Canadian pension fund bets on SE Asia data growth with $360 million investment

Peggy Sito, South China Morning Post

Posted at Oct 20 2020 04:40 PM

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board in Toronto, which manages Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, led a US$360 million investment in Singapore-based data centre company Princeton Digital Group (PDG), betting on the optimistic outlook for the sector in the 5G era.

“We see data centres as a compelling investment opportunity given their essential role in the rapid digitalisation and growth of data occurring in Asia and around the world,” said Ben Chan, regional managing director for Asia-Pacific at Ontario Teachers.

The fund, which had C$204.7 billion (US$149.8 billion) in assets as of June 30, has more than C$15 billion invested in the Asia-Pacific region across equities, private equity and infrastructure.

The fund, which had C$204.7 billion (US$149.8 billion) in assets as of June 30, has more than C$15 billion invested in the Asia-Pacific region across equities, private equity and infrastructure.

Last month, the fund opened an office in Singapore to further enhance its expansion in Asia-Pacific.

Warburg Pincus, already the largest institutional investor in PDG, is also participating in the latest round of fundraising. Details have not been unveiled.

PDG is an investor, operator, and developer of data centres, with a portfolio of 18 such facilities across four countries – China, Singapore, Indonesia, and India – focusing on internet and cloud companies as clients.

“We see a tremendous opportunity for PDG to continue to grow across the largest and fastest growing markets in Asia,” said Ellen Ng, managing director and head of China real state, Warburg Pincus.

Southeast Asia’s data centre sector will see a compounded annual growth rate of 13 per cent through 2024, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
Ng sees data centres as an attractive asset class in the Asia-Pacific region, which has 2 billion internet users – seven times that of US.