News

Asia institutional investors increase real asset exposure

real estateAsian insurers and pension funds are forecast to grow their exposure to real assets in 2021, despite the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on healthcare, social housing and sustainable transport. The findings come from a global survey of 1,000 institutional investors conducted by Aviva Investors, a quarter of which are based in Asia.
A key asset among the Asia-based investors is sustainable transport which is backed by 59% of insurers and 51% of pension funds. The Covid-19 pandemic has strongly influenced the increased appetite for real assets, especially in Asia. The survey found that the move to home working and the need for more digital infrastructure was seen by more than 60% of Asian institutional investors as the greatest opportunity for real assets investing. The rise in popularity of real assets has come at the expense of other asset classes with equities the most affected. Just 7% of Asian pension funds and insurers expect to increase their allocation to stocks. Asian institutional investors are also the most committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions with 85% of insurers and 61% of pension funds having made the pledge. The report does recognise that real assets world faces “stern challenges” in the next 12 months, not least the structural decline expected in sectors like airports, hotels and commercial real estate as a result of Covid-19. However, while those sectors saw a 51% drop in worldwide transactions in Q2 compared with 2019, the industrial sector saw an increase in deal volume during the same period. The report also cites the boom in digital infrastructure and data centres and a renewed appetite for strong ESG credential as trends that offset the losses faced elsewhere. © 2020 funds global asia

Executive Interviews

Executive interview: PGIM CEO on where the ESG flowers should bloom

Sep 27, 2021

David Hunt, president and chief executive of PGIM, tells Romil Patel about leading a top 10 global asset manager in times where “empowering and encouraging the kind of investment decisions as...

Executive interview: Nicolas Moreau’s orderly transition

Jul 12, 2021

Nicolas Moreau, CEO of HSBC Asset Management, is moving to Asia as the firm looks to connect more directly with the region’s growth story. ESG is also a key focus – including the ‘just’ carbon...

Roundtables

Roundtable: Singapore comes of age as an Asian ESG hub

Dec 01, 2021

Strong ESG credentials strengthen the case for Singapore as a leader in Asia of the post-Covid recovery. Our panel discusses the risks and opportunities.

Roundtable: How well geared are Japanese assets for a new world?

Jul 12, 2021

As we prepare to emerge from Covid, experts look at overcoming demographic issues through a combination of good tech and corporate governance, improving productivity and meeting an ambitious government carbon emissions reduction target. Chaired by Romil Patel.