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In case you missed it (14 August 2020)

Manulife HK sees higher flows in H1; Amundi and OCBC launch co-branded fund in Singapore; Malaysia's Affin Hwang partners with fintech firm; Australia's HNWIs shift to robos; and more
English afternoon tea set including hot tea, pastry, scones, sandwiches and mini pies on marble top table.


Manulife in Hong Kong reported that its wealth and asset management (WAM) business had gross flows of HK$19.9bn ($2.57bn) in the first half, up 25% from the same period last year. However, flows during the second quarter were at HK$8.2bn, down 4% from the same period in 2019. The gross flow in the first half was mainly driven by the flows into pension and mutual fund products in the first quarter. However, it was partially offset by lower mutual fund sales in the second quarter due to the Covid-19 pandemic and weaker market sentiment, the firm said…

Amundi and OCBC have launched a mixed-asset fund in Singapore, according to a joint statement from the firms. The Amundi-OCBC Momentum Fund, which is the first co-branded product between the two firms, invests in global bonds and equity ETFs, according to the fund’s prospectus. It explained that during the first three full calendar months after inception, the fund will first primarily invest in global bonds. The fund is managed by Amundi and exclusively distributed by OCBC Bank…

Kuala Lumpur-based fintech firm Versa Asia has teamed up with Affin Hwang Asset Management to launch a digital cash management platform via a mobile app. The digital cash management service will allow Malaysians to earn returns on their savings through money market funds managed by Affin Hwang AM. “Cash management solutions were traditionally only accessible to sophisticated investors and not readily available to all Malaysians,” Teoh Wei-Xiang, Versa’s CEO, said in a statement. “We are democratising access to such products together with Affin Hwang AM to bring these solutions to every Malaysian regardless of wealth status…”

Real estate private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners has closed two investment vehicles totalling up to $900m in commitments. The first vehicle will focus primarily on real estate opportunities across sectors and markets in Asia, while the second vehicle will invest in education platforms in major Asian cities. For the second fund, the firm will look to partner and work with top-tier school operators through greenfield or brownfield development and through the acquisition of properties. In total, the firm has raised six commingled funds targeting the Greater China and Asia-Pacific regions since 2005. It also manages opportunistic funds in Vietnam and the US, a Pan-Asia hospitality fund and a European hospitality fund…

Around 76% of Australia’s wealth managers serving high net worth individuals are lowering costs to compete with robo-advisors, according to a study conducted by data and analytics firm Globaldata. Findings show that Australian HNWIs now use an average of four different providers, as the uptake of automated investment services is increasing. “Eight out of 10 wealth managers agree that HNW clients are increasingly fee-sensitive due to the rise in robo-advisory services,” Heike Van Den Hoevel, senior wealth management analyst at Globaldata, said in the report. “The two single most important reasons why Australian HNWIs opt for robo-advisors are a loss of trust in traditional advisory channels and a belief that these services yield similar or better returns than other options. On the flipside, a desire to talk to a human advisor and the often still-limited investment range of robo services represent the two main deterrents…”

Part of the Mark Allen Group.