Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) will open its third overseas office in Singapore as early as August in its push for alternative investments in Asia, according to a local newspaper report.
The opening of a foreign office will come six years after the $111 billion sovereign wealth fund set up offices in New York and London in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
KIC expects the new Asian base will help boost networks for alternative investments, the Seoul Economic Daily said on June 21, as it is focusing on Asian markets in search of undervalued assets and portfolio diversification.
“The Singapore office will serve as an outpost for our alternative investment in Asia,” an KIC source told the newspaper.
The decision for opening a Singapore office also comes as big sovereign wealth funds and pension schemes, including Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global and China Investment Corporation, are increasingly chasing Asian assets and participating in corporate M&A transactions, the newspaper added.
National Pension Service’s Singapore office, established in 2015, was attributed to the significant expansion of the size and scope of the South Korean pension scheme’s Asian investments.
KIC’s portfolios are heavily weighted towards North America (53.53%) and Europe (25.62%) at end-2016, with Asia accounting for 17.32%.
Alternative assets represented 13.7% of KIC’s total assets under management at the end of last year, versus 12.4% a year earlier.
KIC will keep the ratio of local employees and dispatched Korean workers at 50:50 for the Singapore office, according to the report.
<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>