First Sentier Investors launches private debt capability in collaboration with MUFG Bank
Friday 30 April 2021 – With the support of MUFG Bank, Ltd., (MUFG Bank), First Sentier Investors has launched a private debt capability focused initially on loans to the renewable energy sector.
Leveraging MUFG Bank’s strengths as a leader in project finance and debt capital markets for ESG/sustainability-linked financing, and First Sentier Investors position as a leading global fund manager with A$237 billion in AUM1, the new initiative is the latest commitment from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) as a part of its broader group-wide strategic imperative around ESG.
First Sentier Investors’ sustainable debt strategy has already attracted a cornerstone investor commitment through a standalone First Sentier Investors managed trust structure. The first tranche of renewable loans settled in April.
The strategy will be led by Tony Togher, Head of Fixed Income, Short Term Investments & Global Credit at First Sentier Investors. Mr Togher said the collaboration with MUFG Bank in sourcing potential loans leverages the firm’s strong track record in credit risk.
"First Sentier Investors has established a reputation for conservative credit risk oversight, portfolio construction expertise and strong institutional relationships. In turn, MUFG Bank brings its scale and experience as one of the largest lenders to the renewables sector in the Asia-Pacific. The initiative demonstrates how we can collaborate with our shareholder and its subsidiaries for the benefit of clients,” he said.
MUFG Bank is already one of the largest lenders to the renewables sector in the Asia-Pacific region, with a strong pipeline of opportunities.
Siong Ooi, MUFG Bank’s Co-Head of Debt Capital Markets, said, “The successful launch of this initiative represents another exciting step forward for MUFG’s sustainability financing vision by delivering on two key strategic priorities; those being an absolute commitment to ESG/sustainability-linked financing, as well as creating new channels for the distribution of loan assets. We anticipate that there will be strong investor demand for this type of asset. MUFG Bank will seek to originate and structure future investment opportunities for First Sentier Investors to meet this demand.”
The establishment of the private debt capability means First Sentier Investors will be able to offer its investor base exposure to a diversified portfolio of ESG/sustainability-linked loan assets, and strategic access to the loan asset class, beyond the traditional bank market.
“With the renewable energy sector in Australia growing rapidly, we are pleased to provide our clients with a debt-based investment product that taps into the transition from a fossil fuel-driven economy to a low-carbon economy,” Mr. Togher said.
MUFG has publicly committed to investing JPY20 trillion yen (A$238 billon)2 into sustainability related financing globally by 2030. Already well ahead of schedule with 19% of this target being achieved in its first year (FY2019), MUFG recently announced that it has raised this target to JPY35 trillion yen (A$417 billion).
About First Sentier Investors
First Sentier Investors manages A$237 billion in assets (as at 31 March 2021) on behalf of institutional investors, pension funds, wholesale distributors, investment platforms, financial advisers and their clients worldwide.
The firm operates as a standalone global investment management business with offices across Europe, the Americas, and Asia Pacific. First Sentier Investors’ expertise spans a range of asset classes and specialist investment sectors, and is focused on delivering sustainable investment success based on responsible investment principles.
Formerly Colonial First State Global Asset Management, the firm was acquired from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in August 2019 by Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) is one of the world’s leading financial groups.
Headquartered in Tokyo and with over 360 years of history, MUFG has a global network with around 2,600 locations in more than 50 markets. The Group has over 180,000 employees and offers services including commercial banking, trust banking, securities, credit cards, consumer finance, asset management and leasing.
The Group aims to “be the world’s most trusted financial group” through close collaboration among our operating companies and flexibly respond to all of the financial needs of our customers, serving society, and fostering shared and sustainable growth for a better world. MUFG’s shares trade on the Tokyo, Nagoya, and New York stock exchanges.
MUFG Bank, Ltd. is Japan’s premier bank, with a global network spanning more than 50 markets. Outside of Japan, the bank offers an extensive scope of commercial and investment banking products and services to businesses, governments and individuals worldwide.
In Asia, MUFG Bank has a presence across 20 markets – Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
It has also formed strategic partnerships with some of the most prominent banks in Southeast Asia, further augmenting its unrivalled network across the region – VietinBank in Vietnam, Krungsri in Thailand, Security Bank in the Philippines and Bank Danamon in Indonesia.
MUFG’s Commitment to ESG Finance Projects
As part of MUFG’s ongoing mission towards partnering our clients and the community to achieve sustainable growth, it has committed a total sum of JPY35 trillion into sustainability-related financing by 2030.
MUFG is also a global leader in renewable generation projects and has also been ranked top lead arranger in Bloomberg’s league tables for clean energy financing for six of the past eight years. In Asia Pacific outside Japan, MUFG has facilitated milestones such as the first green certification of a project loan in India for Softbank’s solar park in Rajasthan as well as the world’s first ESG-linked US private placement for Sydney Airport.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Co-Head of Communications
First Sentier Investors
M: +61 466 856 705
Corporate Communications, Oceania
DID: +61 292961358
Email: [email protected]
Corporate Communications, Asia
DID: +65 6918 3841
Email: [email protected]
This press release is intended for information only, aimed solely at the media and should not be further distributed to individual and/or corporate investors, and financial advisers and/or distributors. The information included within this document and any supplemental documentation provided should not be copied, reproduced or redistributed without the prior written consent of First Sentier Investors.
1As at 31 March 2021
2 84 JPY = 1 AUD as of April 2021