Citibank, SCBAM ally on funds

Citibank, SCBAM ally on funds

Citibank Thailand has joined hands with SCB Asset Management (SCBAM) to highlight two investment funds targeting emerging Asian markets, saying the economic growth outlook among these economies is optimistic.

The funds are recommended for wealthy investors: SCB Asian Emerging Markets Fund with baht hedging and SCB Asia Pacific Income Plus Fund.

Both funds, offered via Citibank Thailand, invest in the securities of issuers or companies domiciled in or exercising the predominant part of their business activities in Asia (excluding Japan).

Citibank, which focuses on wealth management in Thailand, said emerging Asian markets are good investment destinations because of the region's strong economic growth outlook.

Despite stock market volatility in the first quarter, the economic growth rates among emerging Asian economies is likely to expand by 5.9%, said Citibank.

Citi is overweight on China, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Thailand as the cyclical upturn in the global economy is likely to be favourable for Asian economic growth, said Don Charnsupharindr, retail banking head.

He said Citibank analysts remain overweight on global equities and underweight on global bonds, favouring investment in Europe and emerging Asian markets.

But the bank recommends investors diversify their portfolios to prevent volatility.

Mr Don said the rate of investment by Citibank's wealthy customers increased 40% year-on-year in 2017, while such growth is expected at 20% this year because of sporadic fluctuations in the stock market and the rising interest rate outlook.

SCBAM chief executive Smith Banomyong said Asian economies remain very strong and competitive compared with other regions in the world. The region's young and growing population will drive long-term GDP growth, which is forecast at 5.9% in 2018, he said.

The Chinese government continues to focus on economic reforms, migrating from export-led manufacturing to the domestic-focused service sector, while the People's Bank of China has not only signalled its financial market liberalisation, but is also managing to clean up its wealth management products, applying higher lending standards to control private sector debt, said Mr Smith.

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