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CalPERS Commits $530 Million to Asia Real Estate Funds

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According to the press release, “The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) today announced a $530 million investment commitment to two new real estate funds that will target investments in China.

CalPERS will invest $480 million to the ARA Long Term Hold Fund sponsored by ARA Asset Management, a member of the Cheung Kong Group. The pension fund will also invest $50 million in ARA’s Dragon Fund II. CalPERS previously invested $500 million to ARA Dragon Fund I in 2007.

“Income growth and urbanization remain the key themes for growth in China,” said Joe Dear, CalPERS Chief Investment Officer. “China’s office and retail sectors offer stable rental income and potential for capital value growth.”

ARA’s Long Term Hold Fund will target investments in high quality office buildings in central business districts and retail malls in well-located, densely populated suburbs in the first and second tier cities in China and Hong Kong. The Dragon Fund will primarily focus on retail, office and residential property investment in key cities of China, Singapore Hong Kong, and Malaysia.

“ARA is a disciplined investor with a strong bench of senior executives and capabilities in many aspects of real estate operations in Asia,” said Ted Eliopoulos, Senior Investment Officer for CalPERS real estate program. “The team has performed well for our fund over the years.”

CalPERS first investment in ARA’s Dragon Fund earned the pension fund a 19.2 percent return for the one year period ended March 31, 2012, and an annual 8.4 percent return over the last three years through March 31, 2012.”

Read more: CalPERS Press Release

Mergermarket Gets Ready to be Sold

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Private equity firm BC Partners hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to advise on the sales of Acuris. Acuris is a collection of financial news and data sites, which includes Mergermarket, Dealreporter, and Debtwire. In 2017, BC Partners sold around a 30% stake in GIC Private Limited.

Before the rebranding to Acuris, Mergermarket was part of The Financial Times Group until 2013 when it was sold off to BC Partners.

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Why Japan Post Sees Promise in Aflac

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Aflac Inc. is an American insurance company founded in 1955. The company is the biggest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States. Aflac also has major operations in Japan.

In December 2018, Japan Post Holdings (JPHLF) signaled it was spending US$ 2.64 billion for a 7-8 % stake in Aflac. The goal is that, in four years time, Aflac will become an affiliate of Japan Post. Japan Post hopes to accomplish this by becoming the largest voting shareholder of the company. The world’s 13th largest company, with 400,000 employees, Japan Post needs to expand to chase further growth, mainly because Japan Post expects the postal business to decline. Diversification is seen as the optimal route to long term stability for the holding company. Japan’s economy is worrying. Japan’s aging population means that many insurance companies are facing a shrinking customer base, Japan Post settled on a plan to expand overseas.

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RDIF and Development Agency of Serbia Agree to Explore Joint Investments

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The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Development Agency of Serbia, also known as Razvojna agencija Srbije, reached an agreement to work together to identify attractive investment projects to strengthen bilateral economic ties and increase investment flows between Russia and Serbia. Russian capital and businesses are keen on investing in Serbia.

In addition, the two countries signed an agreement to cooperate on civil nuclear energy, according to state-owned Russian reactor builder Rosatom (Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation). Rosatom continues to expand it business of nuclear cooperation deals in a wide number of countries.

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