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SWFI First Read, November 8, 2015

Institutional Investors Examine Northern Australia

Australia’s far north has received far fewer infrastructure investments compared to other regions of the country. However, the north attributed with a more tropical climate, has drawn the attention of some mega institutional investors and global corporations. Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb is hoping the 3-day Northern Australia Investment Forum, based in Darwin, will start getting investors thinking about the Northern half of Australia. Some of the expected attendees include: China Investment Corporation (CIC), Korea Investment Corporation (KIC), Saudi Agricultural Livestock Investment Company, India’s Bharat Biotech International and São Paulo-based JBS S.A.

BlackRock Watch Out, Amundi is Ready

Paris-based Amundi just raised a fresh load of cash and has €954 billion in assets under management. Amundi’s CEO Yves Perrier made it clear he wants to build a massive global brand by making a number of future acquisitions. Perrier was also a force behind the creation of Amundi. With €1.3 billion ready to be deployed and a goal to keep 40% of annual earnings for future deals, Amundi is looking to seize market share.

KKR and The Chernin Group Form Asian Media Venture

KKR and Los Angeles-based The Chernin Group, LLC formed Emerald Media, a new fund to target media and entertainment assets in Asia. KKR committed US$ 300 million to the venture, through its KKR Asian Fund II, while the Chernin Group will join as a minority co-investor. Furthermore, KKR acquired a minority interest in CA Media, the existing Asian media portfolio of The Chernin Group. The Chernin Group touts backers such as Providence Equity Partners, LLC and Qatar Holding.

S&P Dow Jones Indices Launch 2 New Smart Beta Pan-Arab Indices

Late last month, S&P Dow Jones Indices launched the S&P Pan Arab Low Volatility High Dividend Index and the S&P Pan Arab Composite Shariah Dividend Index which includes the highest dividend paying stocks – consistent with Islamic finance principles.

PUSHBACK: Qatar Airways CEO Says Few Companies Can Meet Stringent Standards Set by Authorities

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Asian Sovereign Funds Not Slowing Down on Tech Investing

According to data from SWFI’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database, Asian sovereign funds invested US$ 6.05 billion directly into companies and assets in the information technology sector from Jan 2017 to November 22, 2017. In a comparable time frame from Jan 2016 to November 22, 2016, this same group of Asian sovereign funds directly invested US$ 5.02 billion in the sector. These are direct investments, not fund commitments or manager allocations.

Asian sovereign funds such as GIC Private Limited, Temasek Holdings and the Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) have demonstrated bullish signals to the technology community over other sectors. GIC and Temasek have also been major investors in the private side of deals, funding a wide range of tech startups, while providing financial firepower in buyout transactions.

Some notable direct tech investments in 2017 by sovereign funds include Meituan-Dianping, SoundCloud, Nets A/S, Visma AS, Turn, Inc. and Vantiv.

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Future Fund Makes a Guardian Out of Former J.P. Morgan ANZ Chair

The Australian government has appointed Robert Priestley – current non-executive chair of J.P Morgan for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) and a non-executive director of ASX – to serve on the Future Fund Board of Guardians for a five-year term from November 7, 2017. Priestley replaces former Morgan Stanley Australia chief executive Steven J. Harker.

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Associated British Ports Reboots Property Development Arm to Capitalize on Land Bank

Associated British Ports (ABP) – operator of 21 major ports throughout the United Kingdom – has announced a reboot of its ABP Property division, complete with a new team of specialists in commercial development and logistics led by Huw Turner, in order to identify and develop strategically significant locations in its 2,372 acre land bank.

ABP is owned in large part by a consortium of pensions and sovereign funds, including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) at 33.88% ownership, OMERS at 30%, Singapore’s GIC Ventures Pte Ltd at 20.00% ownership, and the Kuwait Investment Authority at 10.00% ownership. Large institutional investors such as sovereign funds, pensions, and endowments have slowly increased allocation towards infrastructure over the past six years as an alternative to equities and bonds, according to asset allocation data from SWFI.

Plans

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