Canada’s $143-billion Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is looking to expand its footprint in Asia by adding new offices in the region over the next five years.

The third largest retirement fund of Canada is looking to focus on private markets, particularly real estate assets in Asia, with a potentially increased allocation from its current 10 per cent. It is scouting for assets in locations including Australia, India and Singapore.

The fund currently only has one office in Asia in Hong Kong, which was opened in 2013.

In 2018, Ontario Teachers generated an annualised total fund net return of 9.7 per cent since its inception in 1990.

“Times like these show how continuing to rebalance the portfolio for stability is paying off. In 2018, our private assets carried the day. Despite a more difficult environment, we were able to conclude a number of significant, complex transactions during the year,” said Ontario Teachers’ chief investment officer Ziad Hindo during the fund’s results announcement on April 2.

Western institutional investors are increasingly looking to bet their capital in Asia. Beyond making more commitments into Asia-focused mega funds, some of these investors have taken a step further by setting up offices in the region.

Meanwhile, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) had hiked its exposure to Asian private equity by nearly 27.8 per cent to $13.3 billion last March. Its head of Asia Pacific Suyi Kim had said that the $277-billion fund was considering setting up an office in Beijing, China, after Hong Kong.

Source: Deal Street Asia

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