(These news briefs are a curation of key developments in the asset owner industry in Asia from press releases and third-party media)
TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK
Reuben Abrams, a former portfolio manager at Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, is set to launch a hedge fund by year-end in London, according to a note to clients from BNP Paribas.
Adira Investment Management will open its doors in the fourth quarter to take long and short bets on corporate credit, according to the note, a Reuters report said.
Abrams spent over 17 years working at GIC, finally as its lead credit portfolio manager in Europe, according to LinkedIn.
Global market volatility plunged Macau’s Social Security Fund (SSF) investments into the red in 2022 with a loss of 7.16 billion patacas ($881 million), or 7.46%, down from a 5.44 billion patacas investment gain, or 5.92% return in the previous year, according to its annual report.
“The global financial market was overshadowed by a number of uncertain factors in 2022, including the Russia and Ukraine war, European sanctions on Russia, and increasingly complicated global economic trends,” according to the SSF.
Market woes resulted in an investment loss of 7.79 billion patacas on the fund’s global investment portfolio in 2022.
The fund’s global investment portfolio had around 41.94 billion patacas of assets, accounting for 48.9% of total investment assets, at the end of 2022.
Source: Macau Social Security Fund
OTHER INVESTMENT NEWS
The Mandatory Provident Fund's (MPF) total assets grew 4.7% in the 12 months to June 2023 to reach HK$1.11 trillion ($141.7 billion), according to the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA).
About 22.72% of the total assets, or HK$250 billion, came from investment returns, net of fees and charges, the MPFA said in its quarterly report published on August 31.
The MPF industry's supervisory body highlighted that MPF equity funds and mixed assets funds, which accounted for nearly 80% of the total net asset value of the MPF system, registered cumulative returns of 135% and 125%, respectively, since MPF’s inception in 2000.
They translate into average annualised returns of 3.8% and 3.7% respectively, exceeding the annualised inflation rate of 1.8% for the same period, MPFA said.
National Pension Service (NPS) achieved a 9.1% return on investment during the first half of this year, with assets under management (AUM) reaching W983.1 trillion ($741.9 billion), the world’s third-largest pension fund said in a preliminary report.
The pension fund posted W83.9 trillion of profit during the first six months, recovering from its worst-ever annual performance of a W79.6 trillion loss in 2022.
Equities led the investment performance amid a slowdown in inflation and a pause on rate hikes, NPS said.
By asset class, overseas and domestic stocks logged 17.2% and 17.1% returns, respectively. Overseas and local fixed income posted gains of 6.2% and 2.7%, respectively.
Alternatives, such as private stocks, bonds and real assets, brought in 5%.
Government Employees Pension Service (GEPS), with about $6 billion in assets, plans to raise investments in the category that includes private credit and real estate loans to 34% in the next four years from the estimated 28% for this year, CIO Baek Joo-hyun said in an interview.
“Stocks and bonds are very volatile, while alternative investments are attractive as a hedge against risk,” said Baek.
“It’s a lending-friendly environment,” and private credit offers better risk-adjusted returns in a scenario of high interest rates, he added.
Former Singapore deputy prime minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was elected on September 1 to the ceremonial post of president after winning 70.4% of votes cast in in an election seen as indicative of public sentiment towards the country’s ruling party as it confronts economic challenges.
Shanmugaratnam’s election makes him the winner of the first contested presidential race in more than a decade.
Singapore’s final lineup of candidates for the presidential poll threw up three names, all of whom were deeply connnected the asset owner industry.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was also previously chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and deputy chairman of sovereign wealth fund GIC.
The other two candidates were Ng Kok Song, former chief investment executive of GIC; Tan Kin Lian, former chief executive of insurer NTUC Income, now Income Insurance.
Sources: Straits Times
Temasek CEO Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara said Southeast Asian countries need to collaborate to develop a single digital market to spur the next wave of growth for tech companies in the region.
Southeast Asia's digital economy is comparable to that of India's in terms of market size, with the former offering "very good prospects" due to its higher income per capita, Sandrasegara said during the ASEAN Business & Investment Summit underway in Jakarta prior to a gathering of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and partner countries later in the week.
Source: Nikkei Asia
Thailand’s Government Pension Fund (GPF), one of the country’s largest, selected Charles River Investment Management Solution product to modernise its front-office operations and manage its domestic and international equity, fixed-income and multi-asset portfolios.
GPF will use the Charles River system to deliver an automated workflow with straight-through processing across its front- and middle-office for portfolio construction, performance attribution, order management and pre- and post-trade compliance.
The platform will provide near real-time cash, positions and available collateral, and deliver benchmark data to help maximise operational efficiency.
The GPF was established in 1996 and provides government officials with gratuity and pension payments upon the completion of their official duties.
It has approximately $13 billion in assets under management.
Source: Charles River Development