Asian investors keen on ARFP and renminbi products, RBC finds

While Ucits products remain popular, Asian investors are keen to explore a range of new opportunities, including renminbi-based funds and the prospects for an Asia Region Fund Passport (ARFP), according to the results of an industry poll run by RBC Investor Services on 27 investors in the region.

RBC found that despite the impact of the continuing global financial crisis and fragmentation of the regional market, an overwhelming majority of Asian asset managers remain confident in the prospects in the region.

A vast majority of respondents were confident about the business prospects for the investment management industry in the Asia-Pacific region over the next three years. Moreover, 74% of asset managers said they were very interested by the prospect of an ARFP.

“Against a backdrop of market volatility and sweeping regulatory reform there is an underlying confidence among Asian asset managers,” said David Travers, head Asia-Pacific RBC Investor Services.

He added that promoters must continually assess their best product, distribution options, and ways to improve operational efficiencies to carve their piece in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

“The proposed passport has been widely debated by regulators and market professionals and will continue to be a focus as the fund market keeps growing. Asset managers will look to service providers for information and support, particularly in navigating regulatory and taxation requirements if this is to become a reality,” Travers added.

Meanwhile, the emergence new investment products such as renminbi bond funds have generated fresh interest in Asia over the past 18 months. According to 89% of respondents the flotation of the Chinese Renminbi currency would be important to the future development of the investment management industry in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Widening global access tothe Renminbi has spurred the development of new offshore bond funds and products. Flotation of the currency could ultimately drive fresh investment opportunities allowing greater access to the Chinese market,” Travers said.

Photo: Hong Kong

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