Big banks managing bond funds are the rule. New entrants, new products and a new pension system have the potential to galvanise this sleepy industry.
Bucking the global trend, Thailand's bank-affiliated fund houses continue to take advantage of their powerful distribution network and lord it over the industry.
Theresa Marcial Javier expects the Philippine fund house's AUM to grow by 10-15% annually in the next two years.
Investors are now paying close attention to Malaysian corporate earnings as mutual funds in the country post further gains, according to data provider Lipper.
Mary Chris Gay, a portfolio manager at Legg Mason Capital Management, believes the recovery in corporate earnings could surprise investors on the upside.
The asset allocation balance shifts in favour of equities, according to the latest HSBC survey.
The fund house notes that valuations are attractive, but uncertainty still looms.
The fund house also sees opportunities in smaller markets such as Indonesia due mainly to strong domestic growth.
The total assets of the world's largest 300 pension funds fell by 13% in 2008 to $10.4 trillion, according to a Watson Wyatt report.
The fund house has named Chen Ee Fang as its business development director for the region.
Around 31% of employees surveyed are already considering moving to another MPF provider.
Valuations don't reflect fundamentals and need to return to reality, the firm says.