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HSBC Asset Management Bidding For Asia Wealth Pool

Jackie Bennion, Deputy Editor, 5 March 2021

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The global bank is ramping up its Asia offering broadening products to high net worth investors in alternatives, ESG and thematic equity, and putting more boots on the ground in mainland China, India and South East Asia.

In a bid to “capture the region’s significant wealth opportunity,” HSBC Asset Management is expanding its wealth services to capitalise on fast-growing wealth pools, an increasingly ageing population, and a strong appetite for investment diversification.

Specific focus will be on high-conviction products such as alternatives, thematic fixed income, ESG and active equities, distributed through HSBC’s in-house institutional partners and expanded external channels, the bank announced today as it continues to pivot towards Asia. This week it announced a new pool of regional investment heads globally to align its wealth drive.

Outside the bank's core markets of Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China, asset managers are targeting India and South East Asia as top expansion markets. It made two strategic hires in India this week.

Asian assets under management at the division reached US$184 billion at the end of 2020, up by 10 per cent for the year, representing around a third of assets managed globally.

The bank has made no secret of its desire to capture a large slice of the Asian wealth pie. A raft of global restructuring has reshaped business units over the past year as it repairs losses from the pandemic and reboots its wealth management and private banking division.

“HSBC has a unique advantage in offering distinct investment solutions across our client segments and to reach new customers within our extensive Asia footprint and global universal bank,” chief executive for asset management in Asia-Pacific, Pedro Bastos, said.

Last year the asset management arm launched around 20 funds in Asia targeting affluent clients. The bank says that it has been scaling up alternative investments in infrastructure debt and private equity to meet demand from institutional wealth asset owners. The division also recently extended its low-carbon funds beyond Hong Kong and Singapore to Taiwan and mainland China as interest in sustainable investing picks up in the region.

As the largest foreign bank in China, HSBC says that it has set a target to become a top-10 international asset manager in China by 2025. The global lender, with undeniable roots in the region, gained a foothold in China in 2005 when it established HSBC Jintrust, a joint venture between HSBC Global Asset Management in the UK and the Shanxi Trust Company.

“Our presence in Greater China will enable us to serve both the onshore and international needs of clients in mainland China and investors who want to participate in the opening of the country’s financial and capital markets,” Pedro said.

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