IFM Investors to push for more Japanese investment in Australia

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“We are unashamedly there trying to help them get interested in infrastructure around the world, particularly in Australia, consistent with the Australian government’s asset recycling program,” Mr Himbury says. 

“Under the asset recycling model, governments privatise assets and use the proceeds to fund new infrastructure projects.”

The Australian super system has about 10 per cent of its assets exposed to infrastructure; the rest of the world has about an 0.8 per cent exposure. 

“If Japan was just to allocate an 0.8 per cent exposure to infrastructure, it would be in their funds’ and members’ interests,” Himbury says.

Japan is home to the world’s biggest pension fund, the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), which has $1.3 trillion under management. By contrast, the size of Australia’s total superannuation industry is $1.55 trillion.

Mr Abe’s government has put pressure on the GPIF to deliver higher returns and diversify its assets, by making riskier investments and moving away from the limited returns of Japanese government bonds.

Melbourne-based IFM, which set up an office in Tokyo in January, wants to manage the funds allocated to infrastructure by Japan’s large, long-term institutional players. 

“We are the biggest infrastructure investor in this country, so if they were going to come here, hopefully they would want to partner with IFM,” he says. “In taking their first foray into the asset class (infrastructure) and one of their more significant forays into Australia you’d probably want to make sure you were doing that with a trusted partner that knew the local position well.”

IFM is one of the country’s biggest investment firms and oversees money on behalf of 30 industry superannuation schemes and offshore pension funds.

At a lunch with the Japanese delegation in Canberra on Tuesday, Mr Himbury will put the case for greater investment in infrastructure, particularly in Australia, and the role IFM can play.  

IFM is also keeping an eye on the so-called “Abenomics” and the privatisation program in Japan likely to accompany that, with Mr Abe seeking to increase private investment in public infrastructure to slash government debt. Japan’s Abe government appears to be keen to engage foreign investors to see what needs to be done to make the country a more attractive investment destination.

Mr Himbury said IFM was “trying to do what the free trade agreement is doing at a government and policy level, but at a commercial level”.

The free trade agreement between Japan and Australia is expected to be ratified in Canberra on Tuesday.
















Source Article from http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/ifm-investors-to-push-for-more-japanese-investment-in-australia-20140708-zt03y.html
IFM Investors to push for more Japanese investment in Australia
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/ifm-investors-to-push-for-more-japanese-investment-in-australia-20140708-zt03y.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/rss?p=Japanese%20Class
Japanese Class – Yahoo News Search Results
Japanese Class – Yahoo News Search Results



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