HSBC Global Asset Management has opened an office in Brunei, in line with its goal of strengthen its overall business in the region.

Located at the HSBC main branch in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei, the office provides investment expertise and a range of investment management solutions to clients in Brunei. The office, which opened its doors in January, is focused mainly on the institutional market but hopes to build its retail capability in due time. Having an on-the-ground set up in Brunei will allow HSBC Asset Management to provide better access for local institutional investors to its investment products that invest overseas.

Rudolf Apenbrink, Hong Kong-based Asia-Pacific CEO of HSBC Global Asset Management, says the presence in Brunei is a strategic move for expansion in Asia. The Brunei office serves as an extension of the fund house's office in Singapore, which serves the regional markets of Southeast Asia.

Mah Yeok Fun, CEO of HSBC Global Asset Management Singapore, will have management oversight of the new office in Brunei.

Tareq Muhmood, CEO of HSBC in Brunei, says the setting up of asset management operations there will help strengthen the bank's overall business. HSBC in Brunei currently employs more than 700 staff, most of whom were recruited locally.

In Asia, HSBC Global Asset Management has been serving both institutional and retail clients for more than 30 years, with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, India and Japan, and a joint-venture fund management company in China. The firm manages $371 billion in assets globally as of end-December 2008.