Singapore managers look to China and ESG

China, ESGFund managers in Singapore believe Asia will be the best-performing region in the global economy this year, with China leading the way. They are also positive about Asian equity and credit markets, according to a recently published industry survey. The 2023 Investment Managers’ Outlook survey conducted by the Investment Management Association of Singapore (IMAS) found that 70% of respondents expect a solid recovery in Asian equities. At the heart of the optimism is China. “After three years, China’s relaxation on its restrictive Covid-19 policy will bring about immediate and substantial impacts to both its economy and the Asian market in general,” said Rajeev De Mello, Chairman of the IMAS Development Committee. “Fund managers see the event as the light in an otherwise gloomy 2023 marked for a global recession. Furthermore, concerns over the US-China tensions are softening as there seems to be a period of calm after many years of stress.” The survey, which canvassed more than 50 executives from Singapore-based fund houses, also found a growing interest in ESG, with 62% stating that they are looking into new business lines around sustainability. Respondents also cited a lack of data standardisation and availability as challenges to implementing ESG strategies. However, with the rise of millennial investors and product innovation, ESG was cited as a major growth driver. “In this new era, product innovation and ESG concerns are key considerations for the industry,” stated newly appointed IMAS chairman Jenny Sofian. “Asset managers who prioritise these areas will be better positioned to gain new market share going forward, and also in the fast-growing client segments, such as the millennial group.” © 2023 funds global asia

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