Asia ex-Japan AUM set to double

Assets under management in Asia ex-Japan and Australia are expected to almost double to $4trn by 2015, says a new survey of local and international asset managers operating in Asia.

Factors contributing to the growth in assets include an expanding middle class, new pools of insurance and retirement assets and increased interest from foreign investors. The report, published by Cerulli Associates, and is co-sponsored by Mirae Asset and Citi, says Asia could become one of the largest regions for asset management in the world. China will likely be the principal engine of this growth, while Korea will continue to be a considerable force.

Growth in the demand for products will be boosted significantly by Mini-QFII (qualified foreign institutional investor), “transforming the power and influence of Chinese domestic asset managers”. Other contributing factors are investors seeking exposure to Chinese assets and to the Renminbi. 

The survey found evidence of investment platforms and independent financial advisers gaining traction in Asia, but “compared to the power of the banks as distributors, it’s not yet significant”.

Exchange traded funds do not yet account for significant assets under management in Asia compared to mutual funds. But they are beginning to “capture the popular imagination,” the survey says. At the same time, since the Chinese offshore mutual fund market is likely to be the main engine of the region’s growth, mutual funds will still be key to retail growth.

The survey canvassed the views of 30 asset managers operating in the region, representing 32% of assets under management.

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