November's most read: KIC hires real estate head; CDPQ unit to raise Apac property allocation

A round-up of the top five stories on asset owners and investment themes of the past month.
November's most read: KIC hires real estate head; CDPQ unit to raise Apac property allocation

KIC hires new head of real estate

Korea’s sovereign wealth fund Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) has filled the position of group head and managing director for real estate which had remained vacant for more than a year.

Cho Bum-lin, or Thomas Cho, will head up real estate investments as of October 27, a KIC spokesperson confirmed to AsianInvestor.

Based in Seoul, Cho will oversee the existing real estate team as well as work with real estate investment portfolio managers at KIC’s overseas offices in New York, London, Singapore and San Francisco.

Ivanhoe Cambridge wants to double its allocation to APAC real estate

As a subsidiary of the $290 billion Canadian pension fund Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ), Ivanhoé Cambridge manages a $52 billion (C$70 billion) real estate portfolio with a mandate to develop and invest in high-quality properties, projects and companies that are shaping the urban fabric of cities around the world.

“We have these ambitions for our allocation to Asian real estate to at least double in size over the next few years,” George Agethen executive vice president and co-head of Asia-Pacific at Ivanhoé Cambridge told AsianInvestor.

Heungkuk Life shakes up Korean financial markets with delayed call option redemption

The Korean financial markets were taken for a spin recently, when Heungkuk Life Insurance, a mid-sized actor in the Korean insurance industry, announced on November 1 that it would delay the exercising of a $500 million November 9 call option for its foreign-currency bonds — although ultimately, the insurer reversed its decision on November 7.

Heungkuk Life plans to repay the debt via its own capital and repo transactions, a spokesman said, and the exact amounts haven’t yet been decided — but had the insurer not taken this step, it would have been the first time since 2009 that a Korean financial institution has failed in early redemption of foreign currency bonds.

Khazanah, OMERS Asia call for ESG ratings improvements

ESG ratings need common standards as different data provided by various agencies are raising challenges in measuring the performance of investor portfolios from an ESG perspective, especially on the 'social' and 'governance' components, senior executives from Khazanah Nasional Berhad and OMERS Asia said.

“We use a lot of third-party providers [in the measurement of S and G], and one of the challenges we find is that when you look at X versus Y, the outputs are very different,” said Anand Ramachandran, Singapore-based managing director with Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) Asia.

“The death of traditional portfolio construction” is the working title for a position paper being released within a week by Future Fund, Craig Thorburn, director at the CIO office at Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, told the audience at AsianInvestor’s 12th Southeast Asia Institutional Investment Forum in Singapore on November 22.

This edgy and enticing title highlights that – depending on type, mission and mandate – asset owners may have to rethink how they go about their portfolio construction and asset allocation in a world of sustained inflation, deglobalisation and increased geopolitical risk.



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