Although the Covid-19 pandemic, US-China tensions, and US elections still loom large, over 90% of nominated sellside individuals and buyside investors believe that Asia will continue to be the main engine of global growth for next five years, according to two recent Asset Benchmark Research (ABR) surveys.
Against this upbeat backdrop, ABR announces the most astute investor and top investment house rankings for 2020.
Only 6% of sellside individuals and 6.5% of investors are worried that the pandemic will derail the region’s success. Less than 3% of sellside individuals and investors actually consider the US-China decoupling and the upcoming election as an obstacle to Asia's economic growth in the coming five years.
Though not all investors and sellside individuals are confident that the region’s growth will remain as robust as in the past years, positive sentiment occupies a sweeping majority of the market as the indicators show. The Bloomberg Barclays Asian USD Investment Grade Bond index recovered from its low point in March 2020 and has now surpassed its pre-pandemic high. In the primary market, issuance soared to the highest third-quarter level since 2010. In total, US$114.08 billion was raised in the third quarter of 2020, up 37.6% compared with the same period a year ago, according to Refinitiv.
Given the attractiveness of Asia as a region, it is not surprising that more investors from the US, UK, and Europe are ranked this year. “As a sustainability-minded individual, I see immense opportunity,” says GAM’s portfolio manager Amy Kam, who ranked first in ABR’s astute investor category for the UK-Europe region this year. “Aside from the breathtaking pace of growth, the Asia hard-currency credit market offers attractive relative value, low correlation and diversification, sound corporate fundamentals, favourable demographics, and low-volatility profile.”
On the house level, Invesco is an example illustrating the point. It improves from its highly commended position last year to first runner-up in the regional asset manager category. Its portfolio managers Kin Bond Mak, Charlie Hu, Cameron Javadi, and Arin Kornchankul are all ranked as highly commended this year. (The total score of the investment house is the summed total of weighted scores received by its nominated portfolio managers.)
In China, we saw how regulation can change the competitive landscape. The announcement of new asset management rules in 2018 resulted in banks separating their wealth management business from their core lending one. New entrant CMB wealth management, which was established in 2019, ranked highly commended in the region in the asset manager in China this year. With more Chinese banks setting up their wealth management subsidiaries, we should see more Chinese names on the ranking in the future.
For a list of the most astute investors, please click here.
For a list of top investment houses, please click here.