MAS names sustainability head; Malaysia’s EPF appoints COO and CFO; GIC PE head for SEA leaves; State Super hires new exec; Hesta appoints chief growth officer, chief Debby Blakey appointed to corporate governance board; ex-BlackRock exec joins IQ-EQ in Singapore; HSBC AM builds direct real estate team; ex-Vanguard head of distribution joins LGIM; Sanne names Singapore head; and more
Equity funds led the decline, falling 11.73% in aggregate, with only the equity sector gold and precious metals funds showing a positive return of 1.55% on-average. Equity funds that invest in China and Korea posted average losses of 21.08% and 18.56%, respectively.
Bond funds finished last month down 0.23% on-average as declines in high-yield and convertible issues dragged down overall returns.
Kenneth Koh, Singapore-based head of research for Asia ex-Japan at Lipper, says markets are likely to remain volatile while they attempt to regain their footing, following the series of measures undertaken by the US Federal Reserve to stave off recession.
The US Federal Reserve trimmed its core interest rate a sharp 1.25% over two consecutive cuts in January, bringing the Fed funds rate to 3% in a bid to stave off recession, while announcing a huge fiscal stimulus package to restore consumer confidence.
ôWhile the moves have helped global bourses regain their footing somewhat, analysts are divided on their eventual impact. The markets may be seeing only a momentary respite amid a broader downtrend,ö says Koh. ôIn the meantime, US stocks have rebounded, following an offer by billionaire investor Warren Buffet to take on $800 billion in municipal bond risk from the three top bond insurers.ö
Still, Koh notes, if JanuaryÆs wild swings are any indication, increased stockmarket volatility will be the norm. ôFund investors should therefore stay vigilant and expect the unexpected,ö he says.
Average January performance of fund groups registered for sale in Singapore, by asset types:
Bond Funds -0.23%
Money Market Funds -0.60%
Protected Funds -1.58%
Hedge Funds -2.39%
Guaranteed Funds -3.16%
Mixed-Asset Funds -5.41%
Equity Funds -11.73%
Kwap property arm appoints CEO; VFMC names new CEO as Lisa Gray retires; MSIG Singapore promotes Mack Eng as CEO; Monroe Capital opens first Asia office in Seoul, hires head from Aberdeen; Vanguard Australia appoints new MD to relocate from US; HSBC AM expands EM debt team; Vantage FX hires from CGS-CIMB in Singapore; and more.
Financials and healthcare have been spotted as promising sectors, while several tech IPOs are on the way, including a $2.2 billion fintech firm and a GIC-backed e-commerce startup.
A strong recovery in the Asia Pacific private capital markets in 2021 sets up favourable hiring and compensation trends.
The $95 billion Korean savings will set up a separately managed account for real estate debt investment early next year in order to shorten decision-making and help it win deals in a crowded market.