Q1 invested assets hit $551b at UBS' Asia-Pacific wealth division

UBS' invested assets at its wealth management division in Asia-Pacific hit US$405 billion (S$551.3 billion) in the first quarter of this year, said the world's largest private bank.

UBS saw record net new money inflows of US$16.3 billion in the first quarter of the year, rising from US$6.3 billion a year earlier.

It plans to strengthen its position in the region by sharpening its focus on China, Japan and Taiwan, as well as its regional wealth management hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore, the bank said in a statement.

The stronger results come on the back of a market rebound amid a dovish tone set by central banks.

Last year, total assets under management (AUM) at the 20 largest private banks in Asia, excluding China, declined 3.6 per cent to US$1.63 trillion, the latest Asian Private Banker survey showed.

Asian Private Banker said in a report this month that UBS had been "well placed" to cross the US$400 billion milestone in Asia at the start of last year, but was hit by "significant deleveraging and sub-optimal investments" felt across the industry.

Ms Amy Lo, co-head of wealth management for Asia-Pacific at UBS Global Wealth Management, said in a statement that market volatility and the outperformance of managed solutions are driving the adoption of investment mandates among UBS' private clients.

She added that UBS' systematic allocation solution portfolio had helped to protect clients' money in the fourth quarter last year and benefited from the rally this year.

"We will continue to remain close to our clients, to protect and grow their wealth by capturing opportunities in the markets and navigating uncertainties in the global economy."

Mr August Hatecke, co-head of wealth management for Asia-Pacific at UBS Global Wealth Management, said the bank is observing a rise in Asia-Pacific clients showing interest in sustainable investing, "because they have found that these investments can generate equal or superior investment returns when compared to traditional investments".

UBS' first fully sustainable investing mandate attracted AUM of more than US$550 million from clients in the region.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2019, with the headline 'Q1 invested assets hit $551b at UBS' Asia-Pacific wealth division'. Print Edition | Subscribe