BNP Paribas Investment Partners Taiwan is merging Parvest and BNP Paribas L1 fund ranges, with a view to renewing the brand and streamlining its offering.

The firm will focus on this process in the second quarter, says Christine Jih, Taiwan chairman and CEO of BNP Paribas Investment Partners (BNPP IP).

BNPP IP Taiwan has been informing distributors – which form the bulk of its client base – this month about the fund merger details. “We will start the process of system rebuilding and code changes, with the whole merger anticipated to be finished by May,” says Jih.

A total of 60 funds will shrink to 43, all under the name Parvest BNP. As some of them are not registered in Luxembourg, they will be closed in Taiwan, while some of the funds from each brand with a similar investment theme will be merged.

Jih says the merger will help renew the brand, and the firm will launch a ‘brand-rebuilding’ programme in the second half of this year.

The country’s ageing population is driving rising demand for retirement asset planning, she says. Hence BNPP IP Taiwan has been introducing more fixed-income products, which provide a cushion to market volatility and also meet the increasing demand for retirement planning.

The firm is a licence holder of an offshore fund master agent, acting as an intermediary for the company’s offshore fund products, but they are ‘localised’ for Taiwanese investors. For example, fixed income funds domiciled in Europe usually pay dividends yearly, but BNPP IP Taiwan has changed that to monthly.

Apart from minor adjustments to existing products, BNPP IP Taiwan does not provide tailor-made products, because of the market’s small size and regulatory constraints. For a fund to be registered in Taiwan, it must have AUM of $100 million and a one-year track record. 

Meanwhile, despite a growing trend for Taiwanese securities investment trusts and offshore fund master agents to obtain a qualified foreign institutional investor (QFII) licence, BNPP IP Taiwan has no plans to apply as yet, says Jih. The firm is currently focused on expanding its range of locally offered offshore funds. (QFII licences allow firms to invest in onshore Chinese securities.)