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
The initial purpose of the office will be to manage Asia ex-Japan funds. The firm already manages China and India products from Tokyo but believes it can boost performance and improve its marketing to Japanese clients if it ships this function overseas.
Yamada says the firm has decided which executive to transfer to Hong Kong but it hasnÆt announced this. It is getting the requisite licenses from Hong KongÆs regulators and is also applying to Beijing to be a qualified foreign institutional investor.
Other Japanese firms are already active in continental Asia: DaiwaSB Investments has offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, and is 10% owned by AmericaÆs T. Rowe Price Asset Management; Nikko Asset Management has a sales presence in Singapore, a partnership with ChinaÆs Rongtong Fund Management and a new JV in India with Ambit; and Nomura Asset Management, which has long had offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, has just opened in Kuala Lumpur. Nikko and Nomura also have QFII licenses in China.
But Diam has been able to successfully market offshore products that it manages itself, including a fixed-income product, unique in Japan, that focuses on the Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Norway markets. It also manages a China fund and a global fund of Reits.
Diam may differentiate its Asia products with a special focus on Vietnam. Yamada says he is visiting the country in March, noting that many Japanese manufacturers are shifting production there. He notes that China, India and Bric funds have been hits in Japan, and believes Vietnam could be the next exciting story.
Although the initial purpose of the Hong Kong office is to develop investment products for Japanese clients, Diam will also roll out service capabilities for clients in Asia ex-Japan û just as it has done for European clients.
The firm is in a hurry to get more Asia products in the market. JapanÆs baby boomer generation is now beginning to retire, and firms that can demonstrate consistent returns in higher-yielding products can get a piece of the action.
It has developed its own global bond expertise and quantitative equity capabilities, but has struggled to provide good active equity products for most international markets. Although Diam realises it cannot compete against foreign houses in areas like US or European equities û it will need partners for that û it believes it can improve its stock-picking abilities in Asia.
The February 2007 edition of AsianInvestor magazine will provide an in-depth analysis of the Japanese mutual funds industry.
The AU$85 billion ($61.6 billion) Australian super fund has some exposure to indebted property developer Evergrande. Meanwhile, China’s construction finance is part of its core strategy in real estate.
Investors are seeing the risks, but also the opportunities of the logistics sector. Warehousing their fears for the moment, they can see it's a good conduit to high-growth assets.
Insto roundup: GPIF staff say J-Reits more attractive than traditional assets; Hong Kong's strict Spac criteria
EISS Super hit by another scandal; China's CSRC launches consultation on disclosure requirements for new BSE securities; Hong Kong issues consultation paper on Spacs; New World Development partners with China Taiping to focus on Greater Bay Area projects; GPIF employees say Japanese Reits have grown more attractive; Taiwan's BLF invites bid for $1.7 billion mandate; and more
SGX’s new framework for Spacs will likely provide investors with a much-needed channel for direct deals, but the verdict is still out on whether it will bring liquidity to the bourse.