Wider access for retail investors in M’sia, Thailand and S’pore

Updated: Tuesday March 18, 2014 MYT 6:11:38 AM

Wider access for retail investors in M’sia, Thailand and S’pore


KUALA LUMPUR: Retail investors in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand will have access to a wider pool of investment products with the implementation of cross-border fund offerings in the region expected to happen by the third quarter of this year.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Securities Commission of Malaysia and theSecurities and Exchange Commission of Thailand signed an agreement last year to facilitate the rollout of the project.

“This will offer fund managers a direct and efficient route to distribute their funds in other economies,” senior consultant Sheela Veerappan told reporters after the presentation of the Morningstar Malaysia Fund Awards 2014 yesterday.

Singapore-based Morningstar Investment Management Asia Ltd, an investment research firm, offers an extensive line of products and services to individuals, financial advisors and institutions.

Sheela said similar cross-border fund offerings were already being practised in the United States.

Meanwhile, Morningstar’s research analyst Arne Hike said that investors today were becoming increasingly “discerning” on which funds to pick to outperform the average portfolio.

“We noticed that in 2011-2013, investors were selling those funds that had done poorly on a peer-relative risk adjusted basis and putting their money into funds that were doing well on the same basis instead,” Hike said in his presentation.

Within the Asian region, Hike said there were plenty of opportunities for mutual fund growth, given the population dynamics favouring the region today.

“Asia has about 60% of the world’s population, but only 12% of the total assets under management in mutual funds.

“Household financial assets are about the same in absolute terms across the different markets so on a per capital basis is going to be lower in Asia,” he said.

“But this also really highlights opportunities that would crop up over the next few years in Asia for the gathering of mutual fund assets,” he added.

Equities remained a favoured asset class this year, despite increasing worries about high valuations.

“We’re still seeing good interest in Asian equities, but a lot of investors are also exploring diversification (of portfolios). They are biased domestically and equities in the region have performed very well, but now we find that investors are exploring other areas,” said Sheela.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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