Lion Global Investors
One of the largest asset managers in Southeast Asia, Lion Global Investors’ core competency is in managing Asian equities and fixed income on behalf of institutional and retail investors worldwide. Established in 1986, their strong parentage and indepth knowledge of Asian markets have contributed to their significant presence in Asia for 33 years. As of September 30, 2018, Lion Global Investors managed group assets worth USD38.1 billion.
In 2008, Lion Global Investors set up its Brunei branch, offering a variety of investment and asset management products. More than half of the group members are accredited by the Chartered Financial Analyst. Lion Global Investors consistently ranks among the World’s Top 50 Safest Banks by Global Finance.
Lion Global Investors provides customers institutional solutions, with its core strategies and investment process. The company has a flexible approach to Asian equity markets, given its oscillating nature and a robust fixed income team. Included in its investment process are integrated risk management, effectively protecting capital and its clients’ investments.
State Street is responsible for more than 10 per cent of the world’s assets. This American-based financial services company tapped into the Bruneian market in 2011, its third office in the Southeast Asian region after Singapore and Malaysia, to further solidify its presence in the Asia-Pacific market.
The company’s physical presence in Brunei illustrates its dedication in entering the local market and meeting clients’ needs. The office offers State Street’s full range of financial services to corporate clients such as investment servicing; investment research and trading; investment management; and support for clients through client servicing and relationship management. Additionally, State Street acts as a gateway for international fund managers interested in Brunei for investment opportunities.
Apart from investment services, State Street is also committed to Brunei’s financial development. In 2016, State Street signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) to boost financial literacy among local students, signifying a collaborative partnership in various programmes such as competitions, talks and internship opportunities.
State Street’s venture into the Asia-Pacific region began more than 25 years ago, in line with the company’s goal of increasing its non-US revenue. Today, the company has successfully established itself, with more than 7,000 employees throughout the region.
In February 21, 2019, State Street Corporation opened their new office at the Pavo Point building in Bandar. “Moving to this new location in the heart of the financial district enables us to accommodate staff in order to meet our needs locally and regionally,” said Ian Martin, Head of Asia-Pacific of State Street. “This move is a further sign of our commitment to servicing our clients and growing our business in Brunei and throughout the region.”
UOB Asset Management
UOBAM Brunei – a subsidiary of the UOB Asset Management Ltd, based in Singapore – first began its operations nearly 10 years ago.
With offices in Malaysia, Thailand and China, UOBAM has a solid regional presence. In March 2018, UOBAM launched the award-winning United SGD Fund for retail and institutional investors in Brunei seeking for regular returns. The United SGD Fund invests in investment grade bonds with different maturity dates across a three-year timeframe.
This smoothens out the impact of fluctuating interest rates. The United SGD fund is a recognised Collective Investment Scheme by the country’s financial regulator Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD). Retail investors can approach Baiduri Capital, the appointed distributor of the fund.
Local Investment Services
Through AMBD, the Brunei government has been issuing short-term Sukuk Al-Ijarah. Sukuk are Syariah-compliant financial products that create returns similar to fixed-income instruments, like bonds. However, unlike bonds, Sukuk does not collect interest. This explains Sukuk’s growing popularity not just in economies with Islamic Banking, but also in the global market. As of December 2018, Brunei has issued over BND12.4 billion worth of short-term Sukuk Al-Ijarah securities.
In May 2017, the Brunei Darussalam Capital Market Association (BCMA) was launched. Their objectives are to support capital growth and market integrity in Brunei, and to promote financial and investment literacy. In October 2018, the BCMA Investment Challenge was held in which participants traded their “funds” over 19 days. A total of 109 teams from nine local higher learning institutions participated in the challenge. Teams were judged on three aspects of trading – the ability to generate positive absolute returns, ability to outbid competition in terms of generating higher returns and ability to diversify.
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