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BT Asset Management is now CIMB-Principal Asset Management
10 August 2010

Bangkok: BT Asset Management Co Ltd today unveiled its new name - CIMB-Principal Asset Management Co. Ltd. With the unveiling of the new name, the company is also now part of CIMB-Principal Asset Management (CIMB-Principal), a joint venture Southeast Asian investment management company owned by CIMB Group and Principal Financial Group.

CIMB Group is Malaysia’s 2nd largest banking and financial services group and The Principal Financial Group is a 130-year old USA-based global asset management company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Anusorn Buranakanonda, Managing Director of CIMB-Principal Asset Management Co., Ltd. said “Becoming part of a Southeast Asian entity will enable us to offer Thai investors a full range of mutual funds as well as better access to other countries, especially the robust ASEAN economies.”

“Our ‘ASEAN Equity Foreign Investment Fund (FIF)’, which invests in major companies across ASEAN, has been one of our most successful funds. Our regional focus and the presence of experienced managers on the ground would differentiate us from our competitors. We will leverage on this strength, and to this end, we will be launching another FIF fund in the 2nd half of the year, i.e. the China-India-Indonesia Equity FIF Fund,” he explained.

Anusorn spoke to media at the official launch. Also present were M.R. Chatu Mongol Sonakul, Chairman, The Bank of Thailand Board; together with Chakramon Phasukavanich, Chairman of CIMB Thai Bank; Raja Noorma Othman, Head of Group Asset Management, CIMB Group; Rex Auyeung, President of The Principal Financial Group – Asia; Subhak Siwaraksa, Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Thai Bank; and Campbell Tupling, Chief Executive of CIMB-Principal Malaysia.

“On the local funds, we have almost two-decade-long track record in provident fund management with client base that includes major state enterprises, multinational and local corporations, and high net-worth individuals. We are also known as one of the most active players in local property funds, with latest beach-front hotel in Samui managed by the Accor group oversubscribed in last July’s initial public offering (IPO). Our other well-known mainstream mutual funds are the local money market funds and Korean fixed income funds which offer competitive returns with low risks. Moreover, our upcoming Korean FIF “Tanjai” fixed income fund scheduled for IPO this month will offer an innovative feature, which is providing up-front dividend payment,” Anusorn added.

Meanwhile, Campbell Tupling, Chief Executive of CIMB-Principal Malaysia, explained that the company’s investment process has been integrated and institutionalised regionally within a formal risk management framework. “An acquisition of an asset management company in Thailand is another step in the regionalisation effort of the CIMB-Principal group. While this brings new challenges, we look forward to taking on great opportunities that comes with it. CIMB-Principal Thailand will work hand-in-hand with the CIMB-Principal group to roll out products tailored to meet current as well as new customers segments. We currently have US$7.55 billion in assets under management, with US$700 million in CIMB-Principal Thailand.”

Subhak Siwaraksa, the President and CEO of CIMB Thai Bank expressed his pleasure that CIMB-Principal has now established its presence in Thailand. “This is clearly another feather in the cap for CIMB Group, now that our regional roll-out has a wider range of offerings for our customers. We welcome the presence of CIMB-Principal in Thailand, as its wealth management expertise will play a vital role in helping the bank meet the increasing demand for alternative savings and investment instruments from affluent depositors and privileged banking customers,” said Subhak. He added that CIMB Thai is keen to support CIMB-Principal by distributing its products through its nationwide branch network. Additionally, they are now able to tap on the capabilities and international expertise of Principal Financial Group (PFG), a Fortune 500 diversified global financial services company with USD 284.7 billion in assets under management (as at 30 June 2010).

“Clearly, the venture between CIMB-Principal and CIMB Thai will bring synergy between the asset management and banking entities,” Subhak enthused.