AUSTRALIA/SOUTH KOREA - South Korea's National Pension Service, the nation's biggest investor, bought an office building in Sydney for A$685m (US$626m) to diversify its investments as Australia's economy strengthens.
The service signed an agreement on December 30 to buy the 44- story Aurora Place office tower overlooking Sydney Harbour, it said in an e-mail today. The seller is Commonwealth Property Investment Trust, a fund created by Colonial First State Global Asset Management to buy the building 10 years ago, Colonial First spokeswoman Malvina Zayats said by phone in Sydney.
The transaction is the largest in Australia's property market since December 2007, making South Korea the second- biggest source of funding after Germany, said Kevin Stanley, head of research at CB Richard Ellis, the world's largest property broker. Australia was among few economies to avoid last year's global recession.
"Australia is showing one of the fastest paces of economic recovery compared with key developed nations," the Korean fund said in its e-mail. "The recovery of its commercial property market is also materializing."
Growth will accelerate in 2010 as demand rises for exports such as iron ore, and as prime minister Kevin Rudd spends A$22bn on infrastructure including schools, the central bank said December 15.
Mark Evans has been appointed as a director at Independent Trustee Services (ITS) to lead trustee appointments in London.
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is consulting on changes to the actuarial assumptions it uses in valuations in a bid to better reflect the bulk annuity market, with schemes set to move into surplus on aggregate.
Private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes were 96.3% funded on a Pension Protection Fund (PPF) compensation basis at the end of July, according to the lifeboat fund's monthly index.
Conduent has completed the sale of its actuarial and human resource consulting business to private equity investor, H.I.G. Capital.