Industry experts in wealth management, banking, fund management, trust services, real estate, gold and diamond trading as well as arts and wine investors from all over Asia, Russia and CIS countries gathered in an International 2-day Summit in Marina Bay Sands Convention Center, Singapore on 18th and 19th November.
Representing the Philippines is Arch. Romolo Nati, the chairman and CEO of Italpinas Euroasian Design and Eco-development Corporation (ITPI) who has been invited to the summit as a resource speaker and part of the panel discussion on areas for investing in Asia.
The summit sought to identify the opportunities and how to make the most out of the extraordinary growth that Asia offers. Presentations, panel discussions and seminars were held with prestigious personalities and industry leaders from all over the world in attendance. Experts in various fields also offered their view about investments in banking and insurance products, agricultural assets/funds and real estate assets and development, vault stored gold bullion and diamonds including investments in rare whiskeys and prestigious wines.
Asia, the birthplace for the world’s future middle class
International financial research and investment firms like Knight Frank presented their 2014 Wealth Report, affirming that Asia is to be the birthplace for the world’s future middle class. According to the study, Asia will be producing most of the new billionaires in the next 40 years to come.
“The global investment community is definitely now looking with a very interested eye at this big and growing market with Singapore and Hong Kong taking the leading role as the region’s financial hubs,” says Mr. Lorens Ziller, Chairman of Multiplata Investments. “Investment banks, funds, private investors and HNWI are structuring to operate into a wider range of countries like Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and India which seem to guarantee a substantial growth for quite a number of years to come.”
Those markets are driven especially through a high population growth and domestic consumption as well as government infrastructure spending. For real estate, the housing, office space and retail space requirements in these countries are quite substantial, especially the opportunity to “develop in secondary cities in the Philippines” as Arch. Romolo Valentino Nati, chairman and CEO of Italpinas and Philippine advocate remarked during his panel discussion.
“Italpinas aims to build in alternative locations with a real housing demand and where a sustainable green modern design brings innovation and offers an affordable luxury and lifestyle to the upper middle-class of the Philippines,” Nati added. “The company’s flagship project, Primavera Residences, is the first of its kind in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, setting the bar for condominium projects in the area with its modern Italian design infused with eco-friendly architecture.”
According to Mr. Alexander Karolik Shlaen, chairman of Panache Management in Singapore, “Asians love to invest in real estate assets as a form of security and further investments from HNWI from all over the world is driving residential real estate prices in Singapore and Hong Kong”. WealthX, a research agency of wealth generation and migration, have shown research data that still only a small percentage of capital in the biggest financial markets is allocated to Asia (only a total of 2% from the US and almost the same from Europe). That means there is more to expect.
Positive outlook for the region
With ASEAN integration becoming a reality soon, the overall outlook is more than positive. Increased cross-border transactions are opening the gates more and more to secondary Asian financial markets like Indonesia and Philippines which still have a low number of listed companies and IPO’s, thereby offering interesting opportunities for foreign investors.
UBS, one of Switzerland’s most important banks, as well as Citibank, have established a special desk for Russian and CIS investments in Singapore. According to statistic data, investment from Russia and other CIS states are increasing drastically. Many experts at the Summit agree upon, that “this is not even the beginning” and we may expect an increasing influx of investment capital in the region in the years to come. The organizers, also picking up on ideas that were shared during the event, are already planning the next summit to be even more interesting.