KIC opens Singapore office for SE Asia, Aus push

The Korean sovereign wealth fund expects to boost returns through more manager relationships and co-investments in the Asia-Pacific region.

Sovereign wealth fund Korea Investment Corporation opened an office in Singapore on Friday as it seeks to boost investments in South-East Asia, India and Oceania.

Singapore brings KIC’s overseas office count to three after New York and London.

The investor said it will manage assets locally through the Singapore office while focusing on deal-sourcing and building networks in Southeast Asia, India and Oceania. In addition, the Singapore outpost will also be key to KIC’s plans to increase fund commitments with regional managers as well as co-investments with major institutional investors.

KIC manages about $110.8 billion of assets as of end-2016, of which 13.7 percent or roughly $15 billion was invested in alternative assets, which include private equity, real estate, infrastructure and hedge funds. Its real estate and infrastructure net asset value is $5.7 billion.

The fund reportedly plans to raise its allocation to alternatives to 20 percent by 2020.

KIC posted a total return of 4.35 percent last year, compared to -3 percent in 2015, boosted by alternative investment returns. As of the end of 2016, the fund recorded an annualized investment return since inception of 6.57 percent for alternative investments.

KIC established its alternative investment division in 2009 and started investing in private equity funds immediately following the global financial crisis. For real estate, KIC invests through direct, indirect and co-investments via asset managers.