By A Paris – This year will be forever remembered as the one which saw a global pandemic taking over the world, widespread travel restrictions and significant market volatility. But in Singapore, 2020 can be considered in a more favourable light. Despite the less than auspicious environment, the jurisdiction reaped success in launching a new fund structure, generating manager interest in an otherwise turbulent period.
By Mark Voumard, Gordian Capital – Readers will be familiar with onshore domiciles such as Dublin or Luxembourg. How does Singapore differ?
“The introduction of the Variable Capital Company (VCC) structure earlier this year has been the latest in a number of initiatives undertaken by the Singapore government to grow the city state’s fund management industry and achieve its ambition of being the gateway to asset management opportunities in Asia”, says Allard de Jong, Head of the Fund Administration, Corporate Trust and Custody team of the Portcullis Group.
The outlook for the penetration of the Variable Capital Company legislation as a fund structure is upbeat as it soldiers on against the unfortunate timing of its launch, amid a global pandemic. More importantly, in practice the legislation works well and the fund launches have been successful.
The ASEAN region has demonstrated itself as a major area for investment and potential growth. However, much of this growth is still on the horizon and yet to be materialised. For the prospects of the ASEAN region to reach their true potential, the current environment requires cost efficiency, scalability and talent. These are critical factors to creating a supportive ecosystem.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been proactive and transparent with licensing requirements, compared to other jurisdictions. The Digital Acceleration Grant (DAG) programme incentivises firms to modernise operations, equipping smaller managers with the necessary technology and helping new funds get off the ground. This programme, coupled with geopolitical influences, contributes to Singapore accelerating as a safe-haven for money and financial institutions.
Zentrum Capital’s Asia Opportunity Fund is an Asian focus multi-strategy fund and has achieved performance of 16.4 per cent so far this year.
Milltrust International has close to half a billion US dollars invested in the emerging markets, and Eric Anderson Managing Partner at Milltrust International, Head of Emerging Market Investments and the Lead Portfolio Manager on all their Emerging Market strategies, explains that one third of this is used through the firm’s ETF strategy.
Union Bancaire Privée’s Singapore branch has received regulatory approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a wholesale bank license. UB P Singapore expects to commence operations as a wholesale bank from 1 April 2019.
ETF Securities Australia has launched the ETFS Battery Tech & Lithium ETF (ASX: ACDC) that tracks the Solactive Battery Value-Chain Index.