Credit Suisse eager for Thai wealth pool

Credit Suisse eager for Thai wealth pool

Credit Suisse Securities Thailand aims to continue focusing its business strategy towards wealth management to capture ample growth opportunities in the local market, which has a wealth valuation of 16.7 trillion baht.

Thailand has a sizeable high net worth wealth pool that is comparable to other regional economies such as South Korea or Singapore, said managing director Pornchai Prasertsintanah.

According to a 2017 Capgemini Asia-Pacific Wealth Report, there were around 108,000 high net worth individuals in Thailand with more than US$1 million (32.6 million baht) in investible assets, owning total $548 billion or 16.7 trillion baht of investible wealth.

At the top end of the wealth segment, ultra-high net worth individuals in Thailand with more than $50 million grew 21% to over 400 persons in 2017, according to the Institute Global Wealth Report 2017 by Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse's Asian Family Business Report also finds that 66% of all listed companies in Thailand with market capitalisation above $50 million are family owned businesses, representing almost half of total market capitalisation in the country.

"Thai individuals and corporations are increasingly looking to diversify their investment overseas. This trend has played well to Credit Suisse's globally integrated platform that enables the company to provide clients with access to investment opportunities outside of Thailand," said Mr Pornchai.

Credit Suisse was the first global bank to launch international wealth management services out of Bangkok in May 2016 under Credit Suisse Securities Thailand. The onshore team is supported by more than 200 solutions and product specialists at the bank's regional private banking hub in Singapore, offering a full range of international investment and wealth management capabilities.

"Two years into the company's onshore wealth management business, Credit Suisse has successfully grown the number of clients accounts by sevenfold and assets under management have grown more than tenfold, while the onshore team size has doubled since year-end 2017," said managing director Pornchai Prasertsintanah, without revealing the figures.

Clients who previously had no investment beyond the domestic market are making international investments mainly due to the strong baht, together with their need for more diversified investments across both geographical and asset classes, said Mr Pornchai.

Credit Suisse's Asia-Pacific division delivered results for this year's first half of adjusted pre-tax income up by 52% or 19 billion baht and adjusted return on regulatory capital rising by 20%.

Wealth management and connected businesses also recorded a strong profitable growth and attracted net new assets of 325 billion baht, supported by inflows primarily from Southeast Asia, Japan and Australia. The value of assets under management was worth 7 trillion baht.

For mergers and acquisitions, Thai firms remain interested in overseas investments, a trend that is observed across multiple sectors and varies from small to very large deals, said Picha Wattanasiritham, managing director of investment banking.

On the sales side, Thai companies in selected sectors such as financial services, technologies and infrastructure are increasingly becoming more open to foreign partnerships where they can leverage global capabilities to further expand their business, said Mr Picha.

Mr Picha said family-owned business groups and entrepreneurs also remain keen on raising funds through IPOs as well as utilise the capital market as a means to finance or monetise their shares.

Credit Suisse has seen up-and-coming entrepreneurs and a new generation of business owners becoming more open to transformational strategic deals that would take their businesses to the next level, he said.

"This is an area where Credit Suisse's investment banking and private banking will work very well together in partnership to service this client segment. Our goal is to be the trusted adviser, financier and wealth manager for clients," said Mr Picha.

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