TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK:
AustralianSuper delivered a -2.73% return for the fund’s balanced option for the 2022 financial year as chief investment officer Mark Delaney warned of challenging global investment conditions, heightened geopolitical tensions, rising inflationary pressures and interest rates over the past six months.
The result marked the fund’s first negative return since the global financial crisis. In the 2021 financial year, the fund delivered a record high return of 20.4%.
Still, 10-year annual returns stood at 9.32% and Delaney encouraged members to avoid making decisions based on short-term market movements.
“While periods of market volatility can be unsettling, they also create new investment opportunities. AustralianSuper is actively looking for investment opportunities that have been mispriced by the market in the short term, while also making new investments where we see long-term value,” he said.
He added that the economic cycle was changing, and he expected returns to be more modest over the medium term.
Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world’s largest, posted its first quarterly loss in two years as declines in global stock and bond markets during the three months through March weighed down the value of its assets.
GPIF lost 1.1% during the quarter, reducing its total assets to ¥196.6 trillion ($1.46 trillion), the fund said in Tokyo Friday. Its Japanese stocks fell 1.2% during the period, while foreign equities fell 0.6%. Domestic and foreign debt fell 1.5% and 1.2%, respectively.
The return for the full financial year of 2021 was 5.42%.
Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, has partnered with Omers Infrastructure and Wren House to jointly acquire Direct ChassisLink Inc. (DCLI) from investment funds managed by Apollo Global Management and EQT.
DCLI is a leading chassis provider in the US which enables over-the-road transportation of containerised freight to and from ports, railyards, and customer locations. Details of the investment terms have not been made public.
DCLI is one of the largest chassis lessors in the US and has over 151,000 marine and 100,000 domestic chassis in its fleet, DCLI operates out of strategic locations across key port and rail terminals in the US.
Wren House is a London-based captive global infrastructure investment manager while Omers Infrastructure is the infrastructure investment advisory and management arm of Omers, the pension plan for municipal employees in Ontario, Canada.
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LGIAsuper has officially rebranded to become Brighter Super after its merger with Energy Super last year along with the acquisition of Suncorp’s superannuation business. The rebranding is effective July 1.
Brighter Super will manage $31 billion in investments for 260,000 members. The merger has allowed the group to leverage economies of scale to provide fee reductions.
“We have already reduced total fees and costs for LGIAsuper members by up to 28% through reducing the fee cap from $1,575 to $900 per year and removing the weekly $1 admin fee,” group chief executive Farrar said.
Source: Brighter Super
Hostplus has appointed Damien Frawley as independent chair, replacing David Elmslie reached the end of his term on 30 June 2022.
Elmslie was appointed independent chair in 2007.
Frawley’s appointment is effective on July 1. He has worked across the financial, government and non-profit sectors and was most recently the chief executive officer of QIC. In June last year, he announced his plans to retire in 2022.
Before that he was managing director and chief executive for Australia at BlackRock, and held director positions at Merill Lynch Investment Management and Barclays Global Investors.
Australian Retirement Trust and Morrison & Co are key members of a consortium that will acquire FiberLight, a US fibre infrastructure provider, for an undisclosed sum.
The consortium purchased the asset from Thermo Companies, an investment firm based in Denver, Colorado.
FiberLight, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is a high bandwidth fiber infrastructure provider that primarily services Texas and Northern Virginia. It builds, owns and operates high-capacity networks for a range of clients including government.
Source: Financial Standard
Canada's Manulife Financial moved closer toward taking full control of its funds joint venture in China after regulators there accepted an application for the ownership change, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
China's securities regulator officially accepted a recent application from Manulife's asset management arm to increase its stake in the joint venture to 100% from the current 49%, said the sources.
Manulife Investment Management acquired the stake in Manulife Teda Fund Management in China in 2010 from ABN AMRO bank and teamed up with state-owned Tianjin TEDA International Holding, which owns the remaining 51% equity but is looking to sell it.
Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Trust (Mass PRIM) has approved a commitment of up to $150 million to four funds managed by tech bellwether Sequoia Capital China, according to the pension fund’s Q1 board update.
The commitment will be split into $8.2 million to Sequoia Capital China Seed II, $18.8 million to Sequoia Capital China Venture IX, $61.5 million to Sequoia Capital China Growth VII, and up to $61.5 million to Sequoia Capital China Expansion I.
Sequoia Capital China makes venture capital and growth equity investments in seed, early-stage, late-stage, and growth equity stage companies in China.
The India Highway Concession Trust, an infrastructure investment trust set up by Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) has bought out the entire stake of the Shree Jagannath Expressways Pvt Ltd from Bharat Road Network Ltd (BRNL), one of India's leading road developers.
Shree Jagannath Expressways, is a 67 km, six-lane toll road connecting Bhubaneshwar to Chandikhole, on National Highway 16, in the state of Odisha. The asset is the first to be integrated in the Maple Highways platform created by CDPQ — an institutional investor that manages over $320 billion in assets for several public pension plans and insurance programs in Quebec — for investments in the roads sector in India.
Source: Maple Highways
Indonesia Investment Authority (INA) and China’s Silk Road Fund (SRF) have signed an Investment Framework Agreement (IFA) to facilitate their investment cooperation in Indonesia.
The SRF has commited to invest up to RMB20 billion ($2.99 billion) or the equivalent amount under the agreement, which also sets out the general terms and principles that SRF and Indonesia’s sovereign wealth fund will follow when screening and making joint investments.
The IFA aims to enhance economic cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and Indonesia, with both parties leveraging their respective market insights, close connections with relevant local business communities, deal origination capability and portfolio management expertise.
The investment scope of the new framework includes various asset classes and fund of funds, and targets all business sectors open for foreign investment, particularly those that promote community development and economic connectivity between Indonesia and the PRC.
Sompo, one of the top three Japanese non-life insurers, became the first Asian insurer to rule out insurance and investment in coal companies, following its annual general meeting held on Monday June 27.
Sompo committed to rule out underwriting and investment in coal companies without transition plans by 2025. The insurer defined a coal company as a business that derives more than 30% of its revenue from coal power plants, coal mining or oil sand mining, or a power utility with more than 30% of its electricity generated from coal.
The insurer also announced its new membership in the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, which is part of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero
The National Pension Service (NPS) sold a small amount of dollars on the forward market this month in its first foreign exchange hedging since early 2020, an official at NPS told Reuters on Thursday.
NPS held a combined W312.3 trillion ($240.21 billion) worth of foreign stocks and bonds as of the end of April, according to the latest published data.
South Korea's won has been on the decline against a broadly stronger dollar in recent months and fell below a psychologically important W1,300-per-US-dollar level this month for the first time since 2009.
The Military Mutual Aid Association (MMAA) has decided to raise the interest rates of the members’ savings products by 25 to 40 basis points (bps), the largest interest rate increase ever, the retirement fund said on June 27.
The interest rate hike came from the retirement fund’s investment management performance last year, MMAA said. In March, the military fund posted W348.3 billion ($267.8 million) in annual net profit for 2021. It was more than double the previous year’s net profit of W149.6 billion, and more than quadruple the average annual net profits from 2017 to 2021, W88.7 billion.
MMAA's total assets reached W14.37 trillion as of end-2021, up W1.67 trillion from the previous year. The capital surplus, the total assets minus a lump-sum payment of the members’ principal and interest, amounted to W1.23 trillion last year, the highest since the foundation of the fund.
Source: Korea Economic Daily
The Philippines’ Social Security System (SSS), which manages $12.77 billion (702.4 billion pesos) in retirement savings of private sector employees and the self-employed, is launching two new programmes to widen social security coverage in the country.
One programme will provide a flexible payment schedule and the other is called a contribution subsidy provider programme, SSS said in a statement published on June 30. The schemes are set to be launched in July but the SSS did not specify a date.
The flexible payment schedule programme gives members a window of up to a year to pay outstanding contributions, and is suitable for farmers, fishermen and the self-employed who do not have consistent incomes, according to SSS President and chief executive officer Michael G. Regino,
For the second programme, SSS will partner with private and/or government entities that can subsidise and pay contributions on behalf of select self-employed workers, overseas Filipino workers and voluntary members.
Source: Republic of Philippines SSS
Taiwan Life Insurance has made new commitments totalling around $16.4 million to three venture funds in the US and Europe, according to the insurance company’s regulatory filings.
It has committed no more than $10 million into Foresite Capital Fund VI, the latest fund managed by US-based healthcare-focused VC firm Foresite Capital Management.
Thailand’s oldest insurer, Thai Life Insurance Plc is raising as much as $1.04 billion in an initial public offering (IPO) next month, with shares priced at $0.44 (16 baht) each to be sold to 18 domestic and international cornerstone investors.
Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, GIC Pvt Ltd is the largest among international cornerstone investors and has subscribed for about $164 million worth of shares according to the term sheet seen by Reuters.
These investors will account for about 50% of the IPO, the largest in Southeast Asia so far in 2022, according to a term sheet. The book building process opened last Thursday on June 30.
The insurance company’s prospectus published recently states that the proceeds will be used for working capital, to support digital transformation and to strengthen distribution channels.
The IPO would be the largest equity capital market deal in Southeast Asia in 2022, according to Refinitiv data, with just $2.38 billion worth of IPOs in the region so far compared to $6.1 billion at the same stage last year.
The Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois committed a total of $275 million to three funds managed by Indian and Hong Kong firms according to an announcement on June 16.
The US pension fund with $66.1 billion total assets under management committed $100 million to Gateway Capital and $75 million to Dignari Capital Partners, both of Hong Kong. Dignari is a women or minority-owned business enterprise.
In India, TRS committed $100 million to Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors, of Mumbai. Edelweiss is a women or minority-owned Business.
The New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF) has committed a total of $405 million to Singapore and US based venture capital firm B Capital Group and Israeli venture firm S Capital.
The $279.7 pension fund committed $350 million and $50 million, respectively, to growth equity fund B Capital Global Growth III and venture capital fund B Capital Ascent Fund II, both managed by B Capital Group Management.
In private equity, the pension fund committed $5 million to S Capital III, a buyout fund managed by S Capital VC Management, through the Hamilton Lane NY Israel Fund.
The Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) made a $50 million commitment to buyout KKR’s latest Asia infrastructure fund.
The new fund, KKR Asia Pacific Infrastructure Investors II, was launched in April and secured its $50 million investment from ERS after the #35.5 billion US pension fund approved $150 million in total commitments in May.
The new KKR fund is a follow-up to the 2020-vintage KKR Asia Pacific Infrastructure Investors, which closed on $3.79 billion in commitments in 2021.