Weekly Digest: GIC enters India agritech; AustralianSuper makes private credit push

Singapore's sovereign wealth fund makes first agritech and B2B investment in India; AustralianSuper takes step to triple private credit allocation with new partnership; US clampdown on investments in China may be undermined by US institutional investors; and more.
Weekly Digest: GIC enters India agritech; AustralianSuper makes private credit push


Vegrow, an Indian B2B fruits marketplace, announced it has raised $46M in primary and secondary funding. The new funding round is led by GIC, with significant participation from existing investor Prosus Ventures, and continued support from Matrix Partners India, Elevation Capital, and Lightspeed.

The funds will be utilized to drive Vegrow’s reach across India and fortify its global network. For GIC, Vegrow marks its first agritech and B2B investment in India.

Vegrow leverages technology to create win-win outcomes for all stakeholders in the agri-value chain. The founders' extensive experience in the sector and demonstrated execution differentiates them, and GIC is looking forward to partnering with Vegrow in their next phase of growth.

Source: GIC

AustralianSuper has strengthened its partnership with Churchill Asset Management, a Nuveen affiliate, increasing the investment to $1.5 billion, according to a release on December 13.

This move expands the A$300 billion ($200 billion) Australian super fund's commitment to private credit in the US middle market, enhancing a collaboration that began in 2022. With over $4.5 billion already deployed in international private credit markets, AustralianSuper is on a path to triple private credit exposure in its portfolio.

Churchill has 17 years of middle market investment and $47 billion under management

Source: AustralianSuper



US proposals to clamp down on investments in China may be undermined by continued funding from some big US institutional investors, new analysis shows.

The majority of US public pensions, as well as certain universities and non-profit organizations, have committed funds to China and Hong Kong, including in sensitive technologies — some as recently as this year, according to a report by Future Union, a non-partisan trade organization.

The 74 largest contributors have allocated more than $70 billion to companies in China and Hong Kong via more than 1,100 investments in various funds, including those with exposure to tech majors such as TikTok-maker ByteDance, Tencent and Alibaba.

Source: CNBC

China's securities regulator published draft rules to cut trading commissions for mutual funds and address the conflict of interest between the securities trading and fund sales businesses of brokerages, in the latest reform to the $3.8 trillion mutual fund industry.

According to the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), commissions now paid by fund management firms to brokerages are as high as 30% of funds’ annual fees. The CSRC is proposing to cap the share at 15% for fund managers with more than Rmb1 billion (140 million) of assets. There will be no change for those with less than Rmb1 billion of assets.

The regulator said the proposals were designed to protect investors and better regulate the way fund managers allocate trading commissions.

Source: China Securities Regulatory Commission


The Board of Directors of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) announced on December 15 the appointment of Bonnie Chan Yiting as chief executive of HKEX, effective May 24, 2024, for a term of three years until May 23, 2027.

The appointment came as the current CEO Nicolas Aguzin decided not to seek reappointment at the end of his current contract in May 2024.

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Meanwhile, the board also appointed CEO of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Wilfred Yiu Ka Yan as deputy CEO of HKEX, effective May 24, 2024. Yiu will also continue to act as the co-chief operating officer (COO) of HKEX.

Vanessa Lau Bik Yun was also appointed as co-COO of HKEX effective May 24, 2024. Lau will continue to act as the group chief financial officer of HKEX.

Source: Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing


The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a $317 billion Canadian pension fund, and global investment firm Actis are reportedly engaged in a fierce competition to acquire the BOT (build, operate, transfer) road assets of Ashoka Concessions, marking a noteworthy development in the Indian infrastructure investment sector.

These two prominent investment firms are strategically positioning themselves to take control of key road infrastructure projects in India. The assets being contested include a portfolio of roads and highways, which are vital components of the country's transportation network. This bidding war highlights the appeal of India's infrastructure market to international investors who are seeking stable and long-term returns.

Both CDPQ and Actis possess significant financial strength and expertise in infrastructure investments, intensifying the competition between them. The outcome of this contest will have a significant impact on the future direction of road development projects in India.

A spokesperson for CDPQ told AsianInvestor that the fund does not comment on deals before they are formally concluded and would not confirm or deny they are chasing the asset.

Source: Constructionworld


Chikyoren, Japan’s Pension Fund Association for Local Government Officials, has hired J.P. Morgan Asset Management for an overseas private equity mandate, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank for a domestic private equity mandate.

Chikyoren did not disclose information regarding the size of the mandates.

Source: Chikyoren


The Government Employees Pension Service (GEPS) has started the process of hiring a total of 15 managers for ten overseas equities or ETF mandates, the latter both equities and fixed income, and five overseas fixed income mandates.

All managers will be selected for a six month period starting January 1 2024.

Applying managers will be assessed on factors including commission charges, research capabilities, as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) management.

Source: GEPS

Korea Post is seeking to hire managers for its domestic fixed income portfolio, not specifying how managers and size of mandates it seeks to hire.

The final number will be decided after a process including on-site due diligence. The managers will be hired for one year.

Companies bidding on the mandate must be registered in Korea with assets under management of at least W5 trillion ($3.8 billion) and rated AA- or above by ratings agencies.

Source: Korea Post

Korea's foreign currency authorities said December 15 that they agreed with the National Pension Service (NPS) to extend their $35 billion currency swap deal by one year until the end of 2024.

The agreement, which will run through the end of next year, will allow the state pension operator to borrow up toS$35 billion from the foreign reserves of the Bank of Korea in exchange for its local currency holdings, according to the authorities.

In April, they agreed to open the currency swap line as part of efforts to ease market volatility. The deal is aimed at easing dollar demand in the spot market from the NPS for its overseas investments, to help curb the excessive ups and downs in foreign exchange rates.

Source: Yonhap News Agency


The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) reported a net income of P80 billion ($1.44 billion) for the first 10 months of 2023, compared with P37 billion in the same period off 2022.

As of end-October 2023, the total assets of the GSIS, which manages the retirement savings of the civil servants, stood at P1.6 trillion, posting a 4.4% increase from the same time last year.

The GSIS has also extended its fund life to 35 years (until 2058), an increase of five years from the last assessment in 2021.

Source: GSIS


Miller, an independent specialist (re)insurance broker, has announced that GIC and private equity firm Cinven have reached an agreement for GIC to acquire Cinven’s shares in Miller.

GIC and Cinven first acquired Miller in 2021. The deal will make GIC the majority shareholder in Miller, subject to completion and regulatory approval. The transaction is expected to close at the end of Q1 2024.

Source: GIC

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Alberta Investment Management Company (AIMCo) are among investors in an Asia-focused infrastructure private equity fund that raised $800 million.

Singapore-based Seraya Partners announced on December 12 the completion of its first fund, “Seraya Partners Fund I.” The final close was $800 million, including co-investments, surpassing its $750M target.

The Fund has commitments from global institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, insurers, and family offices across North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. LPs include AIIB, AIMCo, and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock.

Source: Seraya Partners


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

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