Amundi doubles Asia JV assets, eyes acquisitions, tie-ups

The French asset manager's CIO outlines how the firm aims to build on the strong growth of its Asian joint ventures. Further regional expansion and product launches are on the cards.
Amundi doubles Asia JV assets, eyes acquisitions, tie-ups

While many Western fund houses suffered outflows in Asia in 2015, Amundi’s regional AUM rose 25% year-on-year to $110.4 billion as of September 30. This made it the second fastest growing global fund house in the region, ahead of Principal Global Investors, according to AsianInvestor's AI100 data*.

Amundi's expansion has been driven largely by inflows into its joint ventures with local partners, including Agricultural Bank of China, Korea’s National Agricultural Cooperative Federation and State Bank of India.

Amundi’s latest annual report showed that its Asia JV assets grew 92% in 2015 to €73 billion ($81 billion) on the back of €31.3 billion in net inflows, with China accounting for €19 billion of that figure. The firm declined to break down the growth figures separately for each JV.

Pascal Blanqué, Amundi's global chief investment officer, told AsianInvestor about its plans to build on this expansion. For one thing, the manager is eyeing Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan as countries where it could acquire fund businesses or build partnerships.

In terms of client segments, Amundi will seek to develop its regional distribution business, and Blanqué expects to see large insurers – notably in China and South Korea – become even more influential investors. Institutional clients accounted for about 90% of Amundi’s regional assets as of September 2015. 

As regards product types, Blanqué sees growing momentum in passive index and smart-beta solutions, so Amundi plans to launch exchange-traded and smart-beta funds in Hong Kong this year.

The $22 billion September-to-September rise in Asia-Pacific-sourced assets put it 16th on AsianInvestor’s latest list* of the 100 biggest fund houses in the region by Asia-Pacific AUM, up from 25th the year before. This followed 21.76% and 30.57% AUM growth in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

The firm has expanded its footprint in Asia in recent years by opening offices in Taiwan in 2012 and Thailand in 2014. In addition, it acquired Malaysia-based KAF Fund Management’s fixed income business in March 2014.

In terms of products, Amundi Funds Bond Global Aggregate accounted for the biggest inflow in Asia Pacific in the year to September. Its AUM rose 80% from $4.1 billion to $7.4 billion in the period, posting 12.4% net return during 2015 in euro terms.

*The full list of the 100 biggest fund houses by assets sourced from Asia-Pacific clients will appear in the upcoming (March) issue of AsianInvestor magazine.

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