Mirae Asset moves to enter Taiwan market via M&A deal

Attracted by Taiwan's growth potential and strengthening Greater China ties, Mirae Asset Global Investments signs an MOU to buy a majority stake in TLG Asset Management.

Mirae Asset Global Investments has made a strategic move to enter the Taiwan market, signing a memorandum of understanding to buy a 60% stake in TLG Asset Management, a subsidiary of Taiwan Life Insurance Company. 

Under the agreement, the international arm of South Korea's Mirae Asset will become the largest shareholder of Taiwan Life Asset Management, a mid-size manager with $270 million in assets. 

Once completed, the deal will enable Mirae to provide investors in Taiwan with both onshore and offshore fund products. It will also allow it to provide total asset management services covering the Greater China region in the near future, the company notes. 

Mirae Asset has a Hong Kong office as well as a Chinese mutual fund joint venture that is being reviewed for approval by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). 

Jun Won Yang, head of Mirae Asset’s strategy and planning division, says the decision was taken on the strength of Taiwan's growth potential and the prospect of evolving Greater China economic ties. 

“We expect to further strengthen our position in Taiwan and provide our global investors with a broader range of products and services through our solid Greater China regional network,” he adds. 

The firm has long been an advocate of the Greater China growth story, and describes itself as one of the world’s largest investment managers in emerging market equities.

It plans to launch and manage various onshore fund products in Taiwan similar to the ones it is managing globally, while it will also sell Luxembourg domiciled Sicav products as offshore funds in Taiwan. 

Hong Kong is the main manufacturing centre for Mirae Asset’s Asia-Pacific and China funds, with $8 billion of assets under management as at the end of 2010.

It launched its first retail fund in Hong Kong in 2009, and this year launched the Tiger Kospi 200 ETF, the firm's first ETF outside South Korea and Hong Kong’s first Kospi 200-referenced ETF. Mirae Asset launched its first ETF in 2006 and has W748 billion ($680 million) in ETF assets under management.

In August last year, Mirae told AsianInvestor of its plans to diversify further beyond its domestic base in terms of both product manufacture and distribution, as well as expand its international investment teams in Hong Kong and elsewhere. 

At the start of this year, Woong Park assumed the position as Magi's new Hong Kong chief executive, taking over from Peter Lee, who moved to Seoul as managing director of Mirae's research division.

Park was previously chief marketing officer for Mirae Asset, a post now held by Martyn Gilbey, who joined the firm in July in Hong Kong. 

Headquartered in Seoul, Mirae Asset Global Investments Group managed over $52 billion in assets globally as at November 30 last year. It has over 450 staff, including 170 investment professionals. The firm has a presence in Hong Kong, Brazil, China, Vietnam, India, Korea, the UK and the US.

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