Aberdeen strengthens Asian credit team with two senior appointments

08 March 2012   Category: News, Asia, Singapore  

Aberdeen Asset Management Asia Limited has appointed Charles Macgregor as head of credit research Asia-Pacific while Thu Ha Chow joins as a senior credit analyst.

Mr. Macgregor will oversee credit research in Asia; he will also work with Aberdeen’s considerable Australian fixed income as well as broad global fixed income teams to strengthen research and help communicate ideas across the company’s global platform. Ms. Chow will focus on proprietary credit research on issuers in Asia.

In Aberdeen’s view, interest in Asian debt is a secular trend as global buyers seek to diversify their traditional hard currency holdings from troubled Western issuers. While this has manifested itself first in sovereign bond buying, familiarity with the region and gathering confidence in Asia’s superior fundamentals is raising the attraction of corporate debt, including both investment grade and high yield.

On the supply side, the falling cost of capital is encouraging corporates across the region to look at alternatives to still tight bank credit lines. While this is a welcome development, as it will lead ultimately to larger, more liquid bond markets, the demands of covering a dozen different countries call for deep company research.

Both new recruits have considerable experience. Mr. Macgregor joins from Aviva Investors Asia in Singapore, where he was a senior vice president in charge of Asian credit research. He has held similar roles with Moody’s and Deutsche Asset Management. Ms. Chow has transferred from the group’s London office, having joined Deutsche Asset Management in London in 2001, and has a background as a specialist in ABS, property, industrials and financials.

With their addition, Aberdeen’s Singapore team now comprises ten persons covering currency and credit, with another 12 in Sydney and a further five fixed income managers in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo. Total AUM in Asian fixed income stood at US$21.6 billion as at end January 2012, with US$13.9 billion of that under management in Sydney.

Anthony Michael, head of Asian fixed income, for Aberdeen in Singapore comments: “While we have had a successful few years raising assets in Asian fixed income, we recognise we need to keep up with market developments and remain ahead of our competitors. The universe of Asian credits is expanding all the time. In Charles, we gain someone who knows the history and Asian debt market dynamics inside out, and his expertise will bring structure and insight to our company due diligence; he will also help introduce Asian fixed as a more mainstream element in our global credit portfolios. Thu Ha comes highly recommended by our London colleagues. She had moved to Singapore while on maternity leave – so we feel fortunate that she has been able to join the team here as she brings both experience and a fresh perspective to our research.”