OCBC's private banking arm, Bank of Singapore (BOS), has signed a framework agreement with SMBC Trust Bank to provide clients of the Japanese bank with a wide range of global investment opportunities to diversify their portfolios.
SMBC Trust Bank is a wholly owned unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp - Japan's second-largest bank by assets. It offers a wide variety of services, with private banking services at its core, BOS said.
BOS hopes the memorandum of understanding will raise its profile among Japanese ultra-high and high net worth individuals. "Growth in assets under management from this segment has been robust, with a 19 per cent annual growth rate in 2017," BOS said.
Private wealth in Japan is expected to increase from US$14.9 trillion (S$20 trillion) in 2016 to US$16.2 trillion in 2021, according to the Boston Consulting Group.
Jones Lang LaSalle wrote in a March report that Japanese investors are looking outside of Japan to expand and diversify their portfolios outside of domestic bonds and stocks into alternative asset classes, including real estate.
Outbound real estate investment from Japan was nearly US$3.5 billion last year, 70 per cent more than in 2016.