Media Releases
Published Date: 02 November 1999

MAS Releases Half-Year Report on Singapore's Asset Management Industry

Singapore, 2 November 1999... The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today released its half-year survey of the Singapore asset management industry.

[The survey report is attached.]

The latest survey shows that total assets under management increased by a significant 36% in the first half of this year. As at 30 June 1999, total assets under management was S$204.1 billion, compared with S$150.6 billion at 31 December 1998. Assets under management at end-June 1999 comprised S$148.6 billion of discretionary assets managed in Singapore and S$55.5 billion of other assets 1. Economic recovery in Asia has led to greater interest by fund managers in Asian markets. This, coupled with the continuing commitment of asset management companies to strengthening their activities in Singapore, has underpinned the growth of Asian assets managed in Singapore. In addition, the rebound in Asian capital markets has also raised the market value of portfolios under management, thereby contributing to the increase in total assets under management.

According to MAS' survey, there were a total of 189 asset management companies 2 as at end-June 99, of which 148 managed discretionary assets in Singapore. This is an increase from the end-1998 figure of 169 asset management companies, with 142 companies managing discretionary assets. The survey also highlighted that the number of asset management companies managing discretionary portfolios of more than S$5 billion has increased to seven as at end-June 99.

The survey also revealed that as at end-June 1999, there were a total of 62 indigenous asset management companies, accounting for 12% of the discretionary assets managed by the asset management industry as a whole.

The MAS also announced today the award of its first Approved Boutique Fund Manager (ABFM) status to Pheim Asset Management (Asia) Pte Ltd and PrimePartners Asia Capital Pte Ltd. First announced by Minister for Finance, Dr Richard Hu, in this year's Budget, the ABFM incentive scheme exempts from tax, the investment income earned by foreign investors from funds managed by such ABFMs. Through this incentive, indigenous fund management companies are encouraged to grow their businesses to ultimately compete in a bigger playing field. Pheim Asset Management and PrimePartners were also the first Boutique Fund Managers to be accorded the Investment Adviser's status.

[Please refer to MAS' Press Release of 9 September 1999 for more details.]

In releasing the results, MAS said that whilst the last (1998) survey results showed there had been a dip in the amount of assets under management at end-1998, due to the effects of the regional economic crisis, it was much encouraged that many of the asset management companies based here continued to show strong commitment to Singapore.

The half-year survey captures a snapshot of the Singapore asset management industry as at June this year. MAS expects to issue the full-year Survey of Asset Management Activities for 1999, which will provide more detailed analysis of the industry, after the close of the year.

1 Other assets comprise assets where the fund manager does not have substantial input into the investment process or where it has no authority to make investment decisions.

2 An asset management company is defined as a company with assets under management and / or fund managers in Singapore.