HSBC Global Asset Management is in the process of establishing its business in Malaysia, according to a local media report, citing unnamed sources.
The source said that the firm is setting up a team to be based in the country, noting that it needs to have a “basic set-up” and concurrently apply for the relevant licences from the Securities Commission Malaysia. The source added that the firm is now looking to appoint a chief executive officer and a chief investment officer.
The firm is also hiring a Kuala Lumpur-based senior fund manager, who will be responsible for providing fixed income and equity research on Malaysian corporations and sukuk bonds, according to a job posting on HSBC’s Linkedin page.
FSA sought more information from HSBC Global AM, but the firm was not able to comment in time for publication.
While the asset management firm does not yet have an on-the-ground presence in Malaysia, it has already offered its products via the feeder fund route. According to its banking parent’s website in Malaysia, the bank distributes mutual funds managed by local players, with at least two of them being feeder funds that invest in HSBC Global AM’s products.
For example, HSBC in Malaysia distributes the AmAdvantage Asia Pacific ex-Japan Dividend Fund, which invests in the HSBC Global Investment Funds Asia Pacific ex Japan Equity High Dividend Fund, according to the website. The Alliance Advantage Global Emerging Market Bond Fund, meanwhile, invests in HSBC Global AM’s Global Emerging Markets Bond Fund.
Other foreign firms have already set-up in Malaysia.
Hong Kong-based Value Partners, for example, opened its Malaysia office in October last year after. The Kuala Lumpur base will serve as its hub in Southeast Asia for product development, investment and distribution. It also intends to build in-house capabilities for Southeast Asia-focused products, including ETFs and shariah-compliant funds.
Other fund managers that have operations in Malaysia include Aberdeen Standard Investments, Amundi, Eastspring Investments, Franklin Templeton, Manulife Investment Management and Nomura Asset Management, according to data from Malaysia’s Securities Commission.
As of the end of May, Malaysia’s fund management industry stood at $91bn, according to data from Cerulli Associates, which excludes money market funds and fund of funds. Compared to its Southeast Asian peers, it is smaller than Thailand’s fund industry ($130bn), but bigger than the Philippines ($8.7bn).