Singapore’s fund management industry’s assets under management rose 17% year-on-year to S$4.65 trillion (US$3.41 trillion) in 2020 driven by a 31% jump in alternatives, according to the city state’s central bank, which expects investors to keep focusing on private equity and venture capital to tap opportunities in the region.
The gain in alternatives was more than double the traditional sector, where assets grew 15% to S$3.71 trillion, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) says in its annual fund management survey report.
The newly published data offer a snapshot of developments in a year marked by the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. Global markets, which were roiled at the beginning of the pandemic, bounced back after monetary easing by major central banks and government fiscal stimulus around the world.
The biggest gainers in Singapore alternatives were real estate and private equity, with assets soaring 56% and 54%, respectively, to S$221 billion and S$375 billion, out of the sector’s total S$947 billion.
Real estate investment trust assets rose 9% to S$138 billion and venture capital assets jumped 49% to S$16 billion. But hedge funds fell 1% to S$197 billion.
“Given Asia’s growing economies and advances in technological capabilities, investors are likely to continue focusing on private equity and venture capital solutions to capitalise on the growing opportunities in the region,” MAS says.
It says the fund management industry’s overall asset growth last year was driven by both net inflows and valuation gains.
Net inflows rose to S$387 billion from S$261 billion in 2019, attributed to “stronger investor appetite and improved risk sentiment in the second half of 2020”.
More than three-quarters, or 78%, of the industry’s total assets under management were sourced from outside Singapore. Of this, 68% is invested in Asia Pacific, 13% in Singapore, and 19% in the rest of the world.
There were 962 registered and licenced fund management firms in Singapore last year, up from 895 in 2019.