Published on April 16, 2008
Size does matter in the industry - at least for fund managers. SCBAM, by far the largest asset management firm by asset size, has set a rather bullish goal this year: 35 per cent growth to Bt480 billion. Kampol Adsavakulchai, executive vice president for its mutual-fund business, said there would be a new fund coming out every week, either brand new or a remodelled old one.
Kampol said the company's first-quarter drop in net asset value came amid the expiration of its eurocommercial paper, which will continue into the middle of the second quarter. He said new South Korean bond funds totalling about Bt4.5 billion had not been accounted into the quarterly report.
The new property funds four - this year - will invest in the usual hotels, serviced apartments and commercial real estate, said Kampol, adding that they would all be leasehold. "Chinatown's properties are all leasehold," he said. "Buying freehold would be costly."
Property funds, with an average yield of 6-9 per cent, are one of the few investments that beats Thailand's rising inflation, he said. The three new FIFs will invest in hard and soft commodities and alternative energy stocks, said Kampol.
The two main boosters for the industry this year will be the Deposit Insurance Act, which will take effect in August, and the petering off of the sub-prime mess.
After August, growth will leap, and there will be some major fund launches, Kampol said. It will then depend on each company's ability to turn a profit.
Ki Nan Tsui