend among companies seeking to drive down transportation costs and reduce their carbon footprint, said GIC’s managing director and head of infrastructure for Americas, Chin Hau Boon.

The transaction is expected to be concluded in H2 2022, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Source: GIC Omers

US software company Zendesk has agreed to be acquired by an investment consortium led by Hellman & Friedman and Permira in a $10.2 billion deal, which also includes Singapore’s GIC and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by Zendesk’s board of directors, is expected to close in Q4 2022, and is subject to customary closing conditions, including Zendesk stockholder approval.

Source: Reuters SWFI


The fund management arms of HSBC and Morgan Stanley were among three other parties to win a mandate from Taiwan's largest pension manager to run Asia's first climate change-focused fund worth a total $2.3 billion in assets.

Legal & General Investment Management, Schroder Investment Management, and Wellington Management were also selected, with each of them getting to manage $460 million worth of assets, Taiwan's Bureau of Labor Funds (BLF) said on Friday (June 24).

Source: Reuters

Cathay Life Insurance has agreed to commit $25 million each to OrbiMed Asia Partners V and OrbiMed Private Investments IX. Both funds are managed by OrbiMed Advisors.

The Taiwanese insurer’s recent private equity commitments have focused on venture capital and buyout private equity strategies.

Source: Private Equity International

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