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aws账号(www.2km.me)_Hedge funds, private equity lure rich Asians

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All-time high: A customer stands next to HSBC Holdings’ lion sculpture at its headquarters in Hong Kong. The financial institution hit a record, with more than half of its inflows coming from Asia. — Bloomberg

HONG KONG: Wealthy Asians are pouring money at a record pace into alternative assets through private banks and high-end investment firms to escape low interest rates and volatile listed markets.

The haul at JPMorgan Chase & Co’s private banking arm from Asian clients more than doubled this year to an all-time high. HSBC Holdings Plc hit a record, with more than half of its inflows coming from Asia. Firms such as Credit Suisse Group AG and Apollo Global Management have made key personnel moves to step up in a region that’s seeing the fastest growth in wealthy people.

“Historically, most of the private banking client demand for alternative investments has come from ultra-high net worth individuals, who are familiar with private equity,” said Alois Mueller, the co-head of private equity at Credit Suisse who relocated to Hong Kong to also lead private and alternative markets Asia-Pacific.

“This trend is now being extended to high net worth and affluent investors as well.”

While a crackdown by Beijing on private business and a campaign for common prosperity have jolted Asian markets, the region, already home to more billionaires than any other, is a fast growing hub for private banking.

Asia is poised for the biggest jump in individuals with a net worth of at least US$30mil (RM126mil), according to a Knight Frank report. By 2025, the region will be home to 24% of all ultra-high net worth individuals, up from 17% a decade earlier, it said.

At JPMorgan, the total amount raised from wealthy Asia clients is in the billions of dollars this year as demand for investing in hedge funds jumped several times and interest in private equity nearly doubled, according to Albert Yang, head of alternative investments for Asia.

The private bank has also set up the structure for a bespoke distressed fund for its wealthy clients.

While definitions vary, ultra-high net worth individuals typically have fortunes of more than US$30mil (RM126mil), while high net people can sit on at least US$1mil (RM4.2mil).

Private investments typically offer higher returns but are less liquid. Annual returns on alternative investments are often “in the teens or even higher,” according to Mueller at Credit Suisse.

Even so, hedge funds come with their own risks. In November, they posted the largest single-month decline since March 2020 as equities fell sharply due to fears of new omicron restrictions, according to Hedge Fund Research.

As one example, the US$4bil (RM16.8bil) hedge fund at Hong Kong-based BFAM Partners is heading for the first annual loss in its nine-year history, hurt by a selloff in China real estate credit. The BFAM Asian Opportunities Fund lost more than 10% in the first 11 months of the year, according to people with knowledge of its performance. The crackdown on the real estate sector has prompted a number of companies to fall into distress, wiping US$46bil (RM193bil) off the wealth of China’s property tycoons.

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