China Invest Interview Series: Episode 1 with Shifeng Ke
China Invest Interview Series: Episode 2 with Thomas Kwan
China Invest Interview Series: Episode 3 with James Liu
China Invest Interview Series: Episode 4 with Qi Wang
HSBC Asset Management shares bold plans to be Asia's leading wealth management by 2025
It’s been a busy 2021 for HSBC Asset Management in Southeast Asia as it began to move away from a distribution-only model to one where it also manufactures investment solutions for clients.
The company also started to build a Singapore-based investment team focusing on property, with the appointment in September of Victoria Sharpe as managing principal and head of real estate for Asia Pacific.
The moves are aimed at supporting its ambition of becoming Asia’s leading wealth management provider by 2025.
In this podcast, Asia Asset Management (AAM) Senior Finance Writer Goh Thean Eu speaks to Patrice Conxicoeur, HSBC Asset Management's Singapore chief executive officer and head of Southeast Asia, on the asset manager's expansion plans in the region.
Should cryptocurrencies be part of investor portfolios?
Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $64,829 in April, rising as much as 30% since the start of the year, when Elon Musk said Tesla would accept the cryptocurrency as payment for its cars. The following month, it more than halved to $30,000, after Musk said bitcoin mining is actually bad for the environment and that Tesla would hold off on accepting it as legal tender for now.
Across the world, governments have sounded the alarm about the speculative nature of trading cryptocurrencies and are now calling for more regulation. The harshest moves have come from China, which earlier this year banned crypto trading and this week ordered bitcoin mines to shut down.
The market value of all cryptocurrencies was about $1.45 trillion last week, as measured by CoinGecko, versus a high around $2.6 trillion last month.
This month, the Basel Committee of Banking Supervision said cryptocurrencies are some of the world’s riskiest assets and told banks that requirements for holding bitcoin and other coins should be far higher than stocks and bonds.
Despite the volatility, cryptocurrencies continue to stir huge interest. Recently El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, while central banks are exploring digital currencies for the longer haul. Meanwhile, investment banks have restarted trading desks for crypto, which recently received endorsements from hedge fund managers like Ray Dalio and Paul Tudor Jones.
How should investors view these developments? Can we expect the volatility to iron out with more regulations in place? Should cryptocurrencies be part of investor portfolios going forward? AAM contributor Kang Wan Chern spoke to Darius Sit of QCP Capital in Singapore for his views.
Will SPACs in Singapore be spick and span investments?
Since 2020, SPACs have been a popular listing mechanism in the US for emerging tech companies that require large amounts of operating capital. This year, blank-check firms have raised a record US$103 billion so far, according to SPAC Research in May. This is despite around 40% of US-listed SPACs that have completed de-SPAC transactions trading below US$10 a share.
The US SEC is now considering guidance to rein in future growth projections for SPACs and even Warren Buffet has said there is too much SPAC capital with a time limit to be deployed, raising pressure for sponsors to settle for sub-par acquisitions.
Regardless, the SGX is expected to move forward with SPAC listings in Singapore from mid-year onwards. What are the risks investors should be aware of? Has the SGX fully considered them?
On the other hand, might the bourse’s focus on risk prevention and protecting retail investors be too restrictive, and will this curb interest in SPAC listings in Singapore? In our first podcast, Professor Mak Yuen Teen, Associate Professor of Accounting, NUS Business School, and David Kuo, co-founder of The Smart Investor, weigh in and share their thoughts with AAM contributor Kang Wan Chern