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New Zealand SWF looking to buy farms

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According to NZ Interest, “The New Zealand Superannuation Fund could potentially partner in the buy up of clusters of farms as it moves to invest between NZ$300 million and NZ$500 million through its rural land strategy over the next three to five years.

In an interview with interest.co.nz Super Fund CEO Adrian Orr emphasized the rural push was a global, rather than merely New Zealand, one. However, he noted New Zealand was one of the best farms in the world so should “get a slice” of the investment.

Orr, former Reserve Bank deputy governor and head of financial stability, said the rural strategy was largely driven by riding the wave of global population growth, demand for protein and scarce resources. Created by the previous Labour-led government to help offset the burden of paying universal superannuation to a generation of retiring baby boomers, the Super Fund’s value stood at NZ$16.71 billion as of April 30.

Asked whether the 16 Crafar farms being sold by receivers KordaMentha or Dairy Holdings Ltd, the dairy farming business controlled by Allan Hubbard the owner of struggling South Canterbury Finance, might be of interest, Orr said it was too early to rule out anything.

“We don’t mind clusterings of farms because as part of a global portfolio it doesn’t have to be diversified just to New Zealand,” Orr said. “It (the Super Fund) is diversified globally.”

The Super Fund was currently working towards selecting managers who would have their own capital in the game and oversee the rural land investment.”

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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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