Weekly Digest: GPIF seeks information on bitcoin; Canada pensions raise bets on India infra

Two Canadian pension funds increase bets in Indian toll roads; GPIF gets curious about crypto; ADIA plans to capitalise on western investors' desire to cut China exposure; Temasek to stay committed to ESG investing; and more.
Weekly Digest: GPIF seeks information on bitcoin; Canada pensions raise bets on India infra


The Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) is seeking insights into additional assets such as forests, farmland, gold, and crypto-assets such as bitcoin, exploring how these assets could potentially complement the pension fund’s portfolio.

The world’s largest pension fund is also looking for insights into illiquid assets, or alternatives.

The deadline is April 19 for the request for information on the asset classes.

Source: GPIF

Two of Canada’s largest pension funds, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers') both announced a follow-on investment into National Highways Infra Trust (NHIT), an InvIT sponsored by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

CPPIB and the Ontario Teachers’ renewed their financial commitment to the Indian infrastructure fund through a new capital raise, contributing C$297 million and C$298 million, respectively.

The total respective investments from CPPIB and the Ontario Teachers’ stand at C$614 million and C$606 million—with both funds maintaining a 25% stake in NHIT.

Source: CPP Investments; Ontario Teachers’

Temasek’s head of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment management, Park Kyung-ah, says the state-owned investor won’t be distracted by a recent wave of discontent over ESG investing.

“This is now a must-do. It’s not a nice-to-do. It’s about resiliency; it’s about how you capture the tailwinds of a megatrend that’s underway,” she said.

Source: Business Times



The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is seeking to capitalise on western investors’ retreat from China by offering to buy at a discount their stakes in funds managed by Hong Kong-based PAG.

The move from Abu Dhabi’s main sovereign wealth fund, described by four people with knowledge of the matter, is a sign of how some Gulf investors are looking to snap up bargains as US-based investors cut their China exposure.

Source: Financial Times

British insurer and asset manager Legal and General, has shelved a plan to obtain a China business license and more than halved onshore headcount, two sources said, joining a list of global financial firms scaling back in an uncertain market.

Legal and General had been planning to apply for a qualified domestic limited partner (QDLP) license that allows foreign firms to sell offshore products to Chinese investors as part of its asset management business push, said the sources, who had direct knowledge of the matter.

Suspension of the plan resulted in the firm’s move last month to cut its local team size to two people from around 10.

Source: Reuters


Nippon Life Insurance plans to double its core operating profit to roughly ¥1.4 trillion ($9.22 billion) by the middle of the next decade by spending heavily on acquisitions in the near term, the company, signalling that it will look for targets in North America and elsewhere.

Japan's largest life insurance company released a three-year business plan beginning in the next fiscal year, which starts in April, together with a long-term vision through fiscal 2035.

Source: Nippon Life

Japan Post Insurance, which is a part of the Japan Post Holdings conglomerate, said the Bank of Japan's radical policy pivot this week to end negative rates did not mean interest rates would rise rapidly.

Rate rises in Japan "will lead to a decline in the market value of bond holdings" but the firm would seek to increase yield by replacing holdings with bonds whose yields exceed the cost of liabilities, Japan Post Insurance said in comments emailed to Reuters.

"We expect hedging costs to remain high as the Bank of Japan is unlikely to raise interest rates continuously and foreign central banks are unlikely to cut interest rates rapidly," the company added.

Source: Reuters

Tokio Marine has set its sights on expanding with a budget of up to $10 billion for overseas acquisitions.

Chris Williams, who co-leads Tokio Marine’s international operations, said the firm is keenly observing public companies worldwide for potential acquisition targets.

International business constitutes over half of its overall profits, a significant increase from less than 3% about 20 years ago.

Source: Reuters

Sumitomo Life Insurance is open to further acquisitions overseas, President Yukinori Takada said in an interview, without specifying in which countries he saw opportunities.

The insurer expects to hit a target of earning ¥100 billion ($660 million) from overseas operations this fiscal year, helped by its acquisition of Singapore Life Holdings, or Singlife.

Sumitomo Life agreed in December to buy TPG Inc.’s 35.5% stake in the Singaporean firm for S$1.6 billion ($1.2 billion). Singapore is a key market within its growth strategy in Southeast Asia.

Source: Bloomberg


Yellow Umbrella Mutual Aid Fund will hire two managers for a W250 billion ($186 million) blind fund mandate focusing on both domestic and overseas assets.

The mutual aid, operated by the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business also known as KBIZ, said the fund will have an internal rate of return (IRR) of 6% and a four-year investment period. Foreign investments will be limited to 20% of total assets in the mandate.

Source: Yellow Umbrella

Korea Post wants to hire two asset managers firms for advisory roles for W3.5 trillion ($2.6 billion) of overseas alternative investments.

One manager will advise on W2 trillion of investments in real assets such real estate and infrastructure, while the other manager will advise on W1.5 trillion of investments in private equity and private debt.

The managers will be appointed for a three-year period. Tasks will include researching market trends as well as building and managing investment vehicles.

Korea Post’s insurance unit has also issued a request for proposals for overseas real estate debt mandate of up to $100 million or €100 million ($108.2 million).

The mandate should be invested into a commingled fund. At least 80% of the total assets in that fund should be investment into real estate debt.

Source: Korea Post


ShopBack, an online shopping rewards app backed by Temasek Holdings, is cutting about a quarter of its workforce as it retreats from the buy-now-pay-later space.

The company is eliminating 195 roles, or 24% of its staff, to become more focused and self-sustainable, Chief Executive Officer Henry Chan said in a note to employees on March 19.

ShopBack, whose investors include SoftBank Ventures Asia and Rakuten Capital, offers

cashback and other rewards for brands and retailers including Dyson, Lululemon and Foodpanda. Founded in 2014 by Chan and Joel Leong, the platform has expanded to 11 markets across Southeast Asia, Australia, South Korea and Taiwan, according to its website.

Source: Bloomberg

GIC has sold a 2.5% stake in Italian payments company Nexi in a sale of 28.8 million shares worth just under €168 million ($183 million).

It was not immediately clear if GIC has sold its entire stake in Nexi. It held a stake of 2.58% as of last November, according to Nexi's website.

The sovereign fund, a long-time Nexi investor, has progressively reduced its stake following a string of M&A deals which in recent years have made Nexi Europe's biggest payment group.

Source: Reuters

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

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