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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Asian Fund Leaders are Pessimistic

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Asian mutual fund firms are expected to continue to make staff cuts in the face of falling margins, reports Reuters. The report was based on comments made by Asian asset management industry executives at a Hong Kong conference.

"Margins for fund managers are going to come down quite dramatically this year," Vincent Duhamel, CEO of hedge fund SAIL Advisors Ltd, told conference attendees. "You're going to see a number of players that are either going to fall by the wayside or are going to have to decrease their cost structure a lot."

The news should not come as a surprise as Asian markets have seen substantial losses along with the markets in Europe and the United States. The MSCI Asia-Pacific ex-Japan is down 59 percent in 2008, for example.

That decline has also whacked sales. In September, Hong Kong's fund industry group reported that net flows had fallen 98 percent from 2007.

Khiem Do, chair of the Asia multi-asset group with Baring Asset Management in Hong Kong said that though the bank has not yet cut any jobs, it will evaluate its situation going forward. 

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