Hong Kong-headquartered CSOP Asset Management has opened shop in Singapore, the first outside its home base, to cater to institutional and high-net-worth individuals in Southeast Asia.
CSOP is a unit of Shenzhen-based China Southern Asset Management.
It says the Singapore operations will focus on "building sustainable family office and external asset management business and will provide a range of quality products and services tailored to high-net-worth individuals in the region".
"CSOP Singapore also has plans to build a portfolio management team and explore sharia-compliant investment products, as well as explore collaboration opportunities with asset managers and sovereign wealth funds," CSOP says in a statement on October 17, when the office was launched.
According to CSOP Chief Executive Officer Ding Chen, the move allows the company to "get closer to our existing clients in this region".
"More importantly, it enables us to gain more in-depth knowledge about the market and consequently helps us better present our China investment intelligence and investment opportunities to the investors in this region," Ms. Chen says in the statement.
The entry of the Chinese asset manager isn’t likely to intensify competition in the domestic industry too much, according to a fund manager at a asset management firm in Singapore.
"Competition is already intense currently, plus CSOP's entry is more of a regional play and its focus is not solely on the Singapore investors," he tells Asia Asset Management (AAM), speaking on condition of anonymity.
CSOP plans expand its services and offer mutual funds to retail investors in future, a company spokesperson says.
It can’t do so at present because its licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city state’s central bank, only allows services to accredited investors and institutional investors, he tells AAM.
MAS’s website specifies details of the services. They include engaging in fund management activities, and advising on investment products such as collective investment schemes, exchange-traded derivatives contracts, structured deposits, and over-the-counter derivatives contracts.
"However, with the local business development, we will extend our business to mutual fund issuance but it is a gradual process which needs more time and efforts invested," the CSOP spokesperson says.
"CSOP is known as a passive and quantitative products provider; we may consider to bring our exchange-traded funds expertise to the SGX [Singapore Exchange] which is not too much dependent on the distribution channel," he adds.
CSOP had US$5.6 billion of assets under management at the end of 2018.