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Future Fund Bids for Listed Australian Infrastructure Fund

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According to the press release, “The Future Fund Board of Guardians confirms that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Australian Infrastructure Fund (AIX) to acquire all of AIX’s portfolio assets as part of an agreed transaction.

David Neal, Chief Investment Officer at the Future Fund said: “Australian infrastructure assets are attractive to the Future Fund because of their strong correlation with Australian economic growth, inflation protection and relative high levels of earnings certainty. These characteristics provide a strong fit with the Fund’s mandate to achieve high, risk adjusted returns over the long term.

“Over the last five years, the Fund has been building its Tangible Assets program. The infrastructure program is part of that and is now valued at over $4.3 billion or 5.6% of the portfolio. We continue to seek opportunities to increase our exposure to quality Australian and international infrastructure assets.”

The proposal is consistent with the Future Fund’s long stated strategy, and will further enhance the Fund’s direct exposure to quality domestic infrastructure assets. The Future Fund already directly holds 16.8% of Australia Pacific Airports Corporation. The Future Fund has given careful consideration to its proposal. The MOU provides exclusivity and sets out the process to close the transaction, including the requirement for a period of confirmatory due diligence and final approval by the Future Fund Board of Guardians.

The proposal to acquire AIX’s assets for $2 billion represents a 10% premium to the AIX Directors’ published valuation of its assets as at 30 June 2012 and provides AIX securityholders with certainty of value.

Any transaction would require the support of the Board of Directors of Australian Infrastructure Fund Limited and the sub-committee of independent directors of Hastings Funds Management Limited, as well as the approval of AIX securityholders.”

Read more: 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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