Weekly Digest: BLF picks managers for equity mandate; GIC buys stake in European hotel chain

Taiwan's BLF shortlists six managers for local equity mandate; GIC purchases stake in European hotel chain; China's state-run basic pension fund posts 2022 results; Japan's GPIF posts loss in September-ended quarter; and more.
Weekly Digest: BLF picks managers for equity mandate; GIC buys stake in European hotel chain

The following briefs are curated from press releases and third-party media sources.


Bureau of Labor Funds (BLF) shortlisted six managers for its first domestic equity mandate of 2023 worth NT$72 billion ($2.2 billion), including five global asset managers’ Taiwan branches and a local fund house.

They are Allianz Global Investors, Manulife Investment Management, Schroders, Nomura Asset Management, JP Morgan Asset Management, and Taiwan-headquartered Mega Funds, BLF announced on November 3.

The managers are hired under a five-year term for a relative return passive mandate benchmarked against the Taiwan Stock Exchange Capitalization Weighted Stock Index.

BLF will allocate NT$54 billion to the Labor Pension Fund, and NT$18 billion to the National Pension Insurance Fund, with each manager managing NT$9 billion and NT$3 billion respectively, according to the request for proposal issued on September 8.

As of the end of September, BLF managed NT$6.53 trillion ($202.8 billion) in assets, with a 9% investment return in the first nine months of 2023, according to November 1 data.

Source: Bureau of Labor Funds

GIC purchased a 35 % stake in Mediterranean luxury hotel owner Hotel Investment Partners (HIP) from Blackstone, as the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund attempts to capitalise on the growing resort market in southern Europe.

The company boasts a portfolio of 72 hotels across Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal.

Blackstone will continue to be the largest shareholder in HIP.

Source: GIC



AustralianSuper has increased its stake in Origin Energy, making it the largest shareholder with a 15.03% ownership.

The superannuation fund clarified that it is not engaged in discussions to join the consortium backed by Brookfield and EIG, as it believes the offer from the consortium significantly undervalues Origin's long-term worth.

As a result, the fund intends to vote against the takeover scheme proposed by the consortium at the upcoming shareholder meeting on November 23 2023.

Explaining its actions, AustralianSuper emphasised the ongoing energy transition, particularly the movement towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050. The fund believes that strategic energy transition platforms like Origin, whether public or private, have gained further value as a result.

Source: AustralianSuper


The basic pension fund managed by China's Social Security Fund gained Rmb5.1 billion ($701.5 million), or 0.33% in 2022, down from a 4.9% gain in 2021, the National Council for Social Security Fund said.

The shrink in yields was due to deep changes in global economic and political situations and increasing fluctuations in the financial markets, the state investor said in a statement.

The basic pension fund managed Rmb1.62 trillion by the end of 2022, and has posed an annual average gain of 5.4% since the end of 2016, when the national Social Security Fund started to manage the pension's investment.

Source: National Council for Social Security Fund

Vanguard Group is taking its last steps to exit China and shut down its office in the Rmb29 trillion yuan ($4 trillion) mutual fund market.

It has signed severance agreements with the remaining staff of about 10 people in Shanghai, including country head Luo Dengpan, according to people familiar with the matter.

The firm sold its 49% stake in a robo-advisory joint venture with Jack Ma-backed Ant Group last month, adding that it will provide support until the end of the year to smooth the transition for clients.

Source: Bloomberg


The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced on October 31 that it supports and sponsors the development of a code of conduct for voluntary adoption by environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings and data products providers providing products and services in Hong Kong.

The Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCoC) will be developed via an industry-led working group, namely the Hong Kong ESG Ratings and Data Products Providers VCoC Working Group (VCWG).

The SFC also welcomes the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) to act as the secretariat of the VCWG.

The secretariat will convene and lead the VCWG, which comprises representatives from local, mainland and other international ESG ratings and data products providers as well as key users from the local financial industry.

Source: Securities and Futures Commission


The Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) reported an investment loss of ¥683.2 billion ($4.57 billion) during July-September, reflecting a fall in domestic bond prices amid higher interest rates.

GPIF logged a quarterly loss for the first time in three quarters. The investment yield for the second quarter of fiscal 2023 came to a negative 0.31%, bringing to total portfolio value to ¥219.3 trillion by end-September.

The fund lost on investments in Japanese bonds, foreign bonds, and foreign stocks during the quarter. Meanwhile, it earned yen on Japanese stocks as the TOPIX index for Japanese equities rose slightly.

Source: GPIF

The Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) has made its second investment directly into a private market real estate fund, managed by Toronto-based Brookfield.

The pension fund has committed $500 million to the fund Brookfield Strategic Real Estate Partners V. GPIF has also previously committed $500 million to Blackstone’s Blackstone Real Estate Partners X.

Prior to these direct fund investments, GPIF has previously made real estate investments via three fund of funds managers, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Bank, CBRE Investment Management and LaSalle Investment Management.

Source: GPIF


Korea's National Pension Service (NPS) has become a minority interest holder in San Francisco-based real estate investment management firm Stockbridge Capital Group.

Concurrent with NPS’s investment, Stockbridge reorganised its two business units, core and value advisors (CVA) and its platform business, under common ownership and alignment structures.

As part of the reorganisation, Stockbridge will establish new firm-wide equity and incentive programs for a broad group of senior leadership.

NPS is investing through a separate account investment program administered by Blue Owl. Berkshire Global Advisors acted as financial advisor to Stockbridge in the transaction.

Source: Stockbridge

Teachers’ Pension has launched a request for proposals (RFPs) for up to five mandates of each about $70 million into global equity.

The investment will be done through UCITS-structured offshore funds that must have at least $200 million of total assets and a minimum of five years. 

Asset management firms bidding for the mandates must be registered as fund houses in Korea. The application deadline is November 9, and the scheduled final selection date is December 23.

Source: Teachers’ Pension

Korea Post has shortlisted local Hahn & Company and IMM Private Equity as well as Australia’s Macquarie Asset Management as preferred bidders for a domestic private equity fund mandate of an undisclosed value.

The amount of funding for each of the three firms will be finalised following a due diligence process.

Source: Korea Post


Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) have signed a sale-and-leaseback transaction agreement to buy a domestic high-tech industrial production facility.

The three entities will buy the industrial asset, Kulim II, valued at MYR2 billion ($430 million), from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, a wholly owned domestic subsidiary of Austria-based OSRAM.

The sale-and-leaseback transaction is expected to conclude in December 2023. The three pension funds will each own 33.3% equally. The investment is for a 10-year period with an exit strategy.

Source: PNB


GIC has bought a stake in Indonesian toll road company PT Marguartama Nusantara for €199 million ($214 million) from Hong Kong-listed First Pacific.

Warrington Investment, an investment vehicle managed by GIC subsidiary GICSI purchased a 33% equity stake in the company.

Source: IPE Real Assets




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