Kenanga Investors completes acquisition of ING Funds Berhad

14 June 2013   Category: News, Asia, Malaysia   By Toby Garrod

The entire business of ING Funds Berhad (IFB), including all of its assets and liabilities, has been successfully transferred to Kenanga Investors Berhad (Kenanga Investors). This marks a key milestone for the integration exercise, as both institutions now operate as one entity, under Kenanga Investors, a wholly owned subsidiary of K&N Kenanga Holdings Berhad via Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad. 
“We are very excited about the completion of this merger exercise and the prospects it brings,” says Chay Wai Leong, group managing director of K&N Kenanga Holdings Berhad. “With this, Kenanga Investors has moved up from no.16 to no.12 (according to Lipper as at April) in terms of unit trust assets under management (AUM) and will now have over 5 billion ringgit (US$1.6 billion) in AUM as well as a larger retail customer base of over 30,000 investors. 
“Our clients now have access to over 1,000 tied agents, an enlarged and experienced fund management team, new online portals as well as a suite of award winning financial products comprising of 32 funds. We are also one of the eight Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) providers in the country and look forward to offering relevant and compelling PRS products to the market.” 
Last December, Kenanga Investors entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement to acquire a 100% interest in IFB, owned by ING (70%) and its joint venture partner Tab Inter-Asia Services Sdn Bhd (30%). The acquisition was completed on April 19, 2013. 
The Kenanga Group, driven by its growth agenda, has embarked on an expansion plan to bolster its businesses and fortify its presence in Malaysia. The acquisition of IFB is the group’s second exercise within a year. The first acquisition was of ECM Libra Investment Bank Berhad, which has propelled Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad to become the largest independent investment bank in the country by equity trading volume and value.
Given the firm’s broader ambitions, it’s unlikely that the M&A activity is going to stop there.
“We believe that we cannot be a single-country house,” Mr. Chay told Asia Asset Management in an earlier interview. “We are currently looking at expanding into Singapore and Indonesia. We are also exploring a Hong Kong / China strategy. Instead of opening up shop there ourselves, and competing with about 400-500 other companies, we will probably form joint-ventures or partnerships with other firms – like a mid-sized Chinese securities company.”