AudienceScience, a digital marketing technology company, is expanding its investment in Asia Pacific with a new data center in Hong Kong and two new offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. The company also has a presence in Tokyo.
AudienceScience’s Mark Connolly said: “AudienceScience has been in APAC since 2010 and has seen significant evolution in the digital advertising market. RTB is currently missing in APAC, but AudeinceScience clients are the most advanced in the region and continue to lead the adoption of more efficient and effective buying methods. With our recent technology investments, AudienceScience is positioned to continue providing industry-leading technology to its APAC clients.”
AudienceSciende CEO Like Peralta added: “APAC is a critical market for our clients and for AudienceScience. With more advertisers recognizing the value and importance of APAC, AudienceScience is dedicated to providing technology on par with that available to European and North American advertisers. We will continue to invest in the technology and staff needed to ensure that our clients receive world-class product and services across the globe.”
BASF, the German chemicals conglomerate, recently announced its plans to expand significantly in the Asia Pacific region in hopes of capitalizing on one of the world’s fastest-growing markets.
“We intend to invest $13 billion together with our partners to further develop our local production footprint in Asia Pacific,” the company said in a statement.
BASF executive Martin Brudermuller added: “in the next decade, Asia Pacific will face huge challenges while remaining the fastest growing market for the chemical industry.”
The company plans to create 9,000 new jobs in the region, as well as to produce 75% of its products for Asia locally, all by 2020. BASF’s research and development branch is growing rapidly, and around 3,500 jobs are already in the making. The company added that it will be establishing additional research facilities for electronic and battery materials, agriculture, catalysts, mining, water treatment, polymers and minerals.
The 16th annual Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference was recently held in Hong Kong. The event featured speeches from leading investors and entrepreneurs, and provided a forum for debate and discussion on the global economy and investment insights.
Many attendees emphasized the significance of the Asia-Pacific region, which continues to provide investment opportunities as local industries develop. Popular topics included key trends such as emerging markets investing, online opportunities in China, and developments in the Eurozone.
Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock Laurence Fink discussed four “megatrends” at the AIC:
Pacific Alternative Asset Management Co is turning to Asia to diversity its investor base. The fund-of-hedge funds is an $8.6 billion US company with US investors that account for 85% of its clients.
As David Walter, the Singapore-based director for the Irvine, California company known as Paamco, said, the company is now looking at Asian managers who are employing relative-value strategies.
Paamco wants to capitalize on the growing demand in Asia for alternative investments like hedge funds, hedge fund strategies and real estate. According to a recent survey by Natixis (KN) Global Asset Management, 30% of institutional investors in Asia want to increase their holdings of alternative and non-correlated assets in the next 12 months. As Walter recently said, “Asian investors are becoming more sophisticated and open to alternative investments. There is now great potential to expand our relationships in the region.”
As Walter explained, “In both cases, as investors get more sophisticated, they are increasingly going directly into large global hedge funds. That’s where we see interest — is working with them in building customized portfolios of emerging managers to complement their existing holdings.”
At the moment, Paamco is invested in 10 managers that are focused in Asia. The majority of them are in equities, while some are in credit, currencies, rates and commodities. They are mostly based in Hong Kong and Singapore, while one is in the UK and one in the US.
This month, the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition is to be held at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. Business aviation is expected to become a leading component of Asian growth, and the ABACE 2013 will likely be one of the largest and most successful to date.
Gary Locke, American ambassador to China, will speak at the event’s Opening General Session on April 16th.
“We are pleased to welcome Ambassador Locke to his first appearance at ABACE,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “I’m certain that those attending the event’s Opening General Session will appreciate the Ambassador’s informed perspective on the relationship of bilateral cooperation between the United States and China, and how that relationship can help promote the continued growth of business aviation in China and throughout the Asia-Pacific.”
The Ambassador stated: “The continued development of business aviation throughout the Asia-Pacific represents not only an encouraging sign for improved access to the region, but also the potential for bolstering U.S. exports.”
According to HSBC Holdings Plc., China’s economic burst may push global sales of offshore yuan-related structured products to $1 billion for the first time since last year.
This year, sales of yuan-linked notes have reached “a few hundred million dollars” in Asia alone. Monthly worldwide volume is increasing rapidly, already doubled since 2012, according to HSBC’s Selene Chong.
“The increasing popularity of the structured products will be coupled with an overall increase of interest in renminbi investments,” she said. “As people are becoming more familiar with renminbi and increasingly using it as a trade currency, this will create more investment needs.”
Candy Ho, head of renminbi business development for Asia at HSBC, added that offshore trading for the Chinese currency has boosted demand for additional products as well.
“At the end of the day, you’ll need to use market liquidity to hedge some of the risk,” Ho said. “We expect to continue to see investors looking for opportunities branching into structured products.”
Zarsha Leo CEO Even Burschkopf recently discussed the restaurant-bar industry. He explained that although economic conditions have remained shifty, the turnout at his venues has remained steady.
“Sports and great food are two things that just don’t lose their popularity,” he said. “These simple escapes offer a peace of mind that is crucial to keeping up with the demands of daily life.”
He added that this season has been especially busy thanks to the Super Bowl. “Both the Ravens and the 49ers have extremely devoted fans,” he said, explaining that his Maryland and San Francisco locations were both packed during the playoffs. He revealed that Zarsha Leo even had to invest in three new plasma screen TVs for the final showdown on February 3rd.
European business leaders recently convened with their Latin American counterparts in Chile in hopes of boosting investment in the region. The gathering was held on day before the first summit of the European Union with CELAC. The event will welcome over forty national leaders, including Cuba’s Raul Castro and Germany’s Angela Merkel.
Speaking to a crowd of hundreds of entrepreneurs and business leaders, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy stated: “There’s an enormous potential to intensify the investment flow from the region to Europe. Spain can play an important role as a natural entry point for Latin American companies to the European market.”
Eamon Gilmore, Irish Foreign Minister, joined Rajoy on the stage. He emphasized his “young, highly educated, ambitious workforce,” adding that Ireland’s current unemployment situation presents investors with a unique opportunity thanks to the “availability of skilled labor.”
Whether because of or in spite of the global marketplace’s volatility, there is no question that investors are flocking to all things Chinese. Oasis Management Hong Kong, along with a large portion of investors, are busy investing in Asia and trading on the domestic capital markets. But there has been a recent change in the direction Asian investments have been heading.
Opportunities have been shifting for both global fund managers as well as Chinese investors. During the past several decades the emphasis for foreign investors and Chinese regulators has been mostly inbound in type. A sea change is on the horizon as the number of domestic Chinese investors grows and the quick accumulation of large amounts of RMB capital is accrued simultaneously with insufficient global liquidity.
The coming together of the above factors has led to an increased interest in outbound investing opportunities.
A number of major global investment firms are choosing emerging markets in an effort to recover from the latest financial slump. Mirae Asset Global, a firm with $58 billion under management, explained that emerging economies are the hub of global output. The leading market is China, they added.
“We are positive on equities for 2013, although not outrightly bullish,” Mirae analysts wrote in a client report last week. “We believe that the earnings downgrade cycle has ended… and that economic recovery will be slower than in previous cycles as the economies of China and India work to correct their imbalances and are restricted in their ability to pump prime growth.”
The report added, “We are identifying pockets of overvaluation in consumer sectors, and now favor early-cycle consumer discretionary and financials over staples. Industrials and health care stand out as combining structural growth, government support and reasonable valuation.”