The Dutch pension asset manager's Asia Pacific head of real estate says his team has just had one of its busiest years ever and that 2021 is looking similarly promising.
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.
Record low borrowing costs in Australia are feeding demand for the country's real estate, with domestic and global investors raising their allocations into the sector.
Experts have a diversified view on the appeal of private assets across the region, but one thing's for certain - inflows are rising, particularly into China and the US.
Malaysia's Armed Forces Fund hires new CEO; Canada's Omers appoints Asia capital markets managing director; HSBC Asset Management creates alternatives unit, appoints CIO as its head; Bank of Singapore names global wealth head; Aware Super hires IFA head; Hong Kong names acting head for MPFA; Schroders adding to Asia ESG headcount; and more.
Asian fixed income assets – including Hong Kong dollar (HKD) bonds – are luring growing numbers of global investors who are striving for reliable and consistent returns amid macro uncertainty compounded by rising inflation and rates, according to HSBC Asset Management.