November 21, 2014

Blackstone to Purchase GE Capital’s Japan Residential Business

The below is from Blackstone's press release.

Tokyo, Japan, November 21, 2014 – Blackstone (NYSE:BX) today announced that funds affiliated with Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia will make an investment in connection with an agreement to acquire GE Japan Corporation’s 100% owned residential real estate business for over ¥190 billion. The business owns and operates more than 200 residential properties, consisting of over 10,000 units primarily in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka.

“We continue to believe strongly in the residential sector’s fundamentals, especially in Japan’s major cities,” said Alan Miyasaki, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone. “We are excited by the opportunity to invest in such a high-quality and well managed business.”

Francois Trausch, Chief Executive Officer – Asia-Pacific at GE Capital Real Estate said, “This transaction supports our global strategy to reduce our equity book as we continue to build our global debt operations. We are pleased that our Japan residential business will transfer to another premier owner/operator with a strong emphasis on tenant satisfaction.”

GPIF Appoints A Coller Capital Partner To Its Newly Introduced CIO Position

According to Government Pension Investment Fund's press release on 20 Nov 2014;

"Mr. Takahiro Mitani, President of Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), will appoint Mr. Hiromichi Mizuno as Executive Managing Director (Chief Investment Officer) on January 5th, 2015.
Upon this new appointment, Mr. Mizuno will resign a member of Investment Advisory Committee at GPIF, as well as a partner of Coller Capital."

As GPIF can appoint only 1 Executive Managing Director besides its President, this appointment puts Mr. Mizuno the second most senior person in the pension fund. This is the first time that GPIF introduces CIO position, which will oversee all asset classes.

November 13, 2014

DRC Acquires Stakes in Chan Luu

DRC Capital, through its DRC II Fund and DRC III Fund, has invested in Chan Luu, a Los Angeles based jewelry and accessories company. According to DRC, Ms. Chan Luu, the designer and the founder, will remain active in the company and will be based in Los Angeles, California.

Chan Luu products are made in Vietnam, where the designer is from, and the US and Japan account for the vast majority of its sales. DRC has formed Chan Luu Japan to optimize and beef up its business in Japan and aggressively expand into the Asian market.

November 07, 2014

GPIF Sets Maximum Allocation To Alternatives At 5%

In its press release on October 31, GPIF announced "Adoption of New Policy Asset Mix".  As shown below, GPIF has substantially increased the allocations to domestic and international stocks.

The announcement coincided with BOJ's further easing and with the Nikkei index surging by 5%, media reports seemed to focus only on the stock allocation increase.

However,  "Adoption of New Policy Asset Mix" did include an important announcement that GPIF for the first time set the allocation for alternative assets with the upper limit of 5%.  It said:

"In order to achieve efficient investments by diversification, policy on alternative investment is stated in the new policy asset mix for the first time."

"Alternative investment will be made within maximum 5% of total portfolio, in accordance with development of dedicated team. Infrastructure, private equities, real estates or other assets determined upon deliberation at the Investment Advisory Committee, are classified as domestic bonds, domestic stocks, international bonds or international stocks, depending on their risk and return profiles."

Please refer to p. 2 and p.13 of  the press release: