Malaysian workers' savings fund launches £1bn spending spree - Business News - Business - The Independent

Malaysian workers' savings fund launches £1bn spending spree

A $112bn sovereign wealth fund that invests the savings of 12.3 million Malaysian workers has launched a £1bn property spending spree as Far East money streams into the UK.

Malaysia's Employees Provident Fund (EPF) – the bedrock of the South-east Asian country's pension sector – has hired ING Real Estate Investment Management and RREEF to advise it on assembling a major European real-estate portfolio.

It has awarded the global fund managers a mandate to invest £500m of equity each in property markets across Europe, although the UK is its primary focus.

This move is thought to be part of a wider strategy by EPF to diversify its asset base and increase its holdings outside Malaysia. It will also mark EPF's first significant entry into direct property acquisitions outside its home country.

EPF was set up in 1991 as a social-security institution where private and public-sector employees, with employer participation, contribute around 20 per cent of their salaries to the fund. These savings are then managed to provide retirement and other benefits and a guaranteed 2.5 per cent annual dividend.

The fund is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, one of the financial power hubs in the Asia Pacific region, and currently invests in Malaysian government securities, money-market instruments, loans and bonds, and equity, as well as its domestic property market.

It is not thought to have invested significantly overseas and its global equities investments to date account for around 2.5 per cent of its total assets. Any foreign investments have to be approved by Malaysia's Ministry of Finance.

For the past two decades, EPF has seen almost continual growth. However Malaysia, like its neighbour Singapore and other countries with ageing populations and rising medical costs, is putting in place measures to ensure it can manage its future obligations. It has been making changes to its contributions structure since 2008 in a process known as the "Beyond Savings" initiative. This is thought to be its latest diversification.

ING, one of the world's biggest fund managers, and RREEF, the property fund management arm of Deutsche Bank, declined to comment.

EPF is the latest to join the queue of Asian money looking for a home in Europe. South Korea's National Pension Service Fund, the world's fifth-largest pension-fund manager, has spent well over £1bn in the UK, including the purchase of a stake in Gatwick Airport in February.

SSI, Thailand's largest steel company, signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday to buy Corus's Redcar steel plant for £320m. The deal could see steel production begin again at the plant next year. The Korea National Oil Corporation has made a £1.87bn hostile bid to buy the Aberdeen oil company Dana Petroleum.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Sales Executive

£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...

Payroll & Accounts Assistant

£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week