AsianInvestor hosted its fifth annual Southeast Asia Institutional Investment Forum in Singapore on December 3 and 4.

Sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, insurance companies, private banks and family offices gathered at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in the Lion City to discuss issues facing the investment management industry. Topics ranged from portfolio construction and risk management to investment opportunities and macroeconomic forecasts.

Thailand’s Government Pension Fund discussed plans to diversify into hedge funds, with the aim of building its alternatives exposure to enhance returns and offer greater diversification.

HSBC Global Asset Management’s Michael Chiu gave a convincing argument that China is due for an equity boom, but noted that any rebound in the stock market depends on reforms – such as price liberalisation and restructuring its state-owned sector – being successful.

Speakers were split in their views on whether institutions should continue to put money into high-yield bonds in search of higher returns than what's available from sovereign debt.

Meanwhile, Bob Browne, chief investment officer at Chicago-based Northern Trust, argued that the US Federal Reserve will not raise its policy rates any time soon, noting that the Fed was “spooked by the elasticity of mortgage markets and interest rates”.

To see our gallery of photos, please click here.