Tuesday, January 15, 2008

ING Funds sets sights on 20% growth


ING Funds sets sights on 20% growth


ING Funds (Thailand) plans to increase its assets under management to 220 billion baht in 2008, up 20% from last year, focusing mainly on foreign investment and property funds.

Maris Tarab, the company's managing director, said the assets would grow about 40 billion baht this year for all funds from 186 billion baht last year.

''Our growth will come from property funds, which will generate 5-9%, and FIFs. If the Securities and Exchange Commission allows private funds to invest overseas, we will go ahead with this business,'' he said.

This year, ING plans to launch three or four new property funds with an average fund size of two billion baht each. The new property funds are considering investing in a hotel in the Sukhumvit area, a rental apartment and a warehouse.

The fund manager is waiting for SEC approval to bring a property fund to invest in assets related to alternative energy such as small independent power plants.

Investing in alternative energy can yield double-digit growth.

If the SEC allows property funds to invest in such the assets, ING may set up new funds to invest in six power plants. Each would be worth one billion baht.

Mr Maris noted that the overall mutual fund business would continue to grow this year and asset management firms were interested in introducing fixed-income funds investing in short-term bonds, followed by FIFs as the products are still a hit among investors who seek diversify.

''We will concentrate on selling our fund products to the network of commercial banks as they are close to target investors, especially depositors,'' he said.

The Netherlands-based ING Group last year became a strategic partner in TMB Bank, which would become the base to help expand the asset management and insurance business for ING in Thailand.

TMB has about 400 branches nationwide, which would act as a new distribution channel for mutual and insurance products.

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