Weekly investors roundup; Middle East SWFs target Indian edtech; NPS invests in sustainable credit; Allianz eyes China JV

Abu Dhabi and Qatar sovereign wealth funds eye Indian education technology firm; Korea's NPS commits capital to Blackstone Credit’s sustainable credit platform; Allianz in talks with Chinese banks to set up a majority-owned asset management venture; and more.
Weekly investors roundup; Middle East SWFs target Indian edtech; NPS invests in sustainable credit; Allianz eyes China JV


Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth funds are reportedly in active negotiations to take part in the planned $400-500 million fundraise with Think and Learn Pvt Ltd, the parent of Byju’s, according to sources close to the development.

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which had been in advanced talks to invest $250-350 million in the edtech company, is yet to take a final call. QIA had been planning to invest at a 40-50% discount to the $22 billion the company had commanded in its last funding round.

Byju’s potential investors are reportedly being given two options — They may either come as equity investors at a $22 billion valuation or opt for a convertible pre-initial public offering instrument with a 20% discount to an IPO valuation band. The floor of the band is $22 billion while the ceiling is pegged at $35 billion. Should the IPO timelines be delayed, the valuation discount will increase every six months.

Source: Economic Times of India

Korea's National Pension Service (NPS) has committed capital to Blackstone Credit’s Sustainable Resources Platform to enhance the pension fund’s ESG strategies, NPS said on August 25.

The platform was launched in January, focusing on investing in and lending to renewable energy companies and those supporting energy transition and climate change solutions. Blackstone Credit was launched in 2008 as Blackstone acquired GSO Capital Partners.

“NPS has decided on the commitment after deep, careful consideration of our portfolio diversification and new investment strategies,” NPS chief investment officer Ahn Hyo-joon said, adding: “We expect our investment returns to be boosted by the credit investment platform.”

Source: Korea Economic Daily

Allianz SE is in talks with Chinese banks to set up a majority-owned asset management venture in the world's second-largest economy, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said, aiming to tap a $4.3 trillion market for wealth products.

The German insurer's main asset management arm, Allianz Global Investors, has been holding discussions over the past few months with Industrial Bank and China CITIC Bank, among other lenders, the people said.

Source: Reuters




Ping An Insurance (Group), China’s most valuable insurer, has openly put its weight behind the call to break up HSBC, saying it will support any proposal to improve the performance of one of the world’s largest banks and generate long-term value.

“HSBC is one of the many investments we make from our insurance policyholder funds,” the Shenzhen-based insurer’s co-CEO Jessica Tan Sin-yin said during an interview with the South China Morning Post. “We therefore take every individual investment seriously because these are all policyholder funds to get good shareholder returns.”

Tan’s comments are the first by HSBC’s second-largest shareholder – with an 8.2% stake in the London-based bank – since a proxy campaign emerged in April to reorganise the century-old lender that earns the bulk of its revenue in Asia.

Bank executives pushed back against the call to split its global operations citing costs and risks, doubling down instead on its pivot to Asia by investing more in its biggest market, Hong Kong.

Source: South China Morning Post

Ping An Insurance (Group), China’s largest insurer by market cap, posted better-than-expected net profit for the first half, but its core insurance business remained an area of concern.

Total investment income in the first half slumped 67% to 14.77 billion yuan, due mainly to 42.72 billion yuan in realised losses because of market volatility.

This was offset by the banking business, which reported a 25.6% increase in first-half net profit to 22.09 billion yuan.

An analyst cited the poor performance of Ping An’s core insurance business as one of the reasons the company has piled pressure on HSBC to split its Asia business to enhance the insurer’s investment performance.

Source: South China Morning Post

China Life Insurance, the nation’s largest life insurer, said profit fell 38% in the first half as declines in the stock market eroded investment returns and pandemic-induced lockdowns hampered policy sales.

Net income dropped to 25.42 billion yuan ($3.7 billion), from 40.97 billion yuan a year earlier, the Beijing-based company said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange Thursday.

China Life was among five of the nation’s largest state-owned companies that announced plans this month to delist from US exchanges as the two countries struggle to reach a deal over listed firms’ audit records. The move is unlikely to impact its trading volume in Hong Kong as its float in New York is small and the company doesn’t need dollar funding, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Steven Lam.

Source: Bloomberg


Hong Kong real estate tycoon Adrian Cheng has called the bottom of mainland China’s property market crash, saying his New World Development group plans to invest Rmb10bn ($1.46bn) in land over the next year.

Cheng, chief executive of Hong Kong-listed New World Development and heir to the Chow Tai Fook family fortune, is more upbeat than many analysts, who have said Chinese property prices could fall further amid a liquidity crisis in the sector and a slowing economy.

“Now is the bottom, and it’s going to slowly recover. See, I’m very optimistic that in the next one or two years, it will be recovering very, very well,” Cheng told the Financial Times in an interview. “It’s a good opportunity to start acquiring our war chest, in land and assets.”

Cheng said his group would invest the Rmb10bn over 12 months on land in top-tier Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Shenzhen.

Source: Financial Times

AIA is discussing further expansion into other Chinese cities with local regulators, said Jacky Chan, regional chief executive at AIA.

"The mainland Chinese life insurance market remains significantly underpenetrated and AIA continues to make progress in geographical expansion, with new branches in Wuhan, Hubei province, commencing sales in the first half, group chief executive and president Lee Yuan-siong said in a statement yesterday.

In May, the insurer received regulatory approval to prepare a new branch in Henan, the third most populous province in the mainland, Lee noted.

Source: South China Morning Post; The Standard


Korea Post Insurance seeks domestic venture capital managers. The firm plans to commit a total of W80 billion ($59.5 million) to around three managers.

Deadline for proposal submission is September 5.

Source: Korea Post Insurance

Manulife Investment Management, on behalf of Manulife Asia, and logistics asset manager Logos have established the Logos Korea Core Venture

The fund vehicle has already made the acquisition of its seed asset, Logos Siheung Logistics Centre, a $200m forward purchase logistics facility in the Seoul Capital Area.

It is Logos’ second partnership with Manulife and Logos’ second venture in Korea. The Korea development venture was launched earlier this year with total investment capacity of $1.3 billion alongside Dutch fund manager Bouwinvest and two other existing institutional investors.

Source: Logos


Sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional is in talks to lead a $100 million investment round into Indian auto-services firm GoMechanic.

The funding round would bring the start-up’s valuation to double that of last year’s. The company, backed by Sequoia India, raised $42 million from investors including Tiger Global Management last June at a valuation of around $300 million. It is now seeking a valuation of $700 million in this round.

Source: Bloomberg


Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa has ruled against a planned merger of the local life and pre-need units of Canadian insurance giant Manulife.

The Insurance Commission “cannot legally allow the merger of Manufacturers Life Insurance (Manulife Philippines), a life insurance company, and Manulife Financial Plans (MFP), a pre-need company,” Funa said in a legal opinion dated Aug 25.

“Unless the authority for a particular merger is found in the laws governing the constituent corporations, statutory merger between the said two corporations is not possible,” Funa said.

Source: Inquirer


Singapore is estimated to have the highest adult population of millionaires by 2030, with roughly 13.4% expected to be millionaires.

Australia came in second at 12.5%, while Hong Kong and Taiwan came in next, according to a HSBC report. In mainland China and India, two of the largest populations in the world, only 4% and 1% respectively will be millionaires.

"In Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, there are likely to be more millionaires on a relative basis than in the US, with Korea, and New Zealand coming close, even by the end 2030," the report wrote.

Source: Financial Standard

Lathe Investment, an affiliate of GIC, has bought a 25% stake in Gurugram-based Hector Beverages for secured INR 400 Cr ($50.1 million).

Hector Beverages is the parent company of popular beverage brand Paper Boat, and has allotted 50,27,273 class D compulsorily convertible preference shares (CCPS) at an issue price of INR 795.66 apiece to GIC amounting to INR 400 Cr.

Founded in 2010 by former Coca-Cola executives Neeraj Kakkar and Niraj Biyani, Hector Beverages runs Paper Boat, which sells fruit-based drinks in Indian flavours such as aam panna (raw mango) and jaljeera (spicy, tangy lemonade).

Source: Inc42

Lim How Teck has stepped down as chair of Temasek-backed Heliconia Capital after his months-long leave of absence and arrest in his capacity as the lead independent director of Raffles Education.

His resignation was announced via a bourse filing from CSE Global — one of Heliconia’s portfolio companies — on Wednesday (Aug 24).

The international technology group announced in the filing that Lim would resign from his role as non-executive non-independent director of CSE Global with immediate effect since he was stepping down as Heliconia’s chairman.

In February this year, five directors from Raffles Education were arrested, with their bail set at S$30,000 each, following disclosure-related investigations from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Commercial Affairs Department.

Source: The Business Times

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