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Weekly investors roundup: GIC wants Warren Buffet's favourite REIT; NZ Super makes sustainability push; CalSTRS on Asia property spending spree

Singapore's GIC wants to buy the only the only REIT which Buffett has invested in; NZ Super Fund has shifted about 40% of its overall investment portfolio to market indices that align with the Paris Agreement; CalSTRS committed $825 million to funds investing in Asia Pacific real estate during the first half of 2022.
Weekly investors roundup: GIC wants Warren Buffet's favourite REIT; NZ Super makes sustainability push; CalSTRS on Asia property spending spree

TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK

GIC has made a second mega-bet on the US property market in the last month, having joined hands with an American partner to buy Warren Buffett’s favourite REIT for $14 billion in cash.

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund has teamed up with Oak Street, a real estate private equity division of New York-based asset manager Blue Owl Capital, to sign a definitive agreement to acquire all of the shares in NYSE-listed Store Capital, the only REIT which Berkshire Hathaway boss Buffett has invested in.

The buyout, which remains subject to stockholder approval, will give GIC and Oak Street ownership of Store Capital’s portfolio of 3,012 single-tenant commercial and industrial properties across the United States.

The joint venture is buying out Store at $32.25 per share in cash, representing a 20.4 percent increase from its $26.79 stock price on 14 September and a premium of 17.8 percent when compared to its 90-day average share price. On the day of the announcement, the trust’s stock rose 20%.

Source: Mingtiandi

NZ Super Fund announced last week that it has shifted about 40% of its overall investment portfolio to market indices that align with the Paris Agreement, in a bid to enhance its push towards sustainability,

The changes apply to the Fund’s index-tracking Reference Portfolio benchmark and its corresponding NZ$25 billion ($14.88 billion) of passive investments in global equities .

The changes will further reduce the Fund’s exposure to carbon emissions. They will also significantly reduce the number of publicly listed companies that the Fund owns directly.

Source: NZ Super

The California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) committed $825 million to funds investing in Asia Pacific real estate during the first half of 2022, including vehicles backed by PAG, Greystar and Blackstone, according to a recent disclosure.

The second largest US pension fund said that from January to June it had agreed to invest $200 million in PAG Real Estate Partners (PREP) III, a pan-Asian core-plus/value-add real estate vehicle managed by Hong Kong-based PAG and put forth another $125 million for Greystar Equity Partners Asia Pacific Fund I.

CalSTRS also committed $500 million to Blackstone Real Estate Partners X (BREP X), the tenth edition of the US private equity firm’s global opportunistic fund, which does also invest within Asia.

Source: CalSTRS

OTHER INVESTMENT NEWS

AUSTRALIA

UniSuper has capped any future fossil fuel investments to only represent 7% of its total portfolio and has divested from companies that generate over 10% of their revenue from the extraction and production of thermal coal.

The $72.2 billion (A$108 billion) Australian industry super fund detailed these changes in its fifth annual climate risk report, which serves to outline its progress towards its net zero 2050 target and activities around climate risk management.

At the end of 30 June 2022, 2.8% of the fund's investments were in fossil fuels, up from 2.55% in 2021. UniSuper said this was not due to increased allocations but because the value of their existing investments increased due to changes in share prices.

Source: Financial Standard

CHINA

Wang Bin, former Party chief and chairman of China Life Insurance (Group) Company, has been arrested on suspicion of taking bribes and concealing overseas savings, the Supreme People's Procuratorate said in a statement on Sep 13.

Wang's case was handed over to the prosecuting agency after the National Commission of Supervision wrapped up its investigation, the SPP statement added.

Source: Xinhua

HONG KONG

Evertas Inc. (Evertas), a Chicago-based crypto asset insurance company focusing on covering the full spectrum of crypto risks for institutional holders of crypto assets and blockchain technology, will expand to Australia and Hong Kong.

Evertas revealed that around $4 billion in crypto assets were stolen in 2021 alone, with a tiny fraction of those losses protected by insurance.

The expansion will see Evertas write policies protecting against the theft or loss of crypto assets as Australia and Hong Kong have become “home to more than their fair share of blockchain innovation”.

Source: Insurance Business Asia

INDIA

Mahindra Group and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers) have announced a strategic partnership to capitalise on the growing renewables opportunity in India and contribute towards the country’s decarbonization ambitions.

Both parties have signed binding agreements for the Ontario Teachers’ will acquire a 30% equity stake in Mahindra Susten Private Limited at an equity value of $300 million.

The agreement also entails the setting up of an Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) in compliance with applicable regulations of the Securities and Exchange Board of India. The InvIT is initially proposed to comprise renewable power assets seeded by Mahindra Susten with operational capacity of around 1.54 GWp. As part of the proposed transaction, shareholder loans totalling $73 million advanced by Mahindra Group to Mahindra Susten will be repaid.

Mahindra Group and Ontario Teachers’ will jointly explore the sale of an additional 9.99% stake in Mahindra Susten by May 31, 2023. Mahindra Group will deploy these funds, plus an incremental amount of up to $220 million into the business and InvIT over the next seven years.

Over the same timeline, the Ontario Teachers’ has agreed to commit to an additional amount of up to $450 million to the business and the InvIT.

Source: Ontario Teachers’

KOREA

South Korea’s state pension payment to the retirees is estimated to exceed W30 trillion ($21.5 billion) for the first time this year, raising concerns that the country’s pension fund would be completely depleted faster than expected amid the fast-ageing population with plummeting birthrates.

According to data released by the Ministry of Economy and Finance on Wednesday, the country’s state pension fund National Pension Service (NPS) is expected to pay a total of W30.61 trillion in its pension fund in 2022. State pension payment has been on the fast rise year after year from W3.58 trillion in 2005 to W15.18 trillion in 2015, W20.75 trillion in 2018, W25.65 trillion in 2020, and W29.14 trillion in 2021.

NPS’s half-year return as of the end of June this year was a negative 8%, with W882.65 trillion in assets under management, down W76 trillion from six months ago.

Source: Maeil Business News Korea

MALAYSIA

Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin, chief investment officer (CIO) of Kumpulan Wang Persaraan Diperbadankan (Kwap), could be poached to helm the country’s largest private hospital operator, KPJ Healthcare Bhd, according to sources.

This follows the departure of Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh effective from Sept 7, after just five months as managing director (MD) of KPJ Healthcare, which is controlled by Johor Corp (JCorp). Syukrie, 48, said he had resigned “to pursue other opportunities”.

Prior to Kwap, Hazman, 41, was MD of Damansara Assets Sdn Bhd, which is a subsidiary of JCorp. He had a 12-year stint with Khazanah Nasional Bhd, where he served in various roles across the organisation, including as senior vice-president of Khazanah Europe Investment Ltd, based in London.

“Hazman has been offered the position as KPJ Healthcare’s managing director. It is not a surprise considering his past experience with the JCorp group,” a source says. He joined Kwap earlier this year as CIO, a position that had been vacant for more than a year.

Source: The Edge

MIDDLE EAST

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) wants to acquire a 30% stake in Riyadh-based travel firm Almosafer, a subsidiary of Seera Group, for $412 million.

As part of the proposal, Seera’s destination management company — Discover Saudi and its Hajj and Umrah travel operator — Mawasim will fall under Almosafer.

The Seera Group stated that the capital infusion would be used to scale its inbound, outbound, religious and domestic tourism operations, in a statement to the Saudi Stock Exchange.

Chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the $620 billion PIF is attempting to make deeper inroads into the public markets as it pursues the goal of increasing its assets to about $1 trillion by 2025.

Source: Bloomberg

PHILIPPINES

The global spike in interest rates has hit the insurance industry with a double-edged sword, with one side carving a path for high-return investment policies, and the other discouraging consumers from taking on additional payments.

Prudential Corp. Asia chief health officer Andrew Wong yesterday said life insurers could exploit the rate hikes to their advantage by crafting high-yielding investment plans to attract consumers to get insured.

However, Wong said the monetary tightening enforced by central banks worldwide may prevent debt-ridden individuals from buying insurance products.

In August, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) raised its benchmark rate by 50 basis points to 3.75 percent to anchor pricing expectations and avert an inflation runaway.

Despite the challenges, Wong believes insurance growth in the Philippines will be sustained, as the pandemic gave Filipinos a wake-up call to save up for emergencies.

Source: Philippine Star

Crediting of benefits and pensions of some Social Security System (SSS) members will be delayed after a recent fire that razed its central office in Quezon City, the state-run insurer announced on Friday.

SSS advised that benefit proceeds and pensions processed from Aug. 25, 2022, onwards will be delayed amid the restoration of the connectivity between its servers and disbursement banks.

Meanwhile, the crediting of pensions for the first batch of September 2022 had already been processed by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) while SSS expects the bank to credit the second batch of pensions from Friday afternoon (September 16).

The bank, which serves as the disbursement facility that credits the monthly pensions, earlier encountered a technical error while processing the second batch of pensions.

Source: CNN

SINGAPORE

CLA Real Estate Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek, has established a new company called ClavystBio to invest in life sciences companies and develop an innovation district in Singapore.

Launched on Thursday (September15), ClavystBio will be led by chief executive Christopher Laing, who is vice dean of innovation and entrepreneurship at the Duke-NUS Medical School until November.

The company aims to support early-stage companies, starting with the emerging fields of cell and gene therapy, biomarkers and digital health.

ClavystBio has already made US$220 million in investment commitments to 6 early-stage companies and 3 venture partners. The companies are Allay Therapeutics, CoV Biotechnology, Engine Biosciences, Hummingbird Bioscience, Medisix Therapeutics and Sunbird Bio.

Source: The Business Times

Temasek reportedly among six cornerstone investors of Onewo, the property management unit of real estate developer China Vanke, that is planning to raise as much as about HK$6.2 billion through a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO).

The firm is offering about 116.7 million shares at HK$47.1 to HK$52.7 each, according to an exchange filing.

The share sale attracted six cornerstone investors including China Chengtong Holdings Group and Singapore's Temasek that have agreed to purchase as much as US$280 million worth of shares

The IPO joins other billion-dollar offerings taking place in Hong Kong since July, following a drought of large listings in the first half of the year.

Source: Bloomberg

Temus, a Temasek-backed digital transformation firm, has made its first acquisition with system integration startup Dreamcloud  at an undisclosed sum.

The platform is backed by Temasek and American digital services company UST. It provides consulting services to help organisations with their digital transformation strategies.

The deal will help Temus further develop its platform through Dreamcloud’s tech capabilities.

Since its establishment, the Temus team has expanded to around 200 staff. It aims to expand that by five-fold over the next three years.

Source: Dealstreet Asia

INTERNATIONAL

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers') has acquired of a co-control stake in GPA Global from EQT Private Equity and other minority shareholders, according to an announcement on September 19.

GPA’s two founders, Tom Wang and Adam Melton, will roll over their respective ownership and continue to lead the company. Details of the transaction have not been made public.

GPA is a full-service provider of packaging solutions to brands in North America and Europe, serving diversified end-markets including consumer electronics, beverage, jewelry, health and beauty. The company offers design, engineering, vendor management, production, distribution of packaging and has manufacturing footprint in Asia, North America and Europe.

Source: Ontario Teachers’

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