March newsmakers: CS, Ping An, GPF, MAS, Nan Fung Trinity

The AsianInvestor news team was very busy in March, covering big stories such as the UBS-Credit Suisse merger impact, as well as speaking to asset owners at our own events.
March newsmakers: CS, Ping An, GPF, MAS, Nan Fung Trinity

What a month March was. From the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank to the UBS takeover of Credit Suisse, investors stayed glued to the news as financial markets reeled from the collective impact of the banking crises. 

Our editorial team put together some outstanding content covering the events, most of which were highly appreciated by our readers. 

AsianInvestor also hosted its live investment events during the month in Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand, which were also well receieved. 

Here are of some of the best content highlights of the month. We have an exceptionally bumper crop of asset owner commentary for you.

Asian family offices explore options to replace Credit Suisse

While some Asian family offices may view the sudden collapse of Credit Suisse as a one-off, unlikely-to-be-repeated event, others believe the fall of the bank has dealt a serious blow to Switzerland's reputation as a wealth management centre, in particular as a booking centre.

Despite the rescue merger with UBS, diversification and new relationships are now top-of-mind for many of the region's richest families who are looking to bring their assets back closer to home.

Chart: Asset owner portfolios face limited fallout from SVB collapse

In the wake of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) closure, asset owners from Singapore to New Zealand have confirmed to AsianInvestor that they had limited or no direct exposure to SVB.

If there are direct holdings, in the form of shares and bonds, they mostly account for a few hundred million dollars relative to assets under management that run into billions of dollars for several institutions.

Yet even without direct exposure, it is likely that some asset owners invested in passive strategies could be exposed as the bank was one of the constituents in the widely-followed S&P 500 index and the Russell 3000 Growth index, one expert told AsianInvestor.

Ping An CIO: The worst is over for China real estate

Ping An Insurance’s chief investment officer Benjamin Deng remains optimistic about real estate investment in China in 2023, adding that the most difficult time for the industry has passed from a macro perspective.

He also sees structural opportunities in China’s stock market in the new year with the economy starting to expand and said the life insurer is ready to make tactical strategies in the choice of sectors, timing, and pace.

Singapore central bank lifts gold holdings by 30%

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has raised its gold reserves by close to 30% since the start of this year, making it only the second time the central bank has increased gold holdings in the past few years.

MAS’ gold holdings increased to 6.4 million fine troy ounces at the end of January 2023, up a little over 30% from 4.9 million fine troy ounces the previous month as well as a year ago, according to official monthly reserves data released in late February. 

Tsangs Group maps out VC strategy for Singapore office

Hong Kong-headquartered single family office Tsangs Group sees 2023 as a good year to increase resources in venture capital in Southeast Asia via its newly opened Singapore office.  

The new location will help the family tap into growth opportunities in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines in the technology and clean energy sectors.

Singlife: How the insurer picks investment partners

Singlife, one of Singapore's largest homegrown insurers, is a big believer in outsourcing investment mandates to specialists who can outperform.

That means the process of manager selection is crucial to investing success.

Kim Rosenkilde, chief investment officer at Singlife, in an exclusive interview with AsianInvestor, outlined the main criteria the insurer takes into consideration before handing out these mandates.

Here is a selection of AsianInvestor events coverage:

Nan Fung Trinity pivots towards Asian equities

Nan Fung Trinity has turned more aggressive with its public assets portfolio since late last year, adding positions in Asian equities in order to capture selective opportunities in areas like cyclical and financial stocks.

Meanwhile, the family office has moved some stock positions to cash in the developed markets while becoming more active on credit investments with longer duration.

Three insurance CIOs weigh in on evolving impact of IFRS 17, ESG

Chief investment officers have become a "jack of all trades" at insurance companies where they are required to juggle both the asset managment and the actuary parts of the business, according to executives Sun Life International HuBS, Swiss Re and Manulife.

AIA, Singlife challenge notion of ESG versus returns

Chunyen Liu, chief investment officer at AIA Singapore, believes the popular view that there must be some sort of a tradeoff between financial returns and sustainable investing is more of a persistent myth plaguing the industry than a valid viewpoint.

Meanwhile, Kim Rosenkilde, group chief investment officer of Singlife, notes that for the first time in history, sovereigns are aligning with investors on the needs of society.

Thailand GPF's multi-asset strategy outperforms in uncertain times

Among the multitude of factors creating uncertainty for investors across the macro-economic landscape, inflation continues to dominate the headlines, according to Man Juttijudata, chief investment strategy officer of Thailand’s Government Pension Fund (GPF).

The $34 billion national pension fund uses a combination of long-term strategic asset allocation (SAA) and short-to-medium term tactical asset allocation (TAA) to future proof itself against uncertainties, said Juttijudata.


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